Who needs help making something? (Straw poll)

When I think about the times I have enjoyed being at the space it has been helping others. I enjoy making things a plus is when I am helping others get an idea that they lack the needed tools to make happen, or it is a random idea/challenge someone throws down. There are a few times I have an idea of my own that I need tools I don’t have at my house that makes me venture to the space. I would like to give back to others, and have fun doing it.

Is there anyone out there has an idea but they feel constrained by there confidence at any given area?

Would there be a need for a time at the space where members can come down to get help on specific projects they are working on?

My personal area of expertise are software development many languages, and 3d cad models (fusion 360 mainly). CNC (in metal) is an area where I want to progress, but I lack the needed project of my own that is beyond the limits of extruded plastic at home.


I know they have Jimmy and Steve’s night on Tuesdays but I’m usually booked for something else. I need to work on my computer-aided design skills, my profession was still by hand when I was in school. Hopefully doing Inkscape with the Venture Crew Group will help. I’ve been wanting to use the plasma to cut some simple shapes so I can do more rust dying at once. One shape I want more of is some squares with some circles cut out of the middle. I’d like to have enough squares to produce 4-6 pillows at a time instead of 1 at a time. To do that I need at least 27 more squares.
I’ll need to learn how to program Lilly Pads to do some wearable tech with Art Partners and the 5th grade students I will be helping make a garment by April. I was talking with @rustin.atkeisson and @james.a.seymour today.
I don’t know how I’m going to get this done or when but I know I will.

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Being exposed to rust dying (just now) I am still processing things.

It seems to be a a simple process to me. Something rusty and you press fabric against it.

If you are trying to make a pattern on the material it seems like you have a few options. You could cut the steel sheet to the desired shape/patter, or you could put a mask over the material, so it would not rust/bleed on to the material. How many do you want to make. If you could laser cut the mask it would be higher details, and maybe fast.

It might come down to how many pieces you were going to make. If you had many copies to rust/dye you might need to cut a thicker piece of steel on the plasma, then rust it, then press it. If it was going to be one off, you might be better to use a custom ostensible and do one of’s.

I am willing to help. If you have a general geometric patter via picture, svg, cad, pencil drawing, and the number of plates you need made. I will try to help.

I do not currently have a setup to rust steel at home, but I could. Anode/cathode/electrolyte/electrical current. I know @paul.maseberg had been doing some at the space/home for the keepers.

If you can hand draw something, and give basic dimensions we could go the ball rolling. The picture give basic shape, but no dimensions. If you want to plasma cut this you would need each piece to be connected, or you could cut the basic shapes and tack weld them to another sheet for placement. I guess you could also reverse mask the steel you wanted to rust then press the entire sheet. Do you know how long/how much rust is needed to dye material? Do you have any links any example sites you want to replicate the process from?

when are you needing this? I could try to do some testing. Do you have some comparable fabric material to do some tests on? there are many questions that would need to be answered, but it is basic chemistry to convert Fe -> FeO3.

Cool idea. Willing to help. Just need some details.


I need help power coating something, does that count? :slight_smile:

Hi, I could use some help reviving a previous project. It was an approx 24x24 plasma cutter project. I have a graphic but I’m lacking the skills to expand it and clean it up to make it compatible with the plasma cutter. The software side of things is where I tend to fall on my face.

Regarding your CNC knowledge, I can point you to a HAAS workbook that is great for learning basic programming and machine code. It’s probably the best tool I’ve seen for such things. If you have specific questions outside of that I can probably help to.



I could likely help you with powder coating depending on what you’ve got. Any details?


I’ve got this banged up fire hose strainer I want to turn into a pendant light, my plan was to sandblast and refinish with a red powder coat.


I’ve been rust dying for about 10 years. I plan to make multiples and already have about 12-14 of that shape and have been wanting to make more. I’m going to work on the drawing based on what I have. I also will want to make other shapes but I’ll just start with this.

That looks like a great project to learn on. Is the top metal as well? Plain red should be simple, do you know if there is any red in the cabinet currently?

Yes the top is metal that I drilled into to attach the conduit and ran the electric through, it can easily be detached. I plan on leaving the conduit and connector its original color, I do not know what colors are in stock, I haven’t poked around in that area yet.

Worse case scenario, Harbor Freight likely stocks the red. Do you need help
w/ the sandblaster as well? It’s kind of finicky but it works.


I have used a sandblaster before in my college art department but I’ll definitely take any tips and tricks for best use of this one.

@AaronD What controlling software are you using? I am comfortable with Linux CNC, but I have not look the plasma related controls since we setup the plasma cutter at the space. 1 or 2+ years ago? It would be simple to setup linuxcnc. If you are using something like grbl, I am not the person to help much. It would be a learning curve for me. There are others around the space that have used it.

My main problem with CNC (tormach) are just finding a project to make me get out of the house and go to the space. I can read gcode ok, but I try to let fusion 360 figure out the tool paths. :slight_smile:

Thanks for offer.

Tom, after looking at my files from early last year (I deployed for 14
months starting that spring) it looks like I was in the middle of trying to
convert a JPG to DXF …I
m not sure why though, LOL. I’ve attached both files. Keeping in mind I
want to do this in about a 2’x2’ size, do you have any recommendations?

Eagle2.dxf (1.51 MB)

I hope someone else that has done more fine detail on the plasma cutter can chime in here. I am not very optimistic that the fine detail will survive. Even with the fine cut nozzle I think most of the small twigs are going to be gone.

EDIT: After looking at the DXF. It has added thickness to some of the parts. But all of the small isolated parts would need to be connected to something or removed.

Before I am completely down on the success of your project lets step back and get some details. I am missing.

Indoor or outdoor?
What base material?
How thick?
Are you going to apply any coatings?
How is going to be mounted?

Assumed steel, it’s decorative so I’m flexible
I was think approx 3/32-1/8" (.093-.125) …ish thick
Hadn’t decided on finish, possibly play with rust or some other “raw” finish
I’ve got a wood frame in a window on a cedar door I made, panel slides into
door from the top.

I understand the detail problem but I didn’t think there would be too much
intricate stuff left after blowing up to 4 square feet.

I need some bookshelves. Does anyone have any pointers on how to design and build one?

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There are tons and tons of woodworking plans in the two cabinets in the wood shop. I’m sure you’ll find lots of articles and plans for bookshelves. Feel free to look through them. If you find something you like, you’ll need to photocopy it. The books and magazines there are for our use, but we don’t own them.

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I was not thinking of the size you were planning on, so the twigs/branches seem better. Here is a piece cut on our plasma cutter. It seems to be 1/8" at the smallest parts.


JB @JeremiahB our previous metal shop lead made it along with a ton of other things. I bought it at a fundraiser. It is 0.0735-0.08" thick ish. It is close to what you are thinking about doing.

Have you been authorized for the plasma table? If not I can try to scrape together some of my parts I want to cut, and help you out. If you want detail you would want to use the fine cut consumables.
@heathenfire79 Josh can expand on the state of consumables in the metal shop. Last I knew it was something like. If it is on the machine you can use it, but you should get your own.

I would suggest you cut the full size part on the laser cutters to get scale and verify scale and artwork. It won’t be complete 1:1 since the laser has a sub mm kerf vs vs 1/16" is for the plamas cutter.

Does the Fab Lab have copies of the files to cut commonly used images. School Mascots, iconic scenes around town such as Keeper of the Plains, CII, Skylines, or Kansas items, or national items?