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Midsouth Makers Road Trip to Hackerspace Makers Local256 in Huntsville, AL

by on Jun.30, 2010, under Events, Trips

Makers Local 256 Building

Image by John Wood

HEY FOLKS! LET’S GO TO HUNTSVILLE!

When this first came up as a discussion I was psyched from the get go.

This past Saturday, June 26th, we made that happen.

Daniel, Jim, Kevin, Brandi, Chris, Drew and I all loaded up and headed East early in the morning. Trailed closely by Ryan Anderson. The trip there was great and the weather was very kind.

Upon our arrival we were afraid no one was there, but soon after hitting the doorbell we were greeted by Justin (Ratmandu). After exchanging pleasantries we were given a thorough tour and explanation of everything in the shop. There were many “ooohs” and “aaahs” followed with several “Oh Neats”.¬†Immediately we were drawn to the numerous projects that were in different stages of completion. Intrigued by all there was to see, we couldn’t help but ask questions over and over again. Justin calmly and patiently answered each and every one.

When lunch time came around we were guided to Bandito Burrito and found it to be very close to authentic and also very good eats. This will be recommended to the future groups visiting there too.

Returning to the space, we found several other “Locals” had arrived as well as Nick, a visitor from Birmingham who contacted us after seeing one of our stickers on a truck while he was in Memphis. We gladly shared information with Nick and we hope that he has success getting a space started in B’ham as well.

There were many handshakes and greetings and story tellings to be heard as well as many heartfelt smiles being shared all over. From here we talked about lots of different things and played with as many gadgets as we could. Everything from the Cupcake bot to the screen printing press. Discussions about Arduinos, software cores, and modding Jeep doors were everywhere. There was no shortage of thought provoking conversation.

One discussion about a place called Mike’s Merchandise caused many of us to visit this wondrous place and see what all the “hub bub” was about. We were anything but disappointed. If there was ever a store designed with “Makers” in mind, this is the place. Alice said “They have a bit of everything”, this my friends was a great understatement. If you find yourself in the Huntsville area, say hi to the “Locals” but by all means, do not miss Mike’s Merchandise. Whether you’re looking for a radiator from a Caterpillar truck or a box of test tubes, this place is likely to have it. With surprisingly small prices too.

The trip home went well but leaving was not exactly desirable. These folks have a great setup and seem to be doing a really good job of keeping people’s interests high. With lots of activities going on and many, many things to work on in the space, this group isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We will also be looking forward to revisiting them in the very near future.

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DIY Sand Blasting Cabinet

by on Jan.26, 2010, under Projects

Sand blasting cabinet outside cornerI have successfully taken a standard storage tub and made it into a portable sandblasting cabinet.

See the wiki for details here.

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