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Work Days Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursdays – Online Donations

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Some of our members hard at work!

Hey everyone,

Lately we’ve been planning and announcing our work meetups a few days in advance. We realize that everyone has busy schedules (including ourselves), and that giving a bit more advanced notice makes it easier for more people to come to the space and help out. Therefore I am pleased to announce a more consistent schedule and recurring schedule for these events.

Someone will be in the space to facilitate a work meetup on the following days and times:

  • Saturday – From roughly 9am to 1pm
  • Monday – From roughly 6pm to 9pm
  • Thursday – From roughly 6pm to 9pm

To keep these dates and times, as well as other important events in your Calendar, make sure to add our Google Calendar. If these dates don’t work for you please join our Volunteer Group and let us know, so we can try to work out something that fits your schedule.

You may also notice that a Paypal donation button has popped up on our site. That’s because we’ve started taking online donations! Eventually we will be using Paypal to also take membership dues, and will allow us to do automatic payments for everyone’s convenience.

For now though, please contribute through an online donation! Every bit counts, and we appreciate anything you can give.

Thanks to everyone who has already helped and contributed so much. Hopefully with these extra days and times we will soon be ready to open to the general public! Til the next meetup!

Official Workday Thursday (02/21)

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Slowly moving stuff in! Time to organize!

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to notify everyone that we will be in the space on Thursday (02/21) starting at 6:00pm for an official work meet up. We will be doing a number of things, including but not limited to:

  • Workbenches – Finishing what we’ve started in the workbenches. We have made some good progress, and we probably have enough now to start. We may build a few more, but our focus will be on finishing and placing what we have.
  • Organizing – Begin moving stuff into place, and organizing the space.
  • Floor Cleanup – Our floor needs some work. Before we put floor tape down we need to clean it. Hopefully we will have what we need to get a crew cleaning it.
  • Computing & Security – Setting up workstations, setting up camera system.
  • Discuss Fundraising - We will be working on a number of fundraising options in the next month or two. We may spend some time organizing those efforts.
  • General Cleanup & Hanging Out – Anything else that comes up or needs to be done, we will try to get to. Also will use the time to simply hang out.

Although this is a work night, please feel free to stop by, see the space, and meet us.

If you are interested in becoming a member, an active participant in our group, or want to donate to our efforts please stop by and see us or contact us

Look forward to seeing you all there!

Work Night this Wednesday (2/13), Dues & Founder’s Club

This Wednesday (02/13), starting at 6 PM, will be the first of many regular weekly work nights we’re going to have to make improvements to the space, fix tools, clean and organize, discuss issues and work on administrative and planning tasks. EVERYONE is welcome to come and help, although you will have to sign a liability waiver. You’ll also have to wear safety glasses. We’ll have some you can buy for $2 or $3 if you don’t have any.

Here are some things we may be working on:

  • Building workbenches
  • Installing security cameras
  • Cleaning, checking and tuning-up some of the tools
  • Buying wood and other materials at nearby stores
  • Searching online and calling about woodworking tools that are for sale
  • Planning classes and events
  • Working on the website, etc.

Although this is a work night, you are welcome to just come by to see the space and meet some of us. By the way, Saturday is also going to be a work day at the space, starting at 9:30 and going to at least 1 PM.

In case you haven’t heard, our furnace hasn’t been working. The maintenance man says a new one will probably be installed this week, but I can’t promise it will be ready by Wednesday. So it could be chilly in the space.

We also don’t have many small hand tools there yet or things like nails, screws, cleaning supplies, etc. So please bring along what you can.

We’re probably going to order pizza and put out a donation jar to help pay for it. It would be greatly appreciated it if you could bring and donate some soda, bottled water or other beverages so we have something to drink.

You won’t need a ticket, but we’d appreciate it if you would help test our Eventbrite pages by registering for this event and then giving us any feedback you think is important.

DUES

We still not sure how much we need to charge for dues. Plus, we want to grow our membership quickly instead slowly. So for the first two or three months we’re going to charge $40/month for an individual, family or student membership. And you can lock that amount in for as long as you want by paying in advance. We’re going to start collecting membership dues on March 1st.

We think that eventually a regular individual membership will cost about $65, a family membership about $75 and students will probably be $50.

