Dale Dougherty at Workshop 88 – TONIGHT!

Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine and creator of the Maker Faire will be stopping by Workshop 88 TONIGHT (March 23rd) at about 9:00 pm.  Please feel free to stop by and say hi!

He is in town for an event at the University of St. Francis tomorrow.  See the flyer (PDF) that you can download below. Here’s Dale’s TED talk from 2011: 

Dale Dougherty event at University of St. Francis – Tuesday, March 24


Dale+W88-0193We had a great time visiting with Dale, answering questions about our space and hearing stories of makerspaces around the world.

Thanks for visiting us, Dale!


Cognizant awards a Making the Future grant to support Workshop 88 outreach to girls

We are thrilled to announce that Workshop 88 has been awarded a “Making the Future” grant from Cognizant, a technology services company based in New Jersey.  The grant will allow us to offer a Maker summer camp geared specifically toward 10-12 year old girls.  The summer program will be led by Workshop 88 member Rachel Hellenga, who has over 20 years experience planning educational exhibits and programs for museums and libraries.

This pilot program will celebrate girls’ ingenuity and involve them in making flexible circuits by combining LEDs and paper-thin batteries with everything from Legos to paper crafts. Girls will use a circuit printer to produce circuits with conductive ink and work with other flexible materials such as conductive tape and conductive Velcro.

Cognizant’s Making the Future education initiative was created to unleash the passion of young learners—particularly girls and underrepresented minorities—in STEM disciplines by providing fun, hands-on learning opportunities. Two years ago Workshop 88 members teamed up with the DuPage Children’s Museum to lead Sewing Goes High Tech  with support from Cognizant, and Rachel invented the name Teknistas to describe the tech-savvy, style-savvy girls in the summer camp. You can see their projects at www.teknistas.com along with updates showing young makers at Workshop 88’s Duct Tape Bling booth (winner of an Editor’s Choice Award 2013 New York Maker Faire!) and Rachel’s Fashion Technology from Chicago showcase at the inaugural Rome Maker Faire. We are involving some of our current Teknistas in planning our next activities and hope to inspire more young makers this summer! If you’d like updates on the upcoming summer camp, drop us a line at info@workshop88.com with the subject line “Making the Future” and you’ll be the first to know when we finalize the dates and program description.


Book #2


I couldn’t find an empty notebook this morning, so I made threw one together from printer paper and the remnants of the box my Amazon Echo came in.


This one is a quarto with two quires, simply sewn together with waxed linen thread and no glue.

The top stitch on the cover is a bit strange, but topology wouldn’t allow the initial pattern I was planning on. I might use a small ring or a bar to secure the top stitch the next time I try this format so I can avoid the strange fifth hole in the spine.

It fits nicely in a pocket, and the cover feels pretty sturdy. I could probably have creased the spine a bit more heavily to make it close better, but I’m okay with that.


First Try at Bookbinding

I’ve always been interested in bookbinding, but haven’t given it a shot until now. I followed these excellent tutorials by Sea Lemon on YouTube, and I think my book came out okay.

I made the case using black Tyvek for the cover, and 1/4″ masonite for the spine and front and back boards. I think it worked pretty well, and I like the way it looks.


I sewed the signatures together using upholstery thread, and the book opens up really well.


This is the view of the cover with the book open on the table. I cut the board for the spine about twice as wide as I should have, and I’m not entirely happy with that. I got a bit impatient once the text block was done, and just charged ahead…


Another issue with rushing ahead was that I used a bit too much glue on the endpapers, and they wrinkled a bit as they dried.


All things considered, I’m very happy with the way the book turned out, and I’ve got some different techniques to try next time.



Shapeoko 2 progress

JustBecauseSign4988The Workshop 88 Shapeoko 2 is coming along nicely.  It recently cut this 18″ foam sign, taking advantage of the SO2’s “frontless” design that allows working on arbitrarily long pieces, even though its active work area is only about 10″x10″.  Some details are here.

The Z axis auto touch-off switch, inspired by the Carvey “Smart Clamp” is now working as well.  There’s a little clip of it here.

While it’s machined handles for some of its clamp bolt and even machined the scales for a knife handle replacement, its most ambitious project to date is full 3D machining of the body of a pinewood derby car.  That’s still work in progress.  Stay tuned!


Shop Maintenance Day

With the start of the new year, we’re planning to spend some time cleaning up the space. We’ll be out at the space all afternoon on January 2nd, so if you’d like to come out and help clean up, stop by.


Networking Basics (July 2014)

Come out and learn basic computer networking skills!

The topics we’ll be covering include:

  • Network addresses
  • Basic home network design
  • Physical interfaces
  • Wireless networking
  • Debugging basic networking problems

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What have we been up to this summer?

It’s been a bit quiet around on the blog this summer, but that’s mostly because we’ve been pretty busy.  I thought I’d put up an update on what’s been going on around the space.


We’re always out at the space on Thursday nights for our public meeting, so drop on by! We had a lot of fun last week playing with some Tormach stepper drivers that Tom M. brought in, but every week brings something new and exciting.


We’ve been doing a lot with libraries all over the burbs.  You might remember this thing that we built for Glen Ellyn Public Library back in May.  In addition to that, we also do a lot of classes and DIY fairs.

This summer, we ran events at Bloomingdale, Glen Ellyn, Indian Trails, Winfield, Lisle, Addison, and at Lake Park High School.  We’ve got even more events coming up in the next few months, at the libraries I mentioned before as well as Roselle and St. Charles.

Improving the space!

We’re currently updating the back room, with the front room next on the list.  There’s been a lot of great discussion about what to do with the front room, and we’ve got a team working on getting it all done.

Paul R. did a bunch of work to rehab Prof. Braino’s Enco mill, and it is now up and running.  We’re going to be offering a class to members this summer to get them up to speed on how to use the mill.


We’ve been a bit lax in getting classes scheduled, and we’re trying to address that.  We have a bunch of classes scheduled this summer, so check back for scheduling details once they’re announced.  Next up on the list are Electronics 101 and Basic Networking, both this July.

We’ve got a bunch of other topics coming up, here’s a condensed list:

  • Electronics
  • 3D Printing
  • CNC Machining with Shapeoko
  • Networking Basics
  • Running the Lathe
  • Linux Basics
  • Cloud Computing
  • HAMP (see this for more info)
  • Intro to Hadoop
  • Running the Mill
  • Using the RPi GPIOs
  • Arduino 101
  • Arduino Music

Let us know (info@workshop88.com) if you’ve got requests for other classes, we’ll see what we can do about getting them scheduled!



Electronics 101 (July 2014)

This is an electronics class for the absolute beginner – we will cover many basic concepts such as:

  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Resistance
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Power
  • Measurement tools
  • Breadboards – How to use them to prototype circuits
  • Circuit diagrams and circuit elements

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