Prime and Dmize visit Maui Makers

Dmize throwie on Maui Makers container

Dmize throwie on Maui Makers container

Hui No’eau was running a young adult workshop this week (7/12/11) on Aerosol Mural Painting

My son took workshop and I invited the instructor, Prime (of 808Urban), and crew to our Thursday night meeting. Prime, Dmize and Paula (Photographer) came down and talked story for a couple hours. It was a great conversation. We talked about Makers, fab tech, teaching teens, history and etiquette of graffiti. Next week Prime and crew are going to be working on a large mural at the Paia skate park (teen center I believe). They will be working with the local youth.

Image from 808Urban Portfolio

Tags are the common low level graffiti, often done without consideration or talent (unfortunately). Next up are Throwies (throw-ups) which are quick works done without extensive planning. Pieces and Murals are the top level of this art – with careful planning and thought. You can paint Throwies over Tags and Murals over Throwies (and tags) but should nevergo the other way (tags over anything, except maybe other tags). There is responsible choice of surface on which to paint – avoid private property, small biz, etc. Dont paint over safety markings (eg on rail cars), etc.

Hui No'eau aerosol mural in process.

Prime has come out of retirement to teach teens respectful art. He focuses on murals with a strong polynesian theme. Here’s a video interview with Prime:

Prime, Dmize and Paula were really happy to visit and talk story. They offered to gift us with some of their art and I accepted. Dmize threw up a nice bit on the side of our container. Prime added a few small tags and plans to come back next week thursday to a larger piece. I hope to see more members there too!

I am Maui Maker and I approve this art.

Here’s the full Flickr set:

[slickr-flickr tag=”primeanddmez” descriptions=”on” flickr_link=”on” sort=”title” use_key=”y” ]

Workbenches from Scrap Wood (mostly)

After last week’s scrap bin project we turned our attention back to outfitting the space. We needed workbenches – and our friend Mike Drescher, who works for a company of professional steel building erectors, had kindly brought in a whole bunch of 2x6s he had saved from a deconstructed deck. We decided to start building at our regular Thursday meeting on June 16.

Brian I, Brian T and Adam R building Bench #1

Brian T, Brian I, Adam Rosen and I got there well before dark and started selecting the wood. Most of the pieces were 8-12ft and had either nails or various decay. We found most of it was pretty usable, especially for legs and bracing. Brian T took the lead on the build using plans in his head, and a selection of nice battery powered DeWalt tools he brought. Working with a team vs alone was a bit of a change for all of us, but it worked out well. We got four slabs selected and cut for the top, and four legs and cross pieces selected and cut for the legs.

Makers at Meeting June 16 2011

Just before dark, about 6:30 or 7, several more people showed up – Tommy R, with daughter Betty and Cousin-in-Law Eric M; Ben W with wife Hiro and sons Shion and Hugh. With all the people hanging round, we switched from Building Stuff to Sharing (i.e. talking), even though the generator made talking a bit hard. Eric M. had brought a neat arduino controller setup he built for taking panoramic photos. It looked like a decent setup, packaged in a tupperware type container, except the exposed wire connections seemed to have shorted out the battery. Bummer. Heat shrink is your friend… and can be cheap (note: add a good selection of various sizes to our list of supplies!)

The crowd left to get kids home, and then Brian T remembered he had a date, so we pretty much shut down around 8pm. Adam, Brian I and I (JerryI) hung out for a bit but the lighting was pretty bad and we kept making mistakes. We packed the parts up into the container and headed for home, planning to return in the morning.

It was a bit later than we expected when we got back Friday. BrianI and I went to Home Depot and picked up some extra supplies, including a couple 2×4′ sheets of MDF to use as bench tops. We also brought down some 2x6s and 2×4 scrap left over from our barn and fence building. We managed to get Bench #1 complete and a start on Bench #2 before 1pm. Then our build got cut short by a call from the alarm company about our Haiku House. We had to rush back and check things out – cats had knocked stuff over in garage, setting off motion detectors.

Returning Saturday morning, we finished off Bench #2 with MDF top and shelf. The shelf is set at a height to allow plastic tubs below and on shelf. It needs a front support to avoid sagging. Getting on a good roll, we quickly built Bench #3 – another MDF topped bench, but with out a shelf. We were able to get both benches complete and all parts put away by 2pm – in time to get home, shower and head back to the Maui Film Festival at MACC.

