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Metalworking / Machinist Club in or near Rochester NY
September 15, 2015
8:00 AM
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rleete
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Easiest way to get in touch would be through the Rochester Makerspace page:  http://www.rochestermakerspace…..ontact-us/

He is pretty good about replying to questions or comments submitted through that link.  There is also a phone number which I believe is his cell phone.

I do not want to post his phone or email here so as to prevent him getting spammed.

September 2, 2015
11:14 PM
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dkmc
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Wow, not much activity on this topic.

Rob, how do I contact you directly?

Can’t find any email contact here for you

Just wondering how things are going…..

Dan K

Big Flats, NY

607-562-3275

kliegelmachine@gmail.com

December 2, 2011
3:21 PM
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rleete
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I'm sure there are a boatload of details to figure out.  For instance, security.  Who has the keys, what are the hours, how is equipment secured from theft and unauthorized use?  What if half the group wants to work in the later hours of the evening, but the steward of the keys wants to leave for an early dinner?  Just the access to the machinery could become a huge headache.

 

Not sure what you do if you get a dozen people to pay in, and try to rent someplace only to have the landlord lock you out or raise the rent or something.  There's not only personal issuses, but legal ones as well.  I can see it quickly becoming an exercise in herding cats.

 

If you're up for it, I say go for it.  But I think you need a well mapped out plan before anything gets done.

December 2, 2011
8:21 AM
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Rob
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I think plenty of people would be willing to pay $100/month (and probably much more) to share a large workshop.  But the only way to find out for sure is to start looking for them and I'm too busy to do that right now unless someone lights a fire under me or wants to do it themselves.

Also, I don't know what the exact cost would be.  It would depend on the size of the group, its location and the amount of space and amenities it wants.  Those are things the founding members of the group would have to decide.

The group would also have to decide if they are going to share their tools.  I’m not talking about “little” ones but equipment like lathes, mills, CNC routers, welders, plasma cutters, jump shears, metal benders, tablesaws, etc.  I’d be inclined to share mine if I felt my shopmates were responsible and they also had tools to share or were willing to invest in improvements to the space like equipment, workbenches, shelves, furniture, etc. I would also want some rules in place to deal with safety, clean-up, maintenance & repairs and other potential problems or conflicts.

As for maker spaces, they commonly charge less than $100/month. Here’s what Maker Works in Ann Arbor gives you for a $90/month or $900/year membership:

“Tormach CNC Mill; 48″x96″ Shopbot CNC router; Saw Stop table saw; circular saw; 8″ jointer, scroll saw; band saw; drill press; 20″ Planer; Oscilloscopes; power supplies; function generators; soldering stations; Epilog 50W laser cutter; Amaya Bravo 16-thread CNC Embroidery Machine; Roland 24″ Vinyl Cutter; Bernina Activa 230 Sewing Machine; Brother Innovis Sewing Machine; Juky Serger; Bernina Bernette sewing machine; MakerBot 3-D Printer; Conference room with projector; project storage; large workbenches; hundreds of hand tools; Computer work stations with Solidworks, Alibre, and Corel; LEGO Mindstorms.” This list doesn’t include the equipment in their machine shop which isn’t open yet.

BTW, I visited this space last June when they held a private open house before opening in a bigger 11,000 sq-ft facility.  I was very impressed and I would really like to see something similar get started in Rochester NY.

 

thallador said:

How many people are there that would be willing to pay something like $100 a month? If we had 6 committed people, we could then budget $600 for a space somewhere. 

December 1, 2011
1:33 PM
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Rob
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We don't need to rent space to just form a machinist club.  We could meet in homes, get the use of a library meeting room or find some other free space.   However, I don't have room to invite more than five people to my workshop and even that might be pushing it.  I also think to be successful a machinist club need to be big, with at least 50 members because a real small club probably won't last long. 

Renting space came up because I have almost out of workshop space.  So I've become very interested in either renting space to share with just a few others or getting a full-blown maker space going in Rochester NY.  I've also come to believe that it might be easier to get a maker space or club going than a group that's strictly about machining.

BTW, I feel the same way you do.  I'm willing to open my workshop to almost who wants to come over and machine or fabricate metal. I like to share what (little) I know and it forces me to make time to play in my shop 🙂

Rob

 

rleete said:

Why would we need to rent space?  Several of us, at least, have our own shops.  I know there are more out there, having purchased tools from people through Craigslist.  What I'd like is to find more like-minded individuals interested in making things out of metal (or wood or plastic).  I would be willing to help someone using my own machines in my house, if that gets them hooked enough to want to get their own lathe or mill. 

