Wood Prep Class

From crafting, to décor, to building stools or tables, the basics of “sizing” a piece of wood is critical to getting the results you want.

Come join us as we review basic woodworking machinery and techniques that will give you the skills necessary to take “rough” lumber to the finished size needed for your projects.

Tools Used in Class

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Band saw
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Drum sander

Skills You Will Learn

You will learn the processes and proper order of operations to take large pieces of wood down to the size needed for your project. In the process, the wood will also be given square and parallel faces.

This class is more of a preparation class than it is a project class. You will learn basic tools to quickly and effectively take wood from its rough, difficult to use state, to just the size you need.

Cost: $25

Members, please contact Matthew or David if you plan to come to class.

Quantity:Name:Price:Next Class:
Wood Prep Class25.00 USDOctober 3: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Vinyl Cutter Settings

Here are some settings and general information for the Morristown Makers’ vinyl cutter. The machine is a Seiki SK-870T and we are driving it with Inkscape using the Plot extension. Other cutting software may work for the machine, but you will have to do some testing on your own to get it working.

This information is not intended to be comprehensive. It is expected that you have received training on using the machine before this information will be helpful.

Controls

Power and USB

The power plug is on the left side of the machine along with the ON/OFF switch.

On the right side is a serial and USB port. Through testing, it seems that the machine works better while using a USB to serial cable plugged into the serial port. There is one attached to the cutter. Please do not remove the cable as it needs to stay at the shop with the machine.

Speed and Force

The speed and force of the cut are controlled by the arrow pad on the right side of the top of the machine.

The speed is controlled by the up and down arrows. This should be about 300 mm/sec. This seems to work well on normal vinyl cuts. There would be value in testing different materials and speeds to see what are appropriate speeds for different materials.

Force is controlled by the left and right arrows. 70 to 90 grams of force seems to work well with normal outdoor vinyl.

Loading Material

Lift the lever on each pinch roller and slide the vinyl under the rollers. The levers should be raised each time after using the machine. This prevents flat spots on the rollers.

Slide the material through the pinch rollers and line it up straight. There are alignment lines you can use to set the right edge of your material correctly. (This is explained clearly in class).

Adjust the pinch rollers to about 1″ from the outside edge of the material and the third roller approximately in the center of the material. Be careful to avoid setting a pinch roller in the center of the machine where the two knurled rollers come together.

Orienting Cutter Head

Using the control panel of the cutter, press the Leave button. This allows the arrow buttons to move the cutter head into position. Place the cutting tool to the bottom right of where you want the machine to cut out your artwork.

After getting the tool in place, press the Origin button. This will take the machine out of move mode and set the origin position. You should be ready to send the job from Inkscape and start cutting.

NOTE: In testing, it seems that the machine is more consistent with making proper cuts if you hit the Origin button at least twice after setting the cutting position.

Sending the Job from Inkscape

After the artwork is prepared in Inkscape, it is time to cut. A quick look at View | Display Mode | Outline inside Inkscape will show what will be cut in the next steps.

Menu area to find the outline view.

Extensions | Export | Plot is the menu item that will get you started in sending the job to the vinyl cutter. However, before you can cut, you need to make sure your Inkscape is configured with the correct settings.

Connection Settings

Most of this first screen will not need to be changed. The most important settings to choose are:

  • Port type: Serial
  • Serial baud rate: 9600
  • Serial byte size: 8 Bits
  • Serial stop bits: 1 Bit
  • Serial parity: None
  • Serial flow control: Hardware (DSR/DTR + RTS/CTS)
  • Command language: HPGL

The Parallel and Serial port information will be specific to your computer. Our cutter does not use a parallel interface. The actual serial port number may change if you have another USB device plugged in when using the cutter.

For a Windows machine the serial port will be something like COM1. For Linux it will be similar to /dev/ttyUSB0. I am not certain on a Mac. I would be glad to work with someone who has a Mac to see if we can get it configured.

Plotter Settings

Default X and Y resolution is 1016. You should not need to change these values. The Pen number is used when using layers to distinguish different colors of vinyl for a layered job. This is not something we will cover in class. Pen force and Pen speed do nothing on our cutter.

Rotation

The degrees of rotation are used to turn the art in various orientations for cutting. Normally you will want this to be 90° or 0°. To cut the art in the orientation you see on your Inkscape screen, change this setting to 90°. At 0° the artwork will cut front to back (rotated 90° counter-clockwise from what’s on screen).

Mirror

Mirror on X axis will flip your artwork from left to right. When rotation is set to 90° (what you probably want it to be most of the time), this is used to create a sticker that can be put on the inside of glass and seen properly from the outside. Mirror on Y will do the same (except flipping the art front to back) with the same results when rotation is set to 0°.

Center point at zero is used when you want the cutter’s origin to be the center of the artwork instead of the bottom right corner. This is probably never what you want for a vinyl cutter.

Plot Features

This tab can be left default for good cuts. However, these settings can be adjusted if you find a special case where they can help.

Apply / Cut

Hit the Apply button to send the job to the cutter. Enjoy your cut piece!

