Shops

Tinkermill is a community of almost 600 people with a vast range of interests that are represented by the shops we maintain. Each is run by members of TinkerMill who volunteer their time, energy, and skills putting together a shop, operating it, training new members and the public in how to use the tools, and develop the skills needed to create with those tools. They are the ‘shop captain’. Anyone can start a shop at TinkerMill for almost anything they’re willing to put in the time and effort to create and they gather enough community support for it. If you have a skill, or if you need a place to teach a skill you have, or even if you’re interested in learning a skill in real-time and need a place to put it together and want to do that with other people, TinkerMill is custom-built for you.

We currently have about 16 ‘shops’ that have specialized tools you can use. Some are available on a walk-in basis and some require training and certification before you can use them.

Shops you’ll find at TinkerMill:

Tinkermill has the best station inside the Longmont City limits for working DX and is definitely within the top 10 stations in Boulder county in that regard.

The main antenna is a Mosley Pro-67 mounted at 65 feet on a Rohn-25G tower. This antenna covers 40m (3el), 30m (1el), 20m (3el), 17m (2el), 15m(3el), 12m (2el) and 10m (4el). The antenna is turned with a Yaesu G2800 rotor. We also have 2 dipole antennas for 80 amd 160m.

The shack is continually under construction and the next steps would be to add remote control for antenna switching and rotor control. We also need to get 208V installed to run an amplifier.

Existing equipment:

  • Flex-6400 SDR.
  • Kenwood TS-440S Radio.
  • Dell Computer with dual 1920 x 1080 displays.
  • Astron 35A 13.8V Power supply.
  • MFJ-1128 Power strip with Anderson Power pole connectors.
  • LP-100 Power Meter.

The blacksmithing shop is located in the back bay area adjacent to the welding shop. We have a lot of the traditional equipment found in a blacksmith shop.

  • Gas forges
  • Coal forge
  • Several anvils of various sizes
  • Hammers
  • Tongs
  • Twisting Tools
  • Layout table
  • Post vise

TinkerMill has a well equipped Electronics Area for member use. Long time members with many small projects, or product developers doing something absolutely new – gather in the TinkerMill Electronics Area. More than just the availability of technology for testing, there are like minded interesting people to find collaboration with. With an open layout, people ‘working’ in electronics are in visual and verbal communication with other unrelated areas. Electronics is bordered by the metalwork area and the overhead doors in the Main Space. It is the first area past the entry.

Test Equipment

  • Rigol DS1000E Digital Oscilloscope
  • LCR-T4 Mega328 Transistor Tester Diode Triode Capacitance ESR
  • Pick & Place Machine
  • LCR Tweezers
    Fluke 115 Handheld Meter
  • JST Check-Points for Correct Crimping
  • PoScope Software & Manuals
  • HP 54512 Front Panel Reference

The foundry can used to cast aluminum using a sand cast mold system. In the near future, it will be able to used to cast bronze using an investment casting system.

Basic foundry certification classes are offered once per month. To be fully certified, the certification class and four independent pours are required. Often these can happen during the certification class. If not, there are always pour times set up at the end of every certification class for this purpose. It is our intention to also begin to offer mold-making classes.

To use the foundry independently, two people present. Both the person pouring and the person who is the safety backup person must have completed the safety certification course.

Presently there is a charge of $5.00 per pour to cover the cost of the gas. This may change with time as we have more time to assess this. We have had a pile of scrap aluminum tubing, bar, and previously cast parts that we make into ingots for classes and practice pours.

Lampworking uses a torch to heat up glass to make it molten. In that soft state you work the glass with tools and glass to create art.

Tools

  • Bench Burner – A torch that is fixed to the bench which provides a stationary flame.
  • Didymium Safety Glasses – Glasses that provide a filter which selectively blocks the yellowish light at 589 nm emitted by the hot sodium in the glass, without having a detrimental effect on general vision, unlike dark welder’s glasses. The strong infrared light emitted by the super-heated forge gases and insulation lining the forge walls is also blocked thereby saving the lampworker’s eyes from serious cumulative damage.
  • Hand Torch – The hand torch allows for more maneuverability of the flame, commonly used on glassworking lathes where there is reduced maneuverability of the piece
  • Kiln – the kiln is used to garage and anneal the glass, protecting the piece from thermal shock and relieving thermal stress.
  • Marver – flat surfaces used to roll glass upon in order to shape, smooth or consolidate applied decoration, typically made of graphite or steel.
  • Paddle – A graphite or metal marver attached to a handle
    Reamer – A piece of graphite or brass on a handle used to enlarge holes.
  • Blowhose/Swivel Assembly – A hose, usually latex, is connected to the blowpipe via a hollow swivel, allowing the lampworker to blow into hollow glass forms while rotating them.
  • Tungsten Pick – The extreme temperature resistance of tungsten makes it ideal for raking(dragging glass around on the surface), or to bore a hole through the glass.
  • Shears – Steel shears are used to cut the hot glass.
  • Hot Fingers – Metal tool found in various configurations which allows the hot glass to be securely held and rotated, commonly used for finishing pieces after they have been removed from the blowpipe or pontil.
  • Pontil (Punty) – A small diameter glass rod used to hold a piece while working on it. The end of the punty is heated, melted, and then secured to the work piece. Later, the cold joint connecting the work piece and the punty can be broken with a light tap on a solid surface. It often leaves an irregular or ring-shaped scar on the base when removed called the “pontil mark”.

