Note: We have raised about $7,000 of our $15,000 goal for the shop because some donations were made through other means. (Cash, check or PayPal).
If you prefer to donate by mail with a check, please make check payable to "Lowell Makes" and send to:
47 Lee St
Lowell MA 01852
Lowell Makes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community workshop and education center. It is a place where people can learn and practice a wide variety of trades and crafts, ranging from traditional to cutting-edge. We are a diverse group with widely-varying backgrounds who are creating a resource for the entire community.
With public schools eliminating things like shop classes, and with limited access even in vocational schools, the community need for a place to learn and practice these skills is greater than ever. Emerging technologies such as 3D printing, easy-to-use microcontrollers, and E-textiles are absent from classrooms.
At Lowell Makes we have an active and growing community that enjoy our 3D printing and electronics areas. We recently began running workshops open to the public where people can learn things like basic electronic theory, soldering and programming and more.
Since we began surveying the community to assess interests and needs, having a wood shop where people can do things from basic chopping and ripping, to furniture making, fine work (like ornaments, toys and trinkets) and framing really stood out.Even before we had our grand opening on November 1, 2013, when people heard about us, they began bringing in woodworking machines and tools, and woodworkers have been enjoying use of the space to do work they cannot do in their homes due to noise or space challenges.
Today our "wood shop" is a collection of machines out in the open which allows our makers to work with wood, but sawdust and noise are a real problem for both the woodworkers and others in the space working on more delicate projects.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of putting up walls around the wood shop to keep from contaminating other shop areas and the private work areas for members. A walled-in wood shop would also keep those not trained in the use of such equipment away from potential hazards.
Our campaign to raise $15,000 will allow us to build an actual wood shop, which will greatly improve usability, safety, comfort and allow us to comply with practices required by our insurance company for isolating dangerous equipment if minors are present.
The community has donated or provided on long-term loan many machines for the wood shop. Your support will allow us to make the actual shop and fit out the rest.
What We Need & What You Get
In order to create the wood shop, we need $15,000 to:
Enclose the shop with floor-to-ceiling walls
Install a sawdust collection system
Modify the ventilation and sprinkler systems
Purchase material to build workbenches and assembly tables
Purchase additional woodworking machines and hand tools
Planned layout with the wood shop right in the center of everything:
(Draft drawing courtesy Architectural Consulting Services, LLC)
Since we are a makerspace, you can expect some really cool [mostly] house-made perks:
$5 — A thank you on our web site
- $15 — Laser-etched Lowell Makes "coins" of wood or acrylic
- $25 — Lowell Makes t-shirt
- $50 — Lowell Makes 3D-printed ornament and t-shirt
- $100 — Lowell Makes coffee mug, 3D-printed ornament, t-shirt and laser-etched "coins", OR voucher for any 1-day workshop
- $150 — Web site advertisement
- $200 — Raspberry Pi media center in custom Lowell Makes 3D-printed case
- $250 — Lowell Makes NTP clock
- $350 — Asvertising banner
- $500 — One-year "Maker" membership, OR your choice of NTP clock or Raspberry Pi media center, plus coffee mug, 3D-printed ornament, t-shirt and "coins"
- $1,000 — One-year "Entrepreneur/Small Biz" membership, t-shirt and "coins", OR the naming rights on a piece of equipment and coffee mug, t-shirt and "coins"
$15,000 will be enough to complete the wood shop in its entirety. If, however, we do not reach our goal, funds will first be used to enclose the wood shop with floor-to-ceiling walls, which is a requirement for safety and comfort, as well as insurance. As funds accrue toward the $15,000 goal, we will plan to complete the items on the list above as we are able to.
Having a community wood shop where anyone can learn and practice traditional and modern woodworking skills will empower the community. Having the wood shop contained within walls will keep things like sawdust and noise will allow the other shop/lab areas at Lowell Makes, such as 3D printing and electronics, to continue to flourish.
Because we run workshops open to the public at Lowell Makes, being able to contain the wood shop in floor-to-ceiling walls will allow the workshops to happen without disrupting activity in the wood shop, and the other way around.
People will learn valuable skills, actually create, modify and repair things which generates economic activity and gain more value in the job market, or launch their own business.
Lowell Makes is part of a network of community groups focused on educating, empowering and engaging people from all walks of life. When we see a retired person who has been practicing a craft for decades giving tips and tricks to a younger person just getting started, it's super-gratifying. And so it is when we see younger folks sharing what they know.
It's a place where everyone can teach and anyone can learn.
Other Ways You Can Help
Whether you can contribute to our campaign or not, please spread the word by email and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to come by one of our regular open houses every Wednesday 6-9 PM to see what are members are up to.
We don't have any perks for less than $5, but feel free to make a donation through our web site, drop a check in the mail, or come by our space and drop a few bucks into the jar.
Please share this campaign with others.