Brainstorming for Space Next Door

Gather 'round everyone…

We live in exciting times people. This is the first time we will have expanded since the Hive first obtained a physical space 7 and a half years ago!!! We won’t get that next door space for a month or two, so that gives us plenty of time to think about the (quiet) possibilities!

Let’s start some simple brainstorming over the next week or so, then start talking about some specifics of ideas through in person and mailing list discussions. I’d like to see us vote in a “short term (think maybe 3 months) experiment” for using that space. Then at a later date towards the end of that term, we can reevaluate our needs, the successes, failures, improvements, and changes to the original “experiment” and then vote in something more permanent.

This method worked amazingly well with the warden program when it was first proposed. We did a 3 month voted trial, saw what worked and what didn’t, made some changes and then voted in a continuing program with the months of practical experience. Things can sound great on paper, but not always in practice.

Also, let’s keep in mind with these first ideas, it would be really useful to leave the initial “experimental” vote flexible and open ended to some degree, so we can continue to play with the new space.


  • We must be quiet as our neighbor is above that space and it is not insulated.
  • It is an isolated room, like the lounge and fab lab, that could be kept dust-free.
  • It has a leak in the roof just like other parts of the Hive (these may be a bit worse than ones in the current hive space, not sure.)
  • The hallway is a shared space, so we can’t use that as a Hive-rented space.
  • It is a large enough space that we can do many things with the space, not just ONE thing

Let the ideas flow!


I’d like to keep this thread for GENERAL IDEAS. Getting into specifics in the brainstorming stage is generally a bad idea and poor use of time and effort.

One idea that people have bounced around was moving the meeting space, and possibly the lounge space. These are both fairly quiet areas, and it might be beneficial to have these spaces away from the noise and dust for meetings, for working on the general purpose tables, and other casual things. This also would make room for more activities in the general hive space. This idea is compatible with other uses of that space in conjunction.

Paint. Booth.

One of my constant areas of frustration is being unable to lay down a coat of paint or finish without lint, dust, Cheetos, etc landing on the piece. We could also make good use of that available window to exhaust fumes.

  • Ry

I am sure I will receive some opposition for this suggestion but, this suggestion has solid good intentions.

I would suggest moving the server and networking racks into this room.


  • The main area gets tons of dust which we all know is terrible computer equipment
  • The servers and networking racks are lightly maintained at the hive and rarely dusted out so goes in point with the previous statement
  • The areas where the servers and networking racks are located are not easy to reach, which may even go as explain the previous statement
  • The servers and networking equipment should very well qualify as quiet and should not bother any neighbors
  • This will free up additional space in the main area for other activities that may be louder than the servers and networking equipment
  • Excellent chance to upgrade and replace any outdated equipment seamlessly with little or no downtime
  • This would be the perfect time to upgrade the whole system to a faster system 1000Mbps/s for cat5e, 10Gbp/s for cat6 or faster even(cat6 is likely plenty for a long while) seamlessly with little or no downtime.
    I am more than willing to help spear head(with the CTO if they are so inclined) this move/transition if the hive decides to go this route.

I like the idea of large storage, a big issue I see is that when someone works on a large project that is time consuming it takes up room. Examples (all of which are awesome things): Coy’s safes project, the arcade machine, the Powertool drag racing, the power series cart, large costume projects.
If we use this area as an organized storage space it would open alot of room in the main area and cluster issues would be lessened.
The other idea we can look at is getting a large compressed air tank for nighttime use, as the tank itself wouldn’t make noise.
I do like the idea of the servers getting moved out to there, assuming we can do the wiring needed.
I do also like the idea of a paint booth!

I like the paint booth idea. Could expand that into more general “art” space, such as sewing machines, drawing easels, or whatever.

I have mixed feelings about moving the lounge and/or meeting area. It’s nice to have the meeting area next to the kitchen for community meals. For the lounge, when you have a kid watching a movie it’s convenient to be able to keep on eye on them through the door.

The DIY-Bio effort a few years back had several issues, but probably the biggest was lack of space. So that would get my vote if people are still interested… (biology-dedicated table space, refrigerator, incubator, and sterile hood)


I like the idea of the paint booth, and also the server racks. I’m not so sure they’re good together, but I don’t think paint is any worse than anything else the servers are currently being exposed too. I’d be willing to do design/implementation of a paint booth, other projects permitting.

I have to disagree on the server racks. They are in fact very loud. Even if they are not loud enough to bother the upstairs neighbor, they are certainly loud enough to render the smaller area of that room quite unpleasant to work in.

  • Ian B.

