[chbot] Workshop open house?

andrew dean nzandydean at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 23:07:14 GMT 2021

Hey gang. Sorry i’ve been absent from the meetups.  It seems that random disasters and emergency room visits seem to take place whenever the club meets. 

So, last year I mentioned a bit about the workshop at my son’s school, Ao Tawhiti (st asaph & columbo), and the nifty cnc equipment there.

Well… The hard materials teacher went on sabbatical for the year and the school was unable to find a replacement teacher.  Instead of shutting the lab down,
the school asked me to run the workshop.  I’m not legally allowed to “teach” a curriculum since I’m not a qualified teacher…  but kids and classes come through the workshop during the week and i give them “health and safety” training on what materials they should/could use, and the equipment they should use and how to use it, and best practices for how to design and construct and assemble the thing they are making.  So… basically I’m a shop teacher but with less pay. hehe.

Anyways, the upside is I can now use the workshop after hours, and could have the club do a visit. I know “storebought” cnc is unexciting to most of the people in the club (who seemingly have built their own out of parts salvaged from russian submarines and 1940s test equipment), but…

If there was an interest from the club, I could have an “open house” for you to check out the Ao Tawhiti workshop.

We have a 900x600 80w thunder laser (same model as turanga) , 600x600 cnc “swifty” hypertherm powermax 45A plasma (can pierce up to 10mm steel), a half sheet masso cnc gantry router, and some prusa and makerbot 3d printers… in addition to all the general saws/sanders/presses/dust extractors you’d expect.

I enjoyed touring Graham’s workshop so much I thought I’d share this one. (I’ve never had a workshop worth showing off before)

In the abstract, if you need to have anything cut/3d printed, and are able to source some raw materials for the school as a koha… I’d be happy to talk.  Without a “teacher” we don’t have much for a budget and i’m having to dumpster dive for mdf packing sheets and flooring samples so we have something to cut.

Personally I’m dying to do some relief carving in brass on the router.  For no particular reason I’ve always wished I could make my own “medallions” and now that I have the gear to do it, i’m working to design something actually worth cutting. heh.  That and i need to get some brass sheet.

I bought a bunch of 3mm mild steel from preists for the plasma, but am really curious about how the plasma performs on .5-2mm mild steel if anybody has any moderate sizes of unpainted stock they are leaving to rust…

Anyways, if you are keen to have a tour/open house, let me know if weekday evenings or weekends work better and i’ll see if there’s enough interest to open up. If you have any raw materials the school might want for cutting… please hit me up any time!

-Andrew Dean
(and for now) Ao Tawhiti

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