Tag: Midsouth Makers
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.
As for more details about the space, we’ll just say that it is unbelievable. If you take a look at what they have now and compare it to what they started with, you almost wouldn’t believe most of it. They had tons of tools everywhere, an impressive server room, and had even just finished their learning lab. They have roughly 2000 square feet of space and have done an excellent job of laying things out. The best thing you can do is just take a look at the Flickr account and see for yourself.
The space is approximately 2000 square feet and used to be a TV repair shop. The great thing about that is the fact of three phase power already being run to the location! It already has workbenches on one wall, and has a storefront that we could re-purpose for other things. You can check out simulated 3D photo of the main workshop at photosynth. There is just a lot to be said for the potential of the space. From the layout of the place, we would be able to build us a server room, possibly a kitchen, a storage closet, plenty of workbench space, individual cubbyholes, a lounge, and a maybe even a learning lab. We will be discussing all of this with everyone at the next couple of meetings to get ideas for potential layouts and what we can do to make the most of what is available. The owner has even generously agreed to give us the first month for free and $800/mo for the first year before raising the rent to the requested $900/mo. If we can get enough paying members interested this it really could become a reality quite soon.
An hour and a half later and 3 metal cutting discs down, we had a pile of pipes in manageable pieces. The discs themselves only cost about $3 for all, so I think we snagged a pretty good deal. Also, I think Daniel had fun causing all of the mayhem, I can’t think of many things that he likes better than tearing something apart, it is a pretty good stress reliever. As you can see from the pictures, some of the pipes were pretty massive. The largest one took down 2 discs on its way out. Thankfully it was the last pipe that Daniel clashed with.
Midsouth Makers-1: Monster pipe-0
The walk started at G.E. Patterson and S. Main out front of Ernestine & Hazels where it progressed north down S. Main to Beale St. From there every zombie traveled down to the New Daisy where the walk ended. There were really tons of types of zombies. It was estimated that 500 people where there participating. We did not get the opportunity to make use of this public event to advertise ourselves like we had hoped, but we still had a blast and that was the great thing. There was tons to see and plenty of material for pictures. Take a look at our Flickr account if you’d like to see more. Let’s try and make it where we have even more people and something even more elaborate next year. It seems to be that stranger you are at this the more you stood out. John was even mentioned in the Flyer’s YouTube video post for this year.