Hive13 Space Usage and Future Capability Brainstorming Discussion

With the recent renovations and relocations, Hive13 has been presented with a wonderful opportunity in the form of approximately 625 sq. feet of open space in the main area next to the kitchen.

in the thread about my proposed use of that space as “large project storage,” it was clear that there are lots of different ideas of how to best utilize that space. I’d like to start a discussion which will lead into an effort to develop a cohesive set of goals for capability expansion and somewhat of a 5-year plan for where we hope to go in terms of capabilities and equipment purchasing.

Attached is a floor plan of the main area next to the kitchen and the wood working shop. I have attached a copy that is the current arrangement, an one that is just one possible we we could utilize the space.

In the proposed layout I show two “new activity spaces” and I would consider there to be a third possible “new activity space” in the fab lab on the empty half of the pallet rack benches.

Some potential uses for those spaces:

#1 - Fabrics/sewing area to include dedicate sewing machine benches/tables and maybe get a nice industrial sewing machine

#2 - Glass and Jewlery bench with stainless steel table, bench mounted torches, and an annealer/kiln, etc.?

#3 (fab lab bench) - fume hood bench for benchtop paint booth and resin casting area, external exhaust fume hood cabinet w/ vacuum degassing chamber and paint booth?

also shown in my possible layout are:

  • New miter saw station (which I have been slowly working on the design for, will include 20 new member storage boxes, almost ready to put up for vote)

  • New welding bench (flat top for anyone who prefers a flat metal table over the grate top table, design complete, getting quotes for metal, will put up for vote soon)

  • New vertical lumber storage (current vertical storage is good for sheet goods, but terrible for lumber)

  • New Tool Bench (could be grinding/sharpening station, sheet metal work station, mechanics tool bench, etc. please propose uses)
    I’d love to hear what everyone else has in mind for future Hive13 capabilities. What can we set up dedicated spaces for that we don’t have now and would see good use? I really believe it would be good for everyone at Hive13 if we can get to the point we can put together a 1/5/10 year plan for space utilization and tool purchases, hopefully this discussion can lead to such a plan.



HiveLayout_ProposedForDiscussion.pdf (69.8 KB)

HiveLayoutCurrent.pdf (54.2 KB)

I think a panel saw would be a great addition to the wood shop.
Just thinking out loud but what if we move the existing storage in the wood shop to the new location and in its place have a panel saw.
Just a thought.

Do you think a panel saw would be worth the extra footprint over a track saw and a block of insulation foam that could be tucked away in a corner?

Luchador ring.


Is this the next 2x4 challenge?

So I am liking the brainstorming. Here are my thoughts so far:

#1 - Fabric Sewing Area, is a great idea, but we are in an area that does have saw dust, this will cause issues with sewing machines. I would recommend setting this up in a separate room from the woodcutting area.

#2 - Glass and Jewlery bench: I like this, but I dont know much about these activities, I do know some people who do know more, I would be happy to see what recommendations they have. My questions is there a fire hazard with any of it, does it need to be in a hot room (or whatever the proper term is.)

#3 (fab lab bench) - I so want a resin casting area. A workbench for this should be as close to perfectly level as possible. Also we should get both a vacuum degassing chamber, and a Pressure pot (commonly used for paint, but is incredibly important to anything past beginner castings. Both painting and resin casting can easily be effected by sawdust and airborne particles. I would recommend setting this up in a seperate room from the woodcutting area. I have a degassing chamber in my workshop that I am currently not using regularly. I can bring it in with my vacuum pump (it needs vacuum pump oil but thats easy to get) to allow people to get an idea of the use and such. It is pretty simple.

#Paul: Panel Saw vs track saw… no clue which would be better use for us… While I do think they both would help the hive, is this what we want our next expansion to be, more Woodworking? I think a dedicated Resin or dedicated Fabric area, would be better as our next step before expanding the woodworking shop.

(This is a question I don’t know the answer to, not a statement in any shape or form)
Is there anything in our lease that would prevent us from building walls and walling in the area in question, much like the lounge area is currently? We could put large wood storage above it perhaps? It seems like if we were able to do this and isolate the space from sawdust, it would greatly increase the potential for use.


Only if it was a festool track saw.


biggest issue with building a t-story type structure like that would be that we would need to build in a sprinkler system for the lower level. adds cost and complexity and scrutiny from the city that we probably don’t want.


what makes the festool acceptable but not others? not saying it’s not a the right option, just haven’t looked in to it.

Well, when we last had survey/poll on future expansion plans, “sex dungeon” (a write in candidate) was the winner… I’d prefer a petting zoo, but the membership already spoke.

Really, though:

I think we need to start handling this incrementally. The first step is to implement the changes that are imperative or already agreed upon: clean up and remediate, move the lathe, make more space in weld room, etc, and then reassess. I think we have a goal here, and we can start working toward it, but that an overly broad discussion is likely to lead us into the weeds.

Also, remember that open space is a valuable resource in itself. You don’t know how valuable a 10 foot section of floor space is until it’s gone.

So, can folks remind me of what needs to be done now with what we already have? My recollection is:

De-clutter metal and machining.