So we now have a total of four good workbenches at the space – one metal framed MDF top with drawers from Cole S, and the three we built this weekend. Cole brought in and hung another florescent fixture on Sunday, which gives us pretty decent lighting throughout the container. Cole also brought another shelf unit and a cabinet. Now we gotta organize a bit, and then get power hookup/distribution setup. We also need some good bench stools.

Here’s the Flickr set for the weekend build out:
[slickr-flickr tag=”makerbenches” descriptions=”on” flickr_link=”on” sort=”title” use_key=”y” ]

First Container Delivery

Container at previous home

Container at previous home

On Tuesday May 2, 2011 our first container was moved from Haiku to Pu’unene. It was supposed to be a quick pickup and haul but didnt quite work out that way. The container was located in a field behind a house on a plateau overlooking the Pacific. Nice view. There were several trees that blocked access directly from the driveway, so we had to circle around them. The trees were just close enough that the truck could not back straight up to the container.

Maui Tow and Transport

Maui Tow and Transport

I was impressed by Maui Tow and Transport trailer. The triple rear axle moves forward and back to alter the support and turning radius. It can also be angled slightly. This makes it a bit easier to walk the trailer into place with repeated moves. I was also a bit surprised that when loading, It was not the container that did most of the moving. The winch pulled the whole rig backwards under the trailer. Pretty cool hydraulics.

If you look closely, you can see a large dark cloud rising up behind the rig. Thats a sugar cane burn. Its how they harvest cane sugar here on Maui. Every couple weeks they burn several dozen acres of cane. I’m not sure off hand why. I suppose it makes it easier and perhaps does something to the sugar. Anyway, the smoke can make for a mess sometimes, but generally goes up pretty straight. Looks ominous.

Not Quite Straight but...

Not Quite Straight but...

Since the trailer was not lined up with the container, the latter did not load straight. It was off the front, right side by several inches, with a foot or more to spare on the left side. The MT&T driver spent a looong time trying to winch it over and straight. First he put a hook/pulley on the left side to angle the winch line. This worked fairly well, along with repeated up/down walkings of the trailer. After a long while he managed to get the container fully up on the trailer. It was still hanging off to the right a ways, so he moved the whole rig a few feet to the side and unloaded the container about 1/2 way. More walking and side winching later, the container was back on-board and looking pretty good. We picked up the concrete blocks and tossed them onto the trailer for use at the other end. Then away we went…. to the end of the driveway. As the rig went down the steep, short last bit to the road, the back end bottomed out… PING!! the back strap popped off and the back end moved two feet to the right. DRAT! The driver moved the rear axle to the back, raising the rear enough to get it out of the driveway. Then he spent another 30minutes trying to get it back on straight. Ugh.

Driving Hana Hwy
Finally it was good enough and we started our slow trip down through Haiku Center (bustling town that it is) and along the Hana Highway. I got some fairly nice pics as we passed Ho’okipa Beach. There were a fair number of wind surfers out that day.

Our Space-to-be, with Habitat For Humanity steel building parts

Our Space-to-be, with Habitat For Humanity steel building parts

We got down to Pu’unene and Miley came out to help us site the container. We are going into the space directly back down the driveway. Its a fairly large open area that currently has some Habitat For Humanity (HfH) materials. Apparently this includes most of the parts of a steel building that got donated a while back and has been quietly rusting away. Hmmmm. There is also a big pile of electronics HfH collected a while ago, dumped here and has yet to get it disposed of properly. Might be some useful stuff there, but its probably rusted beyond use now. Too bad. We could use a few good power supplies, etc.

Happy Maker and His Container on site

Dropping the container was a LOT easier than picking it up. We put down the concrete blocks and, for the most part, it sits on those. The ground is NOT level but for now it works. Once we talk with the CWD Board of Directors, we will make plans for building out. We will need to do a bit of grading to flatten the area (do un-occupied area first, move #1 container, flatten other side, drop in #2 container). We need to talk with MECO to get AC power. Then figure out best way to get internet access.

Here’s the Flicker Set for the First Container Delivery:
[slickr-flickr tag=”FirstContainer” descriptions=”on” flickr_link=”on” sort=”title” use-key=”y” ]

We have a Container!

We have talked about using containers to create our space.  Cole, Tommy and others have played with various designs on their own for a long time.  The Community Work Day folks have said we could put containers on their space.

Our First Container, at its old home.

So when Cole found a 40′ High Cube, Aluminum container on Craigslist Tuesday, I called.  Yesterday, I bought it. It is in great shape and already has two ventilation turbines installed. This will help keep it cool, especially down in the valley. It will be delivered to CWD’s Pu’unene location on Tuesday May 3. Exactly where it goes is still TBD, but we have strong opinions (there arent a lot of great options).

