All posts by Tim Saylor

Blacksmithing 101 – January 20th

NOTE: This was a class that was offered in 2013, it is not a current offering. What PS1 does have are irregularly scheduled authorizations for it’s members, and access to the tools and equipment. Although the general rule for materials is BYO. usually there is enough material laying about for learning. While we do not usually have “classes” per se, we are an environment and a group of people that foster learning from other members and through practice (trial and error with very little judgement about the “error” part of things.) If you join as a monthly member, you can be authorized on all of this equipment (we have a new forge and anvil now, too) and have 24/7 access to the shop. At 11,000 square feet and with 400 actively dues-paying members, PS1 is a great place to learn and practice. Come to an open house (practically) every Tuesday evening at 8 pm for a chance to meet members, to look around and for a quick tour.

Update: The class is full. Watch for another blog post for round two!

Hammering glowing iron on an anvil
Photo by Mr. T in DC

Wanna bang on some hot metal and make something while learning some forging? Well then sign up for this quick class where you will make a letter opener out of a railroad spike. You will learn to taper & draw, spread, twist, and maybe even to scroll some steel. And you get to take it home and show it off!

Classes will be held between 12pm and 6pm with two people per one hour time slot.

Cost will be $20 for the hour long class and the railroad spike.

What you need to know:

  • If you have a nice pair of safety glasses, bring them – we have some available, but they may not be comfortable.
  • Wear ONLY cotton clothing and closed toe shoes (preferably leather with rubber soles) Any other fabric may catch fire and will melt onto your skin and continue burning you which is never fun.
  • Your off hand will be holding the steel and tongs and will require a glove. Please bring a well fitting LEATHER glove if you have some. This helps reduce chafing and prevents burns. Your hammer hand does not have to be gloved.
  • This activity has a high risk of burns – you will be dealing with glowing hot steel, sparks, and hot slag.  Wearing appropriate clothing and gloves minimizes this risk, but accidents still happen. You have been warned, now come have some fun!

Email Adrianna @ AdriannaMcKinley @ Gmail . com with two preferred time slots (noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, or 6pm). You will receive a confirmation for one of the two slots. Please arrive 10 minutes early.

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Tuesday Meetings Cancelled through January 1st

Nothing to do hereThe next two tuesdays fall on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so we will not be holding official open houses on those days.  There will likely still be people around on those days working on projects though, so if you’d like to visit drop a note on our public mailing list to see if anyone will be there to show you around.

The next official meeting and open house will be on January 8th, 2013.

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Third Birthday Party and Open House


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …

Ok, three years ago in a coffee shop not far from here, Pumping Station: One was just a dream in the heads of a bunch of DIYers who had no idea what they were in for. Come celebrate our 3 year anniversary!

Date: April 14
Time: 7pm – Demos and Reception; 10pm – Circuit bent music
Place: Pumping Station: One, 3354 N. Elston (near Belmont and California)

Come check out the awesome hackerspace we’ve built and some of the cool projects we’ve made there, including:

  • Life Size TARDIS
  • Actual Time Machine*
  • “Fresh Paint” Magnetic Light Board
  • High Five Glove
  • Play the Didgeridoo
  • LED Cube
  • Brain Based Jacob’s Ladder
  • DIY Quadrocopter
  • Suped-up Power Wheels Racer
  • “Counter-Intuitive” an electromechanical machine

Plus, make stuff with our most futuristic tools:

  • ShapeOko CNC Mill
  • ORD Bot 3D Printer
  • Epilog Laser Cutter
  • Learn to solder your own blinkie badge!
  • Silkscreen your own art poster!

Later in the evening, join the party with live music from circuit benders Tomer Gal and Michael Una and enjoy a slice of midnight birthday cake.

There is a $20 door fee to fund our expansion into a larger location.


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Holiday Hack-A-Thon!

LED Christmas TreesJoin us Saturday, Dec. 10th at Pumping Station: One for a gift Hack-a-thon! All are welcome, this is open to the public so invite ALL the people.

