Sunday, July 29, 2018

Wolf Pack Scroll Saw Pattern.

Wolf Pack. This pattern is 11" X 14". 

There is a small town outside of my home city named Nicholasville Ky. They have a population of just over 30,000. This week I have spent quite a bit of time in Nicholasville. I have been visiting the Jessamine County Public library. 

The Jessamine Co library is the closest maker space to my house. I needed access to a laser engraver and they have one. The tube in my laser died and I have orders to fill so I needed a backup. I am ordering a new laser Monday but that was not going to get my orders out in time.

I just want to talk about the experience for a few minutes. I had to take an orientation class that went over the basic rules and procedures. They briefly discussed the equipment they have available and answered a few questions.

After the orientation they had you sign up for individual classes on the individual machines. They have the laser engraver, two CNC machines, multiple 3D printers, an audio/video recording studio as well as other accessory equipment. 

To say this place is impressive is an understatement. I was in tech heaven. Access to the machines is free and they even supply some supplies. Did I say wow yet?

The class that I needed to take to be able to use the laser was a few days away. I did not have that kind of time so I ask the young man in charge of the lab if I could use the machine since I already had lots of experience. He asked me a few questions to see if I actually knew what I was doing and signed me off. The guy was friendly and knowledgeable. He was there to help and he did.

The room with the laser also houses the two x-carve CNC machines. In the three days, I have been working there only a couple people have come in to use the machines. I have had almost unlimited access. They normally schedule time in hour blocks but allow you to keep working if no one else is in line. One day I was there for almost eight hours and they were fine with that. 

The only downside to this incredible facility is that they can only give people basic training. Laser engravers, CNC machine, and 3D printers are complex machines. To have success you need considerable experience. 

I was there when a small group of people were trying to use the CNC router to cut out the shape of Kentucky from plywood. It was a basic job for a CNC but they were not having much success. They wanted to produce a product but did not have the knowledge to do so with a complex machine like a CNC. They gave up. I offered to complete the job for them when I get back from Iowa next week and they were thrilled.

The problem with them trying to use the lab was that they wanted to create something. They were not really looking to learn. These maker space labs are for learning more than making. I just wish I had seen more people taking advantage of this wonderful facility.

I ask them if they would like to add a scroll saw to their lab if I could get one donated to them. They were interested so I am going to make that happen when I get back next week. Then I'll volunteer some time to do training for the staff.

The scroll saw is not as tech sexy as the laser or CNC machine but I can teach someone to use a scroll saw in a few minutes. To teach these other machines takes hours. It w