Paying for Vinyl

We charge $2 per foot of the 24″ wide vinyl. This is the vinyl that is owned by the shop and available for your use. All other vinyl at the shop belongs to another member and should not be used without permission. You are welcome to bring your own vinyl to cut on our machine.

Vinyl Cutting Class

Vinyl Cutting Class

This is a class on how to use the vinyl cutter at the shop. No previous experience necessary. There are many different software packages that can be used for controlling a vinyl cutter like this. For class, we will use the free Inkscape program.

What You Will Learn

Photo of a clock with the Morristown Makers logo on it.
Clock graphics made with the vinyl cutter.
  • to make vinyl stickers for decoration or advertisement
  • the differences in the types of vinyl
  • how to set up a cutting job and control the shop cutter
  • how to choose the right vinyl for a particular purpose

Who is This Class For?

  • Those wanting to use the shop vinyl cutter
  • Those curious about whether a home cutter is a good choice
  • Those wanting to understand how to use Inkscape to control a vinyl cutting machine

What to Bring

  • Computer with Inkscape installed
  • If you don’t have a computer, you can use the shop machine
  • Vinyl will be provided

Bringing your own computer is not a requirement, but doing so gives us a chance to help you work out any kinks in communication between your computer and the cutter. You can always use the shop computer for controlling the cutter, but it is much easier to prepare your files on a machine at home.

Cost: $25

If you are a member and plan to come to class, please let us know so we can prepare for the right number of people.

Quantity:Name:Price:Next Class:
Vinyl Cutter Class25.00 USDSeptember 26: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.
Making Aprons From Shirts

Making Aprons From Shirts

Learn how to make an apron from an old shirt at this class. You don’t have to know how to sew nor bring your own machine. We will provide the shirt, tools and instruction for the class.

Have a Machine?

If you have a sewing machine that you would like to bring, you are welcome to do so. And, if you have a machine that you don’t know how to set up and use, we will have someone at class who can help you get going.

Want to Use Your Own Shirt?

While we will provide shirts for the class, if you have a particular shirt you would like to use, feel free to bring it along.

Ages 13 and up are welcome to attend. Those under the age of 19 must have an adult present with them.

Cost: $25

Quantity:Name:Price:Next Class:
Make an Apron25.00 USDSeptember 19: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Inkscape Basics

Inkscape Basics

Inkscape logo

Do you want to use the shop’s CNC router, vinyl cutter or laser engraver? Or maybe you can’t afford Adobe Illustrator at $240/year to create vector images? Join us for this Inkscape Basics class which will help you get started into the world of creating vector files for logos and online graphics.

Inkscape is a free, open source tool that runs on almost any computer (even an old Chromebook via an extension). It creates vector images that are infinitely scaleable. And, most relevant to us, is what we use at the shop for creating files for some of our tools.

Who is this class for?

This is a beginner class. You do not need to have previous experience with Inkscape or other graphic tools.

While we will be talking about file creation for the purposes of using the CNC router, laser and vinyl cutter, everything learned in the class is generally applicable for creating vector images. Besides our tools, vector images are used for creating logos, graphics and illustrations.

The class is open to anyone 13 years old and up. Attendees under 19 years old must have a parent or guardian present.

What to bring?

  • A computer.
  • If possible, install Inkscape previous to the class.
  • If you have trouble installing Inkscape before class, come to the Open Shop time on Friday with your computer and we will help get you set up.

Cost: $25

Class is free for members, but please let us know through email or text if you are coming. Class is limited to 8 attendees.

Date and Time: September 12, 10am.

Quantity:Name:Price:Next Class:
Inkscape Basics25.00 USDSeptember 12: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Shop Garage Sale and Fundraiser

August 8, 2020

Join us on August 8th for a garage sale! We will be selling off some duplicate tools. Members are invited to set up a table and sell some of their own crafts and unused tools.

We will be open by 8 in the morning and plan to stay until at least 1:00 in the afternoon.

Shop Fundraiser

This garage sale is being used as a shop fundraiser. If you have any tools you would like to donate, contact us and we will work out a way to get the tools to us for the event.

Members are welcome to sell their own items. This can be crafts, tools or just about anything. There is no fee to set up a table, though you should plan to bring your own table that day.

What to Expect

We already have some tools that have been donated for sale. We will be selling some extra tools that we are not currently using.

Some specialty hardwoods will be sold by the piece or by linear foot. This is a great opportunity to pick up blanks for wood turning.

We expect some members to be selling their own handcrafts.

Spreading the Word

Please help us spread the word about the sale. You can give people the shop address (5065 West Andrew Johnson Hwy) but it is best to tell them to look up Morristown Makers by name on their map program. For some reason the maps have our address tied to the wrong building.

If you need more information for advertising purposes, please contact us and we will supply all the info that we can.

CNC Router Class

CNC Router Class

In this class you will learn how to control the CNC router, how to create files for it and how to send those files to the machine. This is a basic class, but it is recommended that the student read about how CNC machines work, or watch a few videos. Resources will be listed below.

CNC project examples
CNC projects created on the Morristown Makers CNC router.

Class will be held August 1 at 10am. We request that everyone wear a mask for classes and public shop activities during this time.