What I'm interested in is to swap stories, show each other how we did something, help with advice on making things or getting better fits and finishes.  Show off finished and in-process projects to each other.  Motivate each other to try new stuff, to improve our abilities and generally share everything about cutting and shaping metal – with some woodworking thrown in for good measure.

 

Maker spaces are a great idea, but that's not what I am interested in.  I've already made my investment, so there is no desire for “communal” machines or workshop space.

December 1, 2011
11:12 AM
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rleete
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Why would we need to rent space?  Several of us, at least, have our own shops.  I know there are more out there, having purchased tools from people through Craigslist.  What I'd like is to find more like-minded individuals interested in making things out of metal (or wood or plastic).  I would be willing to help someone using my own machines in my house, if that gets them hooked enough to want to get their own lathe or mill. 

What I'm interested in is to swap stories, show each other how we did something, help with advice on making things or getting better fits and finishes.  Show off finished and in-process projects to each other.  Motivate each other to try new stuff, to improve our abilities and generally share everything about cutting and shaping metal – with some woodworking thrown in for good measure.

 

Maker spaces are a great idea, but that's not what I am interested in.  I've already made my investment, so there is no desire for “communal” machines or workshop space.

December 1, 2011
9:01 AM
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thallador
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Rob said:

No, the problem isn't lack of interest.  It's a lack of a motivated organizer(s) who is willing to invest the time and work needed to get something going.

I think it's probably both. We would need enough interested people to pay for a workshop and that space's size depends on the amount of interest. 🙂 Yeah the “willing to invest the time” part would definitely be tough. I wish it was already done so I could just come visit right now and not deal with the hard work. haha!

How many people are there that would be willing to pay something like $100 a month? If we had 6 committed people, we could then budget $600 for a space somewhere. 

November 29, 2011
2:23 PM
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Bernd
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I guess I was to quick on that remark. Never considered what it would take to get something going.

I wouldn't mind a once a month club to start things off. I have to warn you though I'm more of a participator than an orginizer.

I'm looking at visiting Roger after the holidays. No firm dates yet. Maybe all three of us could get together then.

 

Regards,

Bernd

November 29, 2011
9:19 AM
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Rob
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Bernd, I don't think you can draw the conclusion from the lack of responses to this thread that there's little interest in the area for a machinist or maker's club.  The entire forum doesn't get much use because it's not this web site's main focus and I haven't worked at it enough.  And even though MachinistBlog has become pretty well-known it's still almost invisible to those who might be looking for a club in the Rochester area  because it lacks the right keywords and “search engine optimization” needed to make it rank high in the appropriate search engine results.

I'm sure there's more than enough interest.  But a group would need to be publicized properly and have the right goals and activities that would get people interested.  A dedicated web site would help publicize it and so would regular ads on Craigslist, posters on college and school bulletin boards and the use of “old media.”  I also think that Ron Ginger did something really smart when he started the New England Model Engineering Society (NEMES).  He paid Live Steam magazine to mail out brochures to their subscribers in his area.  He got a huge turnout to their first meeting because of it and they've been a big and successful organization ever since.  

No, the problem isn't lack of interest.  It's a lack of a motivated organizer(s) who is willing to invest the time and work needed to get something going.

Rob

November 28, 2011
8:25 PM
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Bernd
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Rob,

I've just got to add my 2¢  here. Now please take this as construtive.

In the two years that this thread has started it looks like only a handful of people are intersted. A guy once told me that Rochester is a white collar town. Seems to be true. Any type of show for a hobbist was either in Buffalo or Syracuse. Never had one in Rochester. The big thing in Rochester is golf or training camp. Not much here in the way of machinning. To many people think it's a dirty job and dosen't pay much. Plus the machinist trade in Rochester isn't exactly booming. look at all the schools that have shut down their machineshops.

I would think that getting the first few people together here would be a great way to start. Then if and when more people are interested you could see which way to go with the ideas you have persented.

As I said in my PM to you at HMEM anytime after the holidays would be fine with me. And if your going to be in the neighborhood give me a call.

Bernd

November 19, 2011
6:13 PM
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Rob
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Thallador, I sent you a private message.

I've been supportive of Interlock and have provided them with machining help and advice. I also loaned them my mini-lathe for several months. Since then they've acquired a nice Southbend lathe and a Taig mill and they have some other tools also. But until recently most of their tools were sitting on the floor unusable and they might still be.  From what I've seen so far they only have two members who are seriously interested in making anything that requires much more than a soldering iron.

BTW, Interlock is a hacker space not a maker space, although they sometime claim to be both. They are not the same thing and many of their members are proud of the differences and are strongly against becoming a maker space, which apparently other hacker spaces have done to survive. 