La'a Kea Community Farm Building

The idea is to get a second container, placed about 20′ to the side and roof these over. Then we can put rollup doors over the open area. The result will be similar to the La’a Kea Community Farm building recently constructed on Baldwin Ave, Paia. This one doesnt have the rollup doors.


So next week, we will have a container in which to meet on thursday. However, there wont be any power, etc so it will get dark real quick. The build out of infrastructure will happen over the next few months. Then we will have a real home! Yippee!!

If you have other ideas for tricking out the building, please post! and/or come and discuss.  Here’s an example I found via google search…

Paul Stankey container home outside of Duluth, Minnesota

We have a space! Sharing with Community Work Day

Yippee!! We finally found a home.  Community Work Day has agreed to let us use part of their building in Pu’unene for work and meetings.  Later we can put shipping containers on the property and utilize those.

Community Work Day Site Entrance - right hand building is where we meet

The space is  located at E Camp 5 Rd, Kahului, HI 96732.  This is behind the mill near the Friends of the Library.  The road and location may not be in best shape, but the price is right – FREE!  Here’s the google map to location:

View Larger Map

Here are some more pictures of the building and the interior room we are using…

[slickr-flickr tag=”CWDSite” descriptions=”on” flickr_link=”on” sort=”title” ]

(see flickr set

Our first meeting in the space will be Thursday April 14 from 6-10pm.  Come One! Come All!!  We will talk about the ChillBox GGHC project, future classes, membership building, etc.

Meeting at Omaopio Greenhouse Saturday 3/19, 3pm

Our next meeting will be this saturday, March 19, at 3pm at the 3361 Omaopio space:
Map Link

This is about 3 turns uphill from Surfing Goat Dairy, and about 3 miles down hill from Kula Hwy.

There is very limited parking (3-5 cars) up the driveway, but there is a fair bit more on the shoulder of Omaopio both before and after the greenhouses. There are a couple shoulder spaces right below the greenhouses.
The green house (shell) we are looking at is straight up the driveway off to the left as the drive curves off right. (if I recall correctly).

Update – followup after meeting:
Yesterday (Saturday 18 March) we had a small group visit the Omaopio Greenhouse location. Attending were Jessica, Dina, Gabe and myself.

Dina and I arrived a bit early and our resident connection, Raj, came out to ask if he could help. I had forgotten to inform Raj that we would be visiting. Raj is our contact and the man from whom we would be ‘subletting’ the space. He runs a business from one of the greenhouses (plant extracts) and I believe he lives in another. Raj is making three (4?) of the other greenhouse frames he rents available to the community garden effort. Raj seemed a bit put off by our arrival – interrupting his quiet saturday afternoon. I wonder how he will feel when we have a regular stream of people through the space – and noisy machines, talking, etc.

Dina and I walked around the building and down to the road to talk about space, parking, etc. Jessica drove up just then and we went back up to show her where we can park. Shortly afterwards, Gabe Mott arrived, walking downhill. Gabe has a friend (Al) who lives in the greenhouse just uphill from Raj’s home. We had a nice informative conversation with Al about the location.

The land owner is apparently a family trust, with family living just south of the greenhouses. There are several people who live on the property – all uphill from Raj. There is some minor conflict over parking spaces. During the daytime, visitors (workers) at Raj and the other greenhouses can easily overwhelm the available parking. When residents return, they have often found visitors parked in their spaces. Street parking may seem possible as the shoulder is a car width + wide in some areas up/down hill from the space. However, vehicles using the road do not abide by the edges of lanes or roadway. I saw a couple large trucks barreling down the road using three lanes worth of the two lane road. Street parking is an invitation for sideswiping.

Looking at the space, it might help our parking and noise issues if we were able to switch to the square greenhouse a bit downhill from Raj. I understand this is one currently slated for the Community Gardens but perhaps we can switch with them? One benefit of this other house is it would be easier to install and use a large (rollup) doorway for equipment, etc. Another is it would avoid us driving over a main water juncture just outside our currently allocated space.

There is reportedly a 50amp breaker for each greenhouse, which makes power a bit tricky. We might have some issues running multiple large machines (lathe, etc) and soldering irons, plus fridge, etc concurrently.