Software Used for Class

We will create some basic shapes with Inkscape. You do not have to be an advanced user. It would be helpful for you to create a free account with Easel before class. Universal Gcode Sender will already be installed on the shop machine that is used to control the CNC router.

Resources

Like using a laser or 3D printer, the CNC router will require a good amount of practice, patience and learning to get right. It is recommended that you plan to practice on small jobs before tackling an important project.

Cost: $25

If you are a member coming to the class, please send us a text or email to let us know.

Quantity:Name:Price:Description:
CNC Router Class25.00 USDAugust 1: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.
Class: Shelf With Bent Metal Brackets

Class: Shelf With Bent Metal Brackets

Saturday, July 11, come learn how to use the metal bending tool by making this simple shelf with metal brackets. You will make a wooden shelf about 30″ long (customizable for your needs).

During the class you will learn to use the tools safely while building this beautiful shelf unit. If you know where you will put the shelf, you can choose your self length and finish it with paint or stain while at the class.

Tools You Will Use

  • Metal cutting chop saw
  • Metal bender
  • Grinder
  • Drill press
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Sander

Skills You Will Learn

  • Preparing, drilling and bending metal stock
  • Using the jointer to square up two sides of a board
  • Using a planer and drum sander to square up other two sides

This is not necessarily an advanced class (difficulty wise), but many of the tools should be considered advanced tools. Suggested age is 15 years old and up. Those under 19 must have a parent or guardian present during the class.

Cost: $35

Quantity:Name:Price:Metal Bracket Shelf:
Metal Bracket Shelf35.00 USDJuly 11: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Members can send an email to let us know if you are planning to attend.

Intro to Stained Glass

Have you ever been curious as to how stained glass art is made? Here’s your chance to learn and give it a try.

Stained glass window with Christ praying at a rock.
Window from the Top O’ The World Chapel in Tennessee

This class will cover some basic history of stained glass, followed by demonstrations and experimentation with cutting glass, foiling, and soldering a very simple design. We will discuss both leaded and Tiffany styles, and the various things you can do with both styles.

What You Will Learn

  • Different stained glass methods
  • How to cut and shape glass
  • How glass is made
  • Where to get supplies
  • Finding designs
  • Making your own designs

What to Bring

If you have safety glasses or goggles, you can bring them. We have a limited supply at the shop if you don’t have your own.

Event Information

This class will be held from 10a to 12 (noon) on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

The class is limited to 10 participants. Ages 13 and up are welcome to attend. Students under 19 years of age must have a parent or guardian with them at class.

Cost: $25

Intro to Stained Glass25.00 USDNext class: February 29, 2020
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

First Anniversary Annoucements

We had a great first anniversary celebration on Friday, February 7th. There were 27 people who showed up at the space to help us mark the event. During our time at the shop we made a few announcements that we highlight here.

Nonprofit Status

Morristown Makers is now an official nonprofit organization. This means that we are now able to receive donations of equipment and money with a tax benefit to the donor. If you or your company would like to help support the mission of Morristown Makers via a monetary contribution, we would be glad to talk with you about how to make that possible.

PayPal

Our PayPal account has been upgraded to a business account which has two primary benefits: credit cards and recurring payments.

First, we can now take membership payments via credit card. If you don’t have (and don’t want) a PayPal account, then you can pay your membership fee or make a donation directly with a card of your choice.

The second benefit is that membership payments are recurring monthly payments. This is the default option. You can stop the monthly payment by logging in to your PayPal account and taking care of it there. If you want to pay for one month at a time we can work with you on how to do that.

Founding Members

Anyone who has been a member in the previous year or who signs up to be a member between now and the end of February (2020) will be considered a “Founding Member.” This is a way for Morristown Makers to say thank you for helping us get the makerspace off the ground.

The current, tangible benefit to you is that we will give you a shirt that says “Founding Member” on the back. You also get a warm-fuzzy feeling (though that is slightly less tangible).

We would like to do other things in the future to benefit our founding members, but we don’t know what all that means yet. We look to you, the community, to help guide us where we go with this idea.

Friday Open Shops

The final announcement was about our open shop times. Previously we have had a set, monthly open shop time of the fourth Tuesday. The new announcement is that we will now be open every Friday from 7-9 PM. We will need members to help us make this successful. Obviously not everyone will have every Friday open to where they can be at the shop; but, when possible, your presence would be a great benefit to growing the community.

This is a time where the shop is open, free of charge, to the public to come and work on their projects. Maybe you are struggling with how to complete one of your own projects and just need to talk with someone about a few ideas. It is also a chance for people to be introduced to the idea of a makerspace and Morristown Makers.

Thank You

Thank you for helping us through this first year! We have had many wonderful classes, built some fun crafts and learned how to use new tools. We look forward to many more years together growing the maker community in the Morristown area.

We also thank our friends at Knox Makers who have given us good counsel through this process. We were pleased to see a delegation of their members at our anniversary event.

Come on in some Friday evening and see what we are up to. And, if you didn’t make it to the party, you certainly must stop by and see our new sign over the door.

Sign over the door saying Morristown Makers.