Need a really cool, last minute gift? We will be demo-ing and assisting you in creating one, or some of the following items:

Touch Screen Gloves!
– For those of you who like to wear gloves in the winter, but also need to use your touchscreen phone. A simple hack can have your favorite gloves working with your modern technology. Any gloves will do, buy a new pair or hack your current gloves.

Charms and Pendents * +
– Laser cut your favorite geometric shape, or fashion logo, or skeletal system out of wood or colored acrylic for a personalized necklace, charm bracelet, or earrings.

Transformer Jeans
– Jeans that can become boot cut by doing this: and adding a zipper. For those trendy people in your circle. Bring an old pair of pants to revive.

Fur-covered Earmuffs
– Because those store bought ones are never quite right… repurpose or recycle some of your old/faux fur into ear saving warmth for the impending Chicago winter.

Keyboard Letter Pendents
– For when you want to tell someone they are the “Caps Lock” of your life.

Feather Clutch
– The perfect accessory for your little niece for her next tea party with Prince Bunnykins.

Wood Coasters * +
– Laser etched Aspen looks mighty fine under a tall glass of Nog. Stay classy my friends.

We’re also having blacksmithing demos throughout the day! So stop by and warm up by the forge (Marshmallows optional).

Hacking will take place from 10AM to 6PM on Saturday, December 10th.  Come by and hack up some holiday fun!

* there is a suggested donation for the laser etching.
+ We have some designs available, however if you have a specific image you would like to etch/cut, email it to [email protected] with a brief description of what you would like so we can prepare the image to work correctly with our laser. We may also be able to do simple logos day of, but we can’t promise.

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What’s infrared and white and smells like burning?

Pumping Station: One is now the proud new owner of an 30 Watt Epilog Mini 24 laser cutter!  If you aren’t familiar, a laser cutter can cut detailed parts out of wood, acrylic, and other materials, and it can engrave images onto even more.  We’ve already been busy cutting our logo into everything that isn’t nailed down (and doesn’t contain pvc), but we also have certification process ready for any member who wants to fire the lazzzor themselves.  Ask about it on the mailing list or come to a meeting to see it in action!

* Ok, it’s not exactly white. Wordplay is hard.

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Workshop Build Out – Take One

PS:One has recently expanded its space and will be moving the workshop into a separate room to accommodate more tools and electronics.   Today, a bunch of people got together to build some new workbenches and move some tools into the new shop.

Here’s a photo of what we have so far:

The three tables were built today.  Two of them are pretty basic, but what’s that wierd stuff on the bottom of that one?

That’s a cockamamie caster system to make this table roll.  The casters are on a hinged board so the legs can still operate as normal when the board flips up, but when the table is lifted the board will flip itself down and those hinged supports above it brace the casters into position, making it a pretty sturdy rolling table.  Nathan Witt got this idea from another hackerspace.  (If anyone knows which one it was I’ll credit them, thanks for the idea!)

You can also see our new shelves behind the tables.  Jen Savage and Tim Winkler donated them and they’ll definitely see plenty of good use here.  Thanks guys!

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Knitting Workshop Upgrade!

Photo of one of Anne Petersen's finished items, by Anne Petersen.

Jen’s knitting workshop has been a great success with almost 10 attendees and many people who had never knitted before already finishing multiple projects.  Therefore, Jen is teaming up with Gretchen to run the knitting workshop every Monday.  If you want to learn how to knit and haven’t attended yet, you now have double the opportunities to learn.  Come by any Monday at 7pm and start making something!

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15 minute hacks! Light box

One day after a Pumping Station: One meeting, Patrick and I arbitrarily set ourselves to making a light box.  This is what ensued.

The design was completely ad hoc and the workmanship was sub-sub-standard, but it came together exactly as I pictured it.  The biggest problem was that neither of us really knew how to make a light box.  Most importantly we didn’t have poster board to use for the backing or lights to properly light the item.  We just built the box and covered it with some fabric we found in the space, and we positioned the box to use ambient lighting as well as we could.  If someone were to make one of these in more than 15 minutes, those would be the things to change.  That and actually looking at real instructions from people who know what they’re doing.

Happy hacking!

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