Founder’s Club

In the meantime we need to pay March’s rent and buy all kinds of essential tools and supplies for the space. So I hope you will consider joining our Founder’s Club, which will be made up of the first 100 supporters who donate $100. You’ll get to brag that you’re a founder of the Rochester Makerspace, your name will be on a plaque that will be displayed in the space, and you’ll probably get some other kind of perk or reward (t-shirt, coffee mug?).

If you can help then please send a check to Rochester Makerspace, 850 St. Paul Street, Rochester NY 14605, or give your donation to one of the officers/directors (Rob, Wyatt, Jacob, Nick or Chuck) the next time you visit the space.

By the way, donations made right now may not be tax deductible, but our attorneys are preparing our 501c(3) application and they will be sometime soon. But please don’t wait, we really need your financial help and support right now!

Thank you, and as usual, please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Tuesday Meeting Reminder! Pizza! (02/05)

Hey Everyone!

Just a quick reminder and/or notice to all of our supporters that we will be having an informal meet-up at the space tomorrow night at 6:30pm. One of us will be in the space by 6:00pm if you want to come early, hang out, and talk with us or other members.

Our intention is to show the space to anyone who is interested, and to talk about our first project: Building workbenches for our space. If you want to volunteer, be involved in that effort, or want to share what times work for you please come and let us know.

If you can’t make it please join our Volunteer Group to be updated on the project.

We will also have time to answer a few questions. However this will not be a brainstorming session. We need to focus on what’s pertinent for the coming weeks, use our time wisely, and ensure that our message is clear. Thank you for understanding.

Here is a map of the space’s location. Google also has an image for point of reference. To get into the space turn down Scrantom St. off of St. Paul. Drive to the back of the building and you will see a gate to a parking lot to your right. Turn in, park, and walk in through the big bay doors. Go through the door, turn left down the hallway, and you will see us congregating.

We will be ordering pizza for everyone at 6:30pm, so come hungry! See you there!

Ready, Set, Go! – Space, Meetups, Etc.

Hello Everyone!

There’s a lot of exciting news that I am here to report, but I first wish to thank all of our supporters, volunteers, and to all those who have contributed to the Makerspace in some way. The only reason we have accomplished what we have is due to the people who are behind us. So again thanks.

We also realize communication and updates haven’t been our strong suit as of late. We realize this has left many of you in the dark, but other matters were more important. Many tasks could only be accomplished by a few of us, and we put forth all of our free time to getting us a step closer to being open.

With that being said I am pleased to announce that in this past week we finalized our insurance and as a result we were able to sign our lease! For those that don’t know we will be taking up two spaces at our 850 St. Paul St. location, for an approximate total of 3800 sq. ft. Both have been completely renovated, and will more than fit our needs for the time being.

But this is just the beginning! The real work has yet to start. A lot needs to be done to prepare the space, move tools into our location, and ready our organization for memberships and all that entails. We need plenty of help moving in, and we plan on beginning this weekend. If you have a truck, a van, or any other means to help us in this process please let us know by getting in touch with us on Google Groups.

We will also be building workbenches, shelves, and other necessities for the space. It doesn’t matter if you have no woodworking skills. This is an opportunity to learn, meet other members, and get involved in building out the space!

To start this process we are having an informal meet up on Saturday at the space from 11am to at least 2pm.

We understand that this is on short notice, and because of that we will also be meeting on Tuesday as well. One of us will be in the space by 5:30pm Tuesday, and we plan on ordering pizza around 6:30pm for everyone. Whether you want to show up before, during, or after is up to you.

Coming to one of these meet ups would be a great opportunity to find out how you can help, or offer a contribution to our effort. Expect more emails and check our blog for more information and updates. We are hitting the ground running so expect things to move quickly!

If you plan on coming either day please get in touch with us on Google Groups. If you see an RSVP thread, please do not create another one.

I look forward to meeting with all of you, and working with you in the next couple of days. Please see below for images of the space and another of Rob signing the lease! (The way to exit the images is by pressing ESC, good luck!)

Directions:

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We’re going to have pizza and a 3D printer at our next meeting (12/18)

I just want let you know that we’re going to have pizza at tomorrow’s meeting.  We not sure how much to order.  If you can, we’d appreciate it if you’ll let us know if you’re going to be there.  We’re also not sure what kind of pizza to order other than pepperoni. So we’d also appreciate some suggestions, especially if you’re a vegetarian.