So theoretically they should not object to someone starting a Rochester maker space. But I'm not so sure and I really like the group and many of its members. Which is why I haven't given it a try even though I'd like to. I have a LOT of experience starting, running and promoting flying clubs which I think are similar in many ways to maker spaces because they're both about providing safe affordable access to expensive potentially dangerous assets.

November 19, 2011
2:15 PM
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thallador
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Hey – new to this blog – a friend forwarded me this post. 

I don' t think a new group would be a competing space if it was a private group. I think the Rochester hackerspace is just a multi-discplinary, open to the public, space for whatever. Those that I know there are makers, electronics guys, networking guys, and some ham guys. I don't know, but looking at their bylaws seems like they're not specifically about machining but it might overlap a little: http://www.interlockroc.org/wi…..php/Bylaws

 

But yeah if you just want to create a small private club and make a few friends, I don't think there's much overlap, and I'd be interested. Maybe the hackerspace could helpful instead of competition?

November 16, 2011
11:53 AM
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Rob
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Hi Roger,

I’ve come to realize that I’d just like to meet and be around others who like to make things and I don’t care if it’s out of metal, wood or whatever. Are you familiar with maker spaces? I’ve become very seriously interested starting one or supporting someone else’s efforts to get one going in Rochester NY.

Maker spaces have been popping up around the country.  They’re usually non-profit and they provide their members with access to a well-equipped workshop full of machine and metal fabricating tools, woodworking tools, electronic test gear and many other tools, including CNC equipment, for less than $100/month. More importantly, I think, they provide a way for “makers” to meet and interact. I would have given a body part to have been able to join such a place when I was young, broke and living in an apartment.

One of the best known maker spaces is Techspace, which has four locations and is working on opening four more.

I have many good tools I’d being willing to donate or loan to help get a maker space started.  I also think I may have the leadership skills and management experience to help get one going.  BUT, there is already a hackerspace / makerspace in Rochester and I’ve been reluctant to step on their toes — even though their focus is almost entirely on playing with ham radios, laptops and LAN networks.

I may change my mind about starting a competing group, especially if I can find some help. I’ve also been talking with some others about renting a space and sharing it and our tools as a private group. Like you, I would also like some “outside influences to keep my productivity up.”  I also have almost no space left in my workshop.

Rob

November 15, 2011
3:29 PM
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rleete
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Any others in the Rochester area?  I'm in need of some outside influences to keep my productivity up.

 

I'd be very interested in anything from casual shop visits to hands on tutorials.

February 17, 2011
11:44 AM
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rleete
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I'd be very interested in an informal club.  I've visited Bernd (from HMEM & MadModder  forums) South of Rochester, and Rob and I have visited each other's shops a couple of times.  While my main hobby involves model engines, I also do woodworking, with the latest obsession being making pens on my recently purchased Jet lathe. 

I would also be interested in a kind of rotating schedule of shop visits.  This could be anything from a demonstration to a look-see, up close and personal, of the stuff everyone is working on.  And to share some of the other projects that everyone has going on, whether it is cars, home improvement, or whatever. 

3jaw, if you'd like to stop over (I am in Brighton), just send me a message and we'll work out timing.

November 16, 2010
10:16 PM
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gordon
rochester ny
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I create early american furniture and accessories in wood in metal (1/12 scale – therefore miniatures) and need to get into metal working to make miniature locks, hinges, etc for my miniatures.

December 4, 2009
8:56 AM
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3JawChuck
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Ive been considering getting a mini lathe from harbor freight and making parts for cars mostly but also some tool parts. Let me know how it goes.

November 25, 2009
6:23 AM
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Rob
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3JawChuck said:

Hey Rob,

I live in Rochester and am interested in your club. I don't have any metal working machinery (as of yet) but am definitely interested in hearing from you and others in the area.


I'll let you know if there's enough interest to get together for some kind of meeting.

What kind of machinery are you thinking about buying?  Also, if you don't mind me asking, what are you planning on doing or making with it.?

Rob

November 24, 2009
11:34 AM
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3JawChuck
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Hey Rob,

I live in Rochester and am interested in your club. I don't have any metal working machinery (as of yet) but am definitely interested in hearing from you and others in the area.

November 2, 2009
11:47 AM
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Rob
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Hi, I'm the owner of this blog and I very interested in getting a home machinist club going in the Rochester NY area.  Please let me know if you might be interested in joining one.

For the first few “meetings” I'd just like to meet at a restaurant for breakfast or lunch to talk shop and decide how we're going to proceed. 

Rob

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