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.
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.
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.
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.
Machines in Tinkermill Machine Shop
Our shop is dedicated to working with non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass, bronze, aluminum, etc., or precious metals and to the fabrication of relatively small items. Here is a short list of both decorative and functional skills you can learn and practice at our shop:
Please come, learn, and create something cool at the Metalcraft and Jewelry Open Studio. This regularly held time on Sunday afternoons from 12:30-2:30 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. This is very informal, just RSVP on the MeetUp page and come! Open studio dates are scheduled on the MeetUp calendar, as are more formal technique instruction and tool certification classes.
TinkerMill has a small paint booth to finish your creations. We limit the material to latex based finishes.
The photography shop has moved to Longmont Public Media. As TinkerMill members you can get a membership at LPM. Goes here for more info.
The pottery shop has 2 wheels.
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:
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!
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. The full list of shop equipment is listed in the Equipment section below.
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. To ensure safety and proper equipment usage, 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. The shop is open to TinkerMill members 24×7 and to non-members whenever a member is present. To find certification classes, check the TinkerMill Meetup calendar or contact a shop captain if you need a class that is not currently scheduled.
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 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.