We’re also going to bring along our new Solidoodle 3D printer.

We have a lot to discuss and decide but we may be busy eating pizza, getting to know each other, and answering questions.  So we’re going to have second meeting this week, an informal one, on Thursday, December 20th, at 6:30.  

It’s going to be held at Rob Storms’ 2,000 square foot workshop located at 175 Norris Drive. It’s next to the Sound Source music store, near Cobbs Hill and Winton Rd. Rob is a “maker” who has a strong interest in bicycles, among other things. He’s been to every Burning Man Festival except for the last three, which he’s had to miss because he was caring for an elderly relative.

You’ll have two opportunities to eat free pizza this week because in addition to letting us meet in his workshop, Rob has generously offered to buy us pizza. He’s also become a strong supporter of the Rochester Makerspace and he has pledged to buy a year’s membership.

Tomorrow’s meeting is at 6:30 in the Brighton Memorial Library meeting room, 2300 Elmwood Avenue. We hope you can make it.

Meeting December 18th @ 6:30pm!

Hello everyone!

I am happy to announce that we will be having a formal meeting on December 18th @ 6:30pm at the Brighton Public Library! This meeting is long overdue, and we have a lot to discuss. Whether you are currently involved or not doesn’t matter, because everyone is invited and encouraged to come.

We will be discussing our next steps and filling volunteer positions. If you want to get involved or are looking for something to do this would be a great meeting to attend. Are opening is imminent, and there’s a lot to do!

Hope to see you there.

Brighton Memorial Library 2300 Elmwood Ave. Rochester, NY 14618


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Status Update – December 2012

We’re not promising this, but it looks like we’ll be signing a lease and opening our makerspace in a few weeks. Many volunteers have helped get us to this point. But even so, we’re struggling to get some critical tasks done and the problem is about to get much worse.

We will soon have to quickly create the policies and procedures we’ll need to run our makerspace, organize and schedule classes, figure out where to put everything, build workbenches, tune-up tools and equipment, and much more.

Many of these things we’ll have to do only once. But we’re still going to have a continual need for more help than we’ve ever had and our makerspace will almost certainly fail if we don’t get it. I’ve been involved with many volunteer-run organizations and I’ve seen it happen.

What help do we need?

  • We need a treasurer and a secretary. These are officer positions. If you want to make a difference or have a strong say in how the makerspace is run, then volunteering for one of these two jobs will guarantee it.
  • Volunteers to manage and promote each major area of interest: woodworking, art, machining, welding, metal fabrication, kids programs, sewing, 3D printing, crafts, computers & electronics, and others. You’ll decide (hopeful with input from others), how to organize and run your work area, help choose equipment to buy or lease, safety and training procedures, and more. (BTW, we need to come up with a good title to give these volunteers.)
  • We’re going to need many work benches and tables. We’d like to build most of them ourselves from wood or welded steel because we think it will save us money and be a good opportunity for our members to learn new skills. And mostly importantly, because it will encourage teamwork and help us build a strong community. So we need volunteers to find good affordable designs and lead construction teams.
  • Volunteers to take charge of our marketing and fundraising efforts.
  • Volunteers to plan and promote our grand opening.
  • People with good writing skills who are willing to help create content for our web site, write training and safety materials, respond to letters and emails, apply for grants, be proofreaders, etc.
  • We need someone to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to buy a SawStop table saw for our woodworking shop, which will stop instantly if someone’s fingers touch the blade.
  • Leaders who can come up with group projects that will attract interest and help from both members and nonmembers. They can be anything, but we would like to have some that will use our talents and tools to benefit or enrich the Rochester community.
  • Finally, our greatest need is for people who are willing to try and do whatever needs to be done, even if they don’t know how to. Starting a business, or in our case a nonprofit, requires learning and doing a variety of things you’ve never done before.

In case I haven’t been clear enough, WE REALLY NEED MORE HELP RIGHT NOW! So please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send us an email if you willing to help in some way. And as always, we want to hear your input or suggestions about anything.

Some Other Makerspaces

For decades individuals have pooled their talents and financial resources to create community woodworking shops, darkrooms, art studios and other facilities so they could pursue activities they couldn’t afford on their own. What’s different about makerspaces is that they provide the tools, space and community needed to support many different activities and interests.