Painting area or booth (seriously, this is fundamental – we have an awesome wood shop and metal working, but no place to paint?).

Additional bench or layout area. We can’t have someone working on a yacht for 6 months at hive, but it would be very reasonable for a member to work on a canoe over a few days. I’ve found it challenging to re-finish furniture bigger than a small coffee table at hive. We should have space to support the scale of members’ ideas, not just the tools. Larger scale work would need to be time-limited, but that has rarely been a problem.

It’s really really easy to over-design space in a workshop. I’m doing some upholstery projects. When I visit upholstery shops, I realize that the single most important thing is one large, empty table and some stools to put the work on. If you’re upholstering a chair, it’s really really hard to do it all on the floor (trust me). Likewise for a lot of costume making, wood finishing, etc. With 50 square meters, we could do more “all of the above”. However, if we start designating and categorizing all our space we risk becoming overspecialized and underutilized.

I ran into a similar scenario over and over again at Universities. The University funds and then creates an “institute for widget studies”. A whole lot of energy gets spent on equipping everything for widgets, designing space, securing equipment, ribbon cutting, naming rights, etc. Often it works, and the widget institute becomes terrific. However, when it doesn’t, one realizes it is easy to put up an “institute”, but nearly impossible to take one down.


  1. What do we already have planned and ready to move?

  2. What do we need to do now that is exigent?

  3. Explore multipurpose / multi-use scenarios.

  4. Avoid being overly detailed or overly broad.


Please, add your thoughts to the wish list. I’ve been trying to capture inputs there as they come through.

Given our current space, I believe Lorin is on target with the plea for flexibility. While there are some big immovable tools… there are many more tools stored away and begging for workspace
As an example, a paint booth requires a clean separation from sawdust and ventilation. The dirty room could be improved, but shares the space with welding which can be problematic. Flammable fumes, Sparks. Fun.
FabLab is also a compromise solution. Third option is to build a separate paint booth. Given the limits on space it is sure to be pressed into dual use. Short of moving, we must compromise.

Of these three, moving the lathe and preparing the dirty room for dual use is the better compromise.

I would also prioritize 3 Phase power, which would enable HIVE13 to accept donations of a knee mill or a large band saw.
Personal interests lean to sheet metal shears and box brake.


I really don’t like the idea of paint/flammables + welding/metalwork in same room, but that’s just me.

As much as it is work and expensive, turning the area into a walled-in room with a ceiling (and storage overhead) with sprinklers and all gives the most versatility to the space. Few things that people want to do are compatible with sawdust and it’s the ony way to guarantee a reasonable degree of separation that I can see?

I second not wanting fume hood / paint booth in the hot work room.

I have concerns too. An ideal paint booth is very clean and dedicated to refinishing work. It has paint pot spray guns and great lights.

Given the real need for dual use space, what size to make a paint booth and what would you propose would share that space?

Reality Therapy - Of course we don’t weld at the same time we spray / dry, but these two certainly do share the space today.

I’d like to gently nudge this thread back to discussion to discussion of maximizing usage of available space and away from paint booth discussion.

There seems to be a general consensus that we absolutely want good sheet metal tools, I think that’s an important thing to have place for. if we get the lathe out of the weld room and clean it up with some better furniture, do we think it can fit in the weld room or does it need outside floor space?

any thoughts for/against my proposal of a mixed use bench size/height paint booth and resins casting area? the two have significant overlaps in design/function

I’d agree that sewing would ideally be separate from dusty spaces, but the same is true of the kitchen. I don’t see where we have space for that option without cutting into other facilities (lounge or fab-lab). we could consider having nice dedicated shelving for sewing stuff in the lounge I guess? just set up on those tables to do work?

I’d also like to get such dedicated storage in there for the camera gear I mentioned providing last meeting.

Agreed. Though the paint booth digression highlights the dilemma of flexible space.
We either get more space or compromise on flexible dual use solutions.

As HIVE13 grows in membership and capabilities we should evaluate moving to an alternate space.
Ideally that space would be fireproof and allow for expansion. Though a move would be hard we are currently approaching the limits of our current building.
For this reason, we should consider focusing our investments of time and money to ‘portable’ improvements.

All I meant is, it would be nice to have an area too paint. Again, INCREMENTAL step-wise plans. A 20" box fan and furnace filter for water based and low VOC crafts could happen now.

Let’s try to resist the urge to optimize everything…

Speaking of building toward flexibility and multiple use, I have drawn up and gotten quotes for some generic use steel frame tables which could be used throughout Hive13. Sketch attached. they can have MDF or steel tops. If i get the steel through work, and we build at least two at a time the price per table would be $325/table for steel tops and $185/table for MDF tops. each would have an MDF shelf below and have two fixed casters and two locking swivel casters.

Steel Frame Tables.pdf (27.9 KB)

I notice on the plans that were sent the shelving units in the metal room is not included. was that accidental or on purpose? I think they would be worth including. Another thing that would be awesome would be changing the way the tools are stored. Right now they are very difficult to see or find on the shelving unit near the wood bench. What if instead we did something like this:


Just a few thoughts. Cheers!