TinkerMill’s machine shop is a great place for shaping metal and some plastics in a controlled way.

Here is a partial list of some of the equipment in the TinkerMill Machine Shop

  • Mitek CNC vertical milling machine, 15″(Y)x28″(X)x15″(Z) NMTB40 tooling
  • Two Manual milling machines (One Bridgeport brand, one SuperMax YC-1 1/2VA – a Bridgeport clone)
  • Two Nardini 1640 Lathes. The tool posts on both are BXA. Threading is inch on one and metric on the other.
  • Band Saw (blade length is 93-1/2″, typical width is 1/2″, typical thickness is 0.025″, and typical tooth count is 14 TPI – McMaster-Carr)
  • Drill Press
  • Pedestal Grinder
  • Deckle single flute grinder
  • Bovar-Schultz Challenge 6-18 Hydraulic Surface Grinder
  • 52″ sheet metal roll/press brake/shear tool
  • Sheet metal hand tools
  • Tooling, granite plate, inspection tools.

For more information about the Machine Shop, its equipment, and usage policies, please visit the Machine Shop Wiki page.

Our shop is dedicated to working with non-ferrous metals to craft jewelry, art, and other relatively small items. Metals that can be used in this shop are brass, bronze, copper, silver, and gold. (Steel, titanium, paladium, aluminum, platinum, and other metals are currently not supported in this shop.) 

Here is a short list of both decorative and functional skills you can learn and practice at our shop:

  • Wire work: braiding, wrapping, chain-maille, jewelry findings, beading
  • Forming and shaping metal: jewelry, vessels, small home decor items
  • Joining metal: soldering, cold connections such as rivets, hinges, latches
  • Decorating metal: piercing, texturing, stamping, enameling, imprinting, coloring, etching
  • Casting and sculpting
  • … and more. If you have a request for a class or have a specific question, please send a note to the shop captain.

Please come, learn, and create something cool at the Metalcraft and Jewelry Open Studio. The Open Studio is held the first and second Saturdays of the month from 1 – 3 PM. The Open Studio is perfect for exploring the shop, getting acquainted with others with similar interests, and asking questions. Do you have a craft or piece of jewelry you’d like to make using metal, but not sure how to begin? Someone with experience will be around to help you get familiar with the tools available and how to use them. The Open Studio is very informal but please use the Meetup calendar to verify the next Open Studio date and sign-up to let the shop captain(s) know you are coming.

For more information about the Metalcraft, Jewelry & Lapidary Shop, please visit our page on the TinkerMill Wiki.

TinkerMill has a small paint booth to finish your creations. We limit the material to latex based finishes.

Welcome to the Tinkermill Pottery
Our pottery studio is a cooperative space where we as a community strive to maintain a functional and safe environment. Respect for each other, the studio, and Tinkermill as a whole is very important.
With that in mind, we ask that you read and agree to the General Studio Policies

Rapid prototyping is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using CAD – CAM (Computer Aided Design – Computer Aided Manufacture) data.

TinkerMill currently has a wide variety of rapid prototyping capabilities, including:

3D Printers
Laser Cutter
ShopBot
Vacuum Former

The stained glass shop is in the main building, in the middle of the large work area. It’s hard to miss if you’re in the big, main room!

 

Come Hang Out at the Textiles Shop!

The Textiles Shop at TinkerMill is one of the best sewing and fabric arts maker space shops in Colorado. We provide equipment, hand tools, and basic supplies to support home sewing, industrial sewing, machine embroidery, upholstery, clothing care, and general fabric and textiles crafts. We have a clean, comfortable, dedicated room specifically for textiles work. The centerpiece of our shop is a large, 8′ x 5′ cutting table with gridlines and self-healing cutting surface. We have a variety of home sewing machines, sergers, embroidery machines, and industrial sewing machines.

Our shop is open to TinkerMill members and non-members alike. Non-members are welcome to use the shop but must be accompanied by a member. The computerized embroidery machines, industrial sewing machines, and the heat press require training before use. The home sewing machines, sergers, and all hand tools are available for anyone to use at any time. 

For more information about the Textiles Shop, its equipment, and usage policies, please visit the Textiles Shop Wiki Page.

The welding station at TinkerMill is located in the back bay area. We have a MIG, a TIG and a plasma cutter

The Wood Shop is built on the idea that anyone can learn woodworking and some people have varying levels of previous experience. There are no prerequisites for any class except member orientation for equipment with Tinker Access (Currently the ShoBot, SawStop, Hammer Combo, and Laguna Lathe.) Please take them in any order you are comfortable with. Classes are taught by volunteers and are scheduled based on volunteer availability. We attempt to offer Wood Shop 101, Wood Shop 201, and Saw Stop Certification at least once a month. Other classes may be offered based on demand.