Not sure if this has changed, but when I looked at the space for my own uses, the floor is noticeably slanted / has a dip.

If the server racks move, the paint booth could be the replacement, question is… is the booth good enough containment not to over spray/fume out the kind fellows working on electronics. Stepped up a few notches, a new booth could extract for both welding and painting. Dunno.

As long as we are throwing our wacky ideas,
We could relocate the fab lab into the new space, then open up the wall between the old fab lab and the lounge to create a classroom / meeting space and still keep 1 or two of the couches in there. This would let this space do triple duty.

The fab lab is typically pretty low volume as is, and we would still be able to have the paint booth in the new area.
We would then have the ability to use the existing meeting space to push over electronics and decramp the metal shop.

That is way more work just moving something into the new space, but it does seem to address a number of current limitations in the hive and the new space.

I had another idea and figured it should get it’s own post.

We could put ALL (big bold letters) storage into the new area.
Member storage, Scrap storage, PTDR storage, any onsite stock materials, etc.

That would expand the metal shop, woodshop, and meeting areas. It would also likely allow for still having something else in the space as well, such as Fab Lab, Paint booth, Sex dungeon, etc. I don’t think we have THAT much crap that needs to be stored that it would take up more than half that space. And since it is used for storage, having it in a separate area with an extra door to get access to it is an extremely small inconvenience.

So pretty much like the rest of the hive, where moving things a couple of feet laterally causes a few inches of vertical change? (I’m looking at you, saw outfeed table)

There’s a reason we put adjustable feet on most of the machines. :smiley:

Though if the dip is centered, it opens the possibility of Hive13 office chair roller derby…

  • Ry

I like this more the longer I think about it. We could line the walls with most or all of the pallet racks. Member storage might consume the lower shelves, with grab boxes of community parts on the higher shelves as in the electronics area.

I have no no immediate ideas for the center of the room in this scenario. Hopefully some reasonably frequent activity could take place here, preventing an “out of sight out of mind” problem with cleanliness.

The other obvious downside is that this blocks the windows, preventing us from wishing they were filled with LED art.

  • Ry

I would be all for a spray booth and would even like to expand it to get actual spray guns in there.

Unless you know something I don’t I think Hive owned spray guns is a really BAD idea. I say that as somebody who owns three airbrushes and a spray gun, none of which I can completely clean to my satisfaction. My experience is that anything that runs a stream of material designed to stick to anything gets it everywhere and it doesn’t come off. Generally my regiment with my airbrushes involves a full soak in either 90-95% alcohol or acetone depending on what I have available. Then a through cleaning with pipe cleaners and brushes, which is usually enough to get it into working condition. Leaving an air brush or spray gun with any sort of paint in it overnight involves a pretty nasty cleaning, since paint is by design, not intended to come off.

I imagine any Hive owned spray guns would quickly become a disaster since they would not be cleaned, and would be used and abused.

Conversely buying your own spray gun is relatively cheap. HF has some really cheap (like $15) guns that have gotten a decent reputation for guns to use and abuse. Stepping up a bit, the Homeless Despot has spray guns going for $50-100. So it doesn’t seem to be unreasonable to ask members to own (and maintain!) their own spray guns.

Would a spray booth entail safety regulations?

Could it be restricted to water-borne materials only, to avoid this (and to avoid spark/fire hazards from solvent-fan motor interactions)?

How (and to where) would it be vented? How often would the overspray filters be replaced?

(The fan duct would be a cool maker project.)

I agree that Hive would be best served by user-owned (and cleaned) spray guns (and solvent-absorbing masks).

Would a spray booth entail safety regulations?

Probably no smoking or open flames. (BTW, haven’t forgotten about your suggestions for a sign on the jointer)

Could it be restricted to water-borne materials only, to avoid this (and to avoid spark/fire hazards from solvent-fan motor interactions)?

Water based materials also contain solvents, not sure how flammable they are. Really just about anything can get much easy to burn once it’s been atomized.

How (and to where) would it be vented? How often would the overspray filters be replaced?

I think a simple duct system out a window is the best approach. Depending on how it’s setup the overspray filters could be a simple as large fairly porous furnace filters. OTOH, since this is currently and experiment we shouldn’t get too wild with modifying the property, buying a lot of stuff. Maybe a cheap box fan in a window, and a Dexter style kill room until we decide to make it more permanent.

On one hand, yes we would want to make sure we are making it safe(ish); on the other hand, currently people spray things in either the metal room or just in the middle of the workshop.

So we would not intentionally create a deathtrap, but it not being what we currently do would inherently make it safer.

We could always name it the "kill room" on the cameras...