Move Planning Board Meeting

We are having a Board Meeting with the purpose of planning for the move to the new space tomorrow evening at 7:30, members are welcome to participate.

the attached can easily be modified during tonight’s meeting, but I’ll put this forward for discussion and input (there are two or three other possible layouts floating around for discussion).

this concept breaks the space into 3 category spaces: 1) loud & dirty (wood, welding/Grinding), 2) moderate noise & mess (machine shop, glass, ceramics/messy crafts, assembly, hand tools, lasers), and 3) Clean & Quiet (kitchen, lounge, meeting tables, electronics, 3D, sewing, clean crafts, etc)

The structure of the space is organized around the guiding principle that the space should be pleasant and convenient to use for any multidisciplinary project. The working areas likely to be used together on a single project are each a short walk (one room) away from the central general/assembly area. this way, while working, you can set up in the general area for your project, and each time you need to work on a part in a different ward, it isn’t a football feild away, you can go back and forth quickly and conveniently, and makes cleanup that much easier for putting tools away.

I have drawn walls in, and I believe it is essential for our image and quality of the space that we beuild out using quality construction methods. In what I have drawn, the only walls that woudl be full height are around the wood shop and welding rooms, this is to contain noise and to both contain AND seperate dust. We all agree that dust needs to be kept away from clean activities, but additionally, the dust from the wood shop cannot be allowed to float into the welding shop due to fire safety, and grinding dust cannot be allowed in the woodworking space due to material contamination (wood can turn nasty if metal dust gets in the grain and finish)

the wall I have drawn separating the clean space and general/assembly space could either be an 8 foot wall or be made from the shelving as proposed, but either way would be open at the top to allow heating/cooling airflow. the dashed-line walls could be chest high walls just to provide separation between equipment but not block visibility, or they could be curtains, shelves, whatever. they simply serve to keep chips from the mill/lathe flying at the lasers (or whatever equipment ends up next to each other in the arrangement, it’s flexible)

I have also included an outline of what a potential Phase 2 expansion could look like based on this layout. if we expand to 10k sq ft. that opens up two more rows of columns from what we start with, allowing for the welding shop to expand to leave room for a CNC plasma by only moving a single wall and adding one new wall. the open moderate-clean bays could be added or expanded to accommodate whatever expansion of capability we wanted. A second general/assembly area could be added in the middle behind the elevator, and some portion of the row of bays beyond could be made into the start of our proposed large storage/studio program. I think this also sets us up well for if we expand that program significantly, because it makes all of our “work” areas localized and convenient for non-studio members, and allows the studios to fill out the back end of the building and not disrupt workflow in the active areas.

if we add areas like a foundry/forge, studio glass, photography, darkroom, etc. later down the road, those are activities that are sufficiently independent or time consuming that it will be ok for them to not be attached to the general area workflow, they can be tucked in the back between studio spaces. however, wood, welding, machining, lasers, electronics, sewing, and 3D printing are best served localized around a main working area “hub” as I have drawn.

there is general agreement among our woodworkers that our wood shop is unlikely to need to grow significantly, 20-30% larger than we currently have, with a smart layout, should ensure that future upgrades we want to make will fit. For metal work, separating machining from welding will help immensely from our current situation, and we would be starting with a weld shop twice our current one’s size. As I drew in the phase-2 drawing, that space could also be easily expanded to add a plasma CNC, and a moderate-dirt open bay could be added for sheet metal or fabrication cold work if we expand that significantly.

this layout is absolutely open for modification and tweaking, if you have a grip about some segment of it, I am more than willing to try and accommodate requests to resolve workflow problems that people see.

I look forward to discussing this with everyone who can make it this evening!


Kevin M.

PotentialLayout0005_7Kwith10Kexpansion outline.pdf (596 KB)


Can’t make it tonight, but here are a few comments:

suggest making the grinding/welding section separate from the metal mills and lathe to keep grit out of the fine parts of the machines

suggest storage be kept out of the wood shop to keep dust off the shelves and projects and make it easier to clean the shop

suggest having the dust collector(s) turn automatically any time a wood shop machine is turned on

suggest the wood shop machines be positioned so that it’s easy to clean behind them, e.g., set them away from the walls or at a 45 or 60º angle to the walls

suggest placing the CNC far enough from any wall that one can easily get at it from any side (e,g. 3 feet);

makes loading/unloading 4x8 sheets much easier ( and cleaning easier, too)

Thanks for your time and your effort on the move!


John, I think my layout posted does most of those, but please let me know if otherwise. I do have vertical storage still in the wood shop, but at our first expansion that coudl be moved out to make way for more/better woodworking equipment

I hate to continue to make this thread tangential to it’s subject like but I want to add to this:

Can “we” please design the handheld part of the new woodshop dust vacuum with a slim extension tube just like a shopvac? In our current shop the actual shopvac never seems to be nearby or requires plugging in and dragging around. The handheld vacuum tube is 5-6" and awkward to use on the floor and in nooks and crannies. I am an old man that doesn’t like bending over but really likes a squeaky clean workshop - two things that are at odds with each other. Let’s design the duct collector to make us fall into a pit of success where the easiest and laziest cleaning can still result in the desired outcome.


Looking at the new plan, the only thing I would suggest is moving the “surface grinder” out of the metal lathe area into the welding area, and
moving the paint booth out of the welding area (maybe into the metal lathe area, as an exchange?).

That would get grit away from the lathe and mill, and flammable (or inflammable ; ) ) fumes away from the welders.

Again, thanks for the work you all are doing on this!


I sympathize with both the concept of a clean shop and the idea of not having to drag a 6" hose behind a dust collection “broom”.

We’re a maker space, lets “Roomba™-ize” a ShopVac™ and have it continually clean the floor!

Failing that, I wonder if a there is such a thing as a rechargeable shop vac?

This could be docked in a specific place for charging, but more easily moved around the space for cleaning.
Easier to find, easier to use!


My P.S. got left behind!

P.S. We could also consider simply hanging a shop vac broom on the wall, with a 2 1/4" (or whatever size) hose and an adapter
to the 6" DC ducting and plug the adapter into the nearest blast gate to clean a given area.


If we are set enough on the floor plan for the wood shop, I can turn my thoughts and design efforts to the wood shop dust collection system. I like the idea of smaller hoses for general clean up and small tools. Also some ideas about remote power, automated gates, etc are interesting.

I’ll look into this some and am open to all thoughts/opinions/input etc. If this becomes a hot topic, it should probably have its own thread....

The sooner the better in my opinion and you brim with energy and enthusiasm so I can’t think of a better person.