I’m pretty good with wood. I’ve done a lot of carpentry – decks, sheds, finishing off rooms, a fair bit of finish carpentry (stairs, railings, wainscotting), and a bit of cabinetmaking.
Metal, however, is not my first choice, and when I do choose it, I’m a bit of a hack. I’ve decided to remedy that, and I’ve signed up for “Intro to Metal Shop” at Makerhaus, a hackerspace in the Fremont area of Seattle. The class started today. There are 7 students in all, 5 guys and two women.
Today was an introduction to the types of metal and how they can hurt you (be cautious machining zinc-coated steel), and how to use all of the tools in the workshop and all of the ways we can get hurt by them. The tools we covered:
- Horizontal band saw (used for rough cutting)
- Drill press (drilling holes)
- Shears (used for cutting metal)
- Brake (used for bending metal)
- Lathe (used for machining round pieces of metal
- Vertical mill (used for general machining)
- Metal sander
- Mig welder (used for, duh, welding)
The machine shop is pretty nice; there are two rooms, one for the clean tools, and then a second closed-off one for the loud and dirty tools. I tool a quick look through a window at the wood shop, and it looks nice as well. It is unfortunately inconvenient to my house, but as there aren’t any spaces like this on the eastside.