We estimate the buildings are about 45ft/side (~2000sqft) with 8ft sides. If we cover with corrugated plastic panels (8’x26″ @$20) that comes to about $1800. Figure about the same again for roofing. Flooring could be a combination of concrete slab and post/pier wood frame. Slab is required for heavy equipment (lathes, etc) both to reduce/eliminate vibration and for ease of cleaning. You do NOT want metal shavings getting into shoes, etc. (esp open toe things we wear round here often.) Classroom/electronics areas could use wood frame flooring. We would also need to budget some sun screen netting for over the roof, and large ventilation fans.

After walking around a bit, and sitting in very limited shade, swatting abundant mosquitos, we adjourned to Jessica’s home up in Kula for some refreshments. We talked about the needed infrastructure and perceptions of the space (which I have tried to roll into my above report). If you have comments or things to add, please do so!

So some action items here:
1) talk with Raj about noise and parking issues
2) talk with Raj and C.Garden folks about switching spaces
3) solid estimates on slab and other construction items.

Nov 2010 Maker update – meetup, space, mobile, biz

Aloha makers

This blog post is to update on progress and a few other things.

First, NPR Morning Edition had a segment today on Hackerspaces. It talks about how people are repurposing (hacking) stuff to give it new function. Reuse vs Recycle vs discard. The emphasis was on fun projects this week. Next week’s segment will talk about small businesses that have been spawned by maker spaces.

Back to local news: we had a great meetup at my home in Haiku. There were about 20 people attending – a terrific mix of techies, builders and artists. We even had a visitor from Oahu – Jim Bartz is a Makerbot owner and came over to check out our community. I showed off the laser etcher, Makerbot and some (alas failed) prints from the Silhouette vinyl cutter. The level of interest and the terrific mix of people gives me lots of encouragement.

Next – Hunting for a home

Hali'imaile Base Yard Unit 11, set back from road behind security fence. It is not directly visible from road, being behind two other buildings.

Unit 11A is small - 10x28ft - and quite dirty. It might work as starter space.

We went back to Hali’imaile again to take a long serious look at the spaces available. Unit 11 has two we have been considering. Unit 11A is about 300sqft and Unit 11B is about 2000. One too small, one too big. Both would require significant cleanup and infrastructure improvement (fixing leaks in roof, open grate doors, etc).

Unit 11B center area. This is a long room, with a bit less dirt but more stuff.

We would need the landlord to do a fair bit of improvement on the building (fixing leaks) and they plan to tear it all down in 2-3yrs. It is a good location – fairly central, upcountry (out of heat) and has some awesome views.

Pauwela Cannery has been suggested several times. The rates are lower than ML&P’s and it is more secure/cleaner. There are a fair number of maker businesses already located in the building (eg. Maui CNC). However Haiku is not very convenient for those not already living on this side of the island.

Mobile Lab

Maui has a very distributed (and fairly small) population. One of our issues in finding a permanent home is getting a location that is equally inconvenient to all. Even places in the central valley are not all that convenient.  It takes me 1/2 hour to drive to Kahului from Haiku, about the same for people in Kihei, twice that for some west maui residents.  This is especially problematic for our outreach efforts to schools, etc.  A popular solution to this for other spaces is to build a mobile lab or hack bus.  MIT Fab Lab built 30ft trailer back in 2007 and outfitted it with a ShopBot, Laser Cutter, and a whole lotta other tools.  It was most recently used in D.C. in support of the National Fab Lab bill.

MIT Mobile Fab Lab trailer

MIT Mobile Fab Lab trailer

The Dutch Fab Lab has built one in a fairly large van. Check their Flickerstream for pictures. There is a community page, Hack Bus, that lists another half dozen.

I think a small (16′) enclosed trailer would be a good size for a Maui Mobile Maker Lab. This would let us take some of our equipment to schools and community centers around the island. It would also give us a more secure, cleaner, controlled environment for expensive toys like the Epilog.

EL Wire and Soldering Classes
Recently I met the folks who put on the Source Interactive Arts Festival. This is a great eclectic bunch of artists of all sorts, our own flavor of Burning Man. I gave a short intro to Maui Makers at a recent ‘art storm’ event they held and got a tremendous response. One area in particular sparked lots of interest – EL Wire and other light up clothing. There was actually a good bit of discussion about how to do this before my presentation. Afterwards, I decided it was time for a class. So I’m going to put together a small class or two on soldering and EL Wire. I might need to have two classes – one on basic technique and one on use of EL wire. I have found a couple starter kits that look good. MakerShed has their Learn To Solder Kit for $15. It includes soldering iron, etc and a small noise making electronc board. Cool Neon also has a Learn To Solder Kit specifically for EL wire. If you are interested in either class, drop me an email!