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The community needs a wood shop where people can learn and practice woodworking. Lowell Makes needs your help to make a safe, clean wood shop. Thank you!
Kamal Jain
Lowell, Massachusetts
United States
8 Team Members

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:

Lowell Makes
47 Lee St
Lowell MA 01852

Short Summary

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.

The Impact

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.

Thank you!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 54 people in 1 month
31% funded
No time left
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 21, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Web site thank you

    Contribute $5 or more and we'll let the world know we're thankful to you on our web site!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $15USD
    Laser-etched "coins"

    Made of wood or acrylic sheeting laser-etched with the Lowell Makes logo and laser-cut into "coins"

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $25USD
    Lowell Makes t-shirt

    A comfortable cotton t-shirt with the Lowell Makes logo on the back and front. Quite the fashion statement if we do say so ourselves.

    14 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $50USD
    3D-printed ornament; t-shirt

    A uniquely designed creation, 3D-printed into existence at Lowell Makes that looks great everywhere. If you pose with it while wearing your Lowell Makes t-shirt, the papa razzi will take notice!

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $100USD
    Coffee & T, OR workshop

    Enjoy your favorite beverage from a Lowell Makes mug while stylin' in your t-shirt and flipping a "coin" with your free hand. Would balancing an ornament on your head at the same time be too much? We know it's not too much for you. Or, get a voucher good for any 1-day workshop offered at Lowell Makes.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $150USD
    Web advertisement

    You send us artwork up to 1-inch x 2-inches and we'll put your advertisement on our web site for the world to see. (we reserve the right to redact or reject inappropriate content)

    1 claimed
  • $200USD
    Pi media center

    Enjoy some tunes with this custom-built Raspberry Pi-powered media center in a 3D-printed plastic case.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $250USD
    NTP Clock

    Never be late with this clock that uses NTP (network time protocol) to synchronize over the Internet to clocks that are super-accurate and cost a fortune.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $350USD
    Advertising banner

    Show your support of Lowell Makes and a love for our community by putting up a banner up to 3-feet x 5-feet which we will display prominently. (we reserve the right to redact or reject inappropriate content)

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $500USD
    Maker membership or bundle

    Get a one-year "Maker" level membership at Lowell Makes, OR your choice of our custom Raspberry Pi media center or NTP clock, plus a coffee mug, t-shirt, ornament and "coins."

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Naming rights and schwag

    Better than a stadium, we name a piece of equipment in your honor and send you a coffee mug, t-shirt, ornament and "coins."

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Entrepreneur schwag

    Get a one-year "Entrepreneur/Small Biz" membership, and we send you a coffee mug, t-shirt, ornament and "coins.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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