ADX – This makerspace in Portland, Oregon, describes itself as “dual parts workspace and incubator, our membership-based community unites multiple creative disciplines within a 10,000 square-foot facility that is accessible, collaborative & affordable.” ADX opened in May 2011 and they have more than 150 members.

Artisan’s Asylum – Located near Boston, Massachusetts, Artisan’s Asylum started out about 3 years ago in 1,000 square feet and then expanded to 31,000 square feet. One reason they’re so large is because they have more than 90 private work and storage areas, ranging from 50 to 250 square feet, that their members can rent. Their very well-equipped facility also offers a wide range of affordable classes.

Columbus Idea Foundry – This makerspace is located in Columbus, Ohio, and operates in a 25,000 square foot building that has 4,000 sq. ft. of classroom and gallery space, 10,000 sq. ft. of studio space and 11,000 sq. ft. of workshop space. Their mission is “to provide tool-access and tool-education to small businesses, creative artists, and YOU.”

Fayetteville Free Library’s Fab Lab – The first makerspace to be created inside a US public library is not far away, near Syracuse. It includes a 3D-printer, a laser cutter and computer workstations with sophisticated design programs.

TechShop – “A membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make.” It was started in 2006 as a for-profit membership based workshop in Menlo Park, California. Since then they have expanded across the country and are now in six cities, with more locations planned.

The Crucible – This educational facility “fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts.” It was started in 1999 in a 6,000 square foot warehouse in Berkley, California. It has grown to 47,000 square feet and they are now probably the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States.

A surprise, private work areas & what a membership will cost

A large group of us recently looked at the 2,800 square foot space at 850 St. Paul Street I recently told you about. I think everybody liked it. I thought we had an easy decision to make but then we got a big surprise.

The landlord knows I’ve been worried about quickly outgrowing the space so he offered to put us in an 18,000 square foot space and just charge us for the amount of space we actually use. His generous offer will allow us to grow as quickly as we can, without having to worry about starting out in a space that might be much too small, or too big and unaffordable.

Private Work Areas

The extra space means we’ll be able to support more tools, activities and members. But there’s another reason why we’ve been worried about having enough space. We want to have enough room to be able to offer our members private work and storage areas at a low cost and without a long commitment. (Don’t worry, there will also be plenty of free workspace.)

We want to do so because we think there’s a strong need for it and it will benefit many in the Rochester community. We’ve already received inquires from people asking if they can rent space inside our makerspace. And we know that other makerspaces have had a strong demand for similar space.

Artisan’s Aslyum is a good example. They have 90 private spaces ranging in size from 25 to 250 square feet that are fully rented and have a waiting list. The extra revenue from those spaces has made financially stable and it has helped pay for some very impressive tools and programs. So we want to find out if their model will also work here in Rochester.

Membership Cost

To rent a space you’ll need to be a member and we haven’t talked much about how much that will cost. We’re not sure yet, but a monthly membership will probably be $65 and we may offer a very substantial discount to those who are willing to take a chance on us and pay for a year’s membership in advance. We may not do it right away but we’ve also considering daily, student, and family memberships, along with scholarships.

Getting back to private work areas, the huge space we’ve been offered comes with many details that haven’t been worked out yet and maybe some problems. For example, it’s a great space but it’s nowhere near as bright and inviting as the smaller one. So we would really like to know how much interest there is in private work areas before we accept the landlord offer. And unfortunately, we can’t tell you a lot of details yet. Even basic information like how much it’s going to cost. Although, I can tell you that we will keep the cost as affordable as possible.

A Decision Will Be Made Soon

Although it may seem like it, renting space at 850 St. Paul is not a done deal. The building and spaces are great, it’s centrally located and easy to get to from 490, we really like the landlord, and the rent is extremely affordable. And the neighborhood is not bad, although it’s not a great one either.

But we learned at TEDxRochester about some other locations that need to be considered and a commercial real estate agent began helping us for free. So our already very overloaded group of volunteers is responsibly looking at other possibilities. But we are not going to keep looking indefinitely and we are probably going to choose a space to rent within the next couple of weeks. We’d really like to get your input before we do that. So there will probably be a meeting and you can always contact us or leave a comment.

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