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Poll: TechShop - Would you use it if there was one near your house?
I would become addicted to it. --- 7 (33.33%)
I would go very often. --- 1 (4.76%)
I would go there now and then. --- 9 (42.86%)
Kind of expensive. --- 2 (9.52%)
Not my thing. --- 1 (4.76%)
I have access to all the tools I need. --- 1 (4.76%)

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Author: Subject: TechShop - Would you use it if there was one near your house?
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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 04:26
TechShop - Would you use it if there was one near your house?

These people opened a "public workshop" where, for a fee (US$ 100/month or US$ 30/day), you have access to "milling machines and lathes, welding stations and plasma cutters, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic working equipment, electronics design and fabrication facilities, tubing and metal bending machines, electrical supplies and tools, and pretty much everything you'd ever need to make just about anything all by yourself" plus a lot of surplus/junk that anyone can use.

I think it's brilliant. Really brilliant. I would like to know what does everybody else thinks.

Does anyone know places like that elsewhere in the world?

[Edited on 10-10-2007 by Tacho]
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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 04:30

I choose the last option, it is true for 90+% of the time.

the other 10% helps me maintain my Creative streak ;)

[Edited on 10-10-2007 by YT2095]

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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 04:48

If you know how to use that stuff properly, get your own machine tools. Otherwise pay a machine shop to make what you need from your drawings or sketches.

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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 05:08

I for one am able to stretch my chemistry budget to maybe $1500 per year, if I don;t eat :o. buying or paying professionals is out of the question. Having said that I would only use such a place a few times a year, and would not be willing to pay 10 times the rate for those days. make it $10US/ day and then probably
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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 07:29

Man, they stole our idea... we we're planing to do the same thing only for friends only! Nice :)

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[*] posted on 10-10-2007 at 10:20

I voted for 3, I would go there now and again! Seems quite expensive, I would have thought an hourly rate per tool would be more appropriate. I'd use it for certain specialised tools (milling machine, plastic forming). People these days overlook what can be done with hand tools and simple electrical tools. For example I make all sorts of items using an electric hand drill held in a vice as a substitute lathe.

Regards, Xenoid
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[*] posted on 18-10-2007 at 13:08

For me the $100 per month fee would be too much. I probably would not use it at sufficiently high frequency to justify such a fee every month.

A price of $30 per day on the other hand is quite a lot.

Most likely, I would try to find a few mates, who also are interested in this, and have the member card circulate over these persons (not sure if this is considered fraud though) and share the monthly fee.

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[*] posted on 18-10-2007 at 13:16

@ Xenoid, that is a great idea, after a friend broke the mini lathe.

At $30 a day I must retract my prior vote of becoming addicted considering i do have access to a machine shop at school and the variety of tools i have at home. Maybe i would go for a day if i was really desperate for an acetylene torch or something.


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[*] posted on 18-10-2007 at 13:21

$30 a day is cheap compared to the cost of the machinery. A halfway decent (chinese) mill would set you back around $5k - not including cutters and accessories. A good german one would be $30,000. As for getting stuff made for you, thats going to cost around $30 an hour! Yes, you can do a lot of stuff by hand, but for speed, and real precision, you can't beat a machine shop.

I'd be in there all the time.

Perhaps my only reservation would be safety - i.e. ensuring everyone there was smart enough not to leave the chuck key in the lathe.

[Edited on 19-10-2007 by Twospoons]

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[*] posted on 18-10-2007 at 14:07

For the tools they have I don't think the fees are unreasonable. I voted for occaisional use.

I would like to build some equipment for certain high pressure/high temperature reactions where glassware will no longer do. I would have to just use thick metal (brute force) for my high pressure designs. I don't have the design knowledge for sophisticated vessels such as Parr builds.

I've never used a lathe and my welding skills are long forgotten. It would be fun to learn these skills but that takes time. Once I have a design drawn up I would get impatient and want to turn it over to a skilled craftsman.

When I was a boy my local Boys Club of America had a wood shop that we could use for free. They also had a retired craftsman who would show us how to use the tools. When I was in the military my base had an auto shop with the same setup.

[Edited on by Magpie]

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[*] posted on 18-10-2007 at 20:55

I love the idea... I would use it just enough to learn how to use the tools I would eventually acquire. But depending on the quality of help available .. I might use it to build a specific project too. I need a tube furnace. This seems like a good place to build one. Maybe I could make a Parr type hydrogenator too. I bought a demo MIG welder for $250 US that runs off 115v. Getting all the tools these folks offer would take me decades and I wouldn't use them enough to justify the costs. Hey, maybe that's how these guys got started!

[Edited on 18-10-2007 by chemrox]
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[*] posted on 19-10-2007 at 14:20


And think just about the convenience. I mean walk in with some stainless pipe and a few pots an pans and come out with a nice SS distillation setup that can handle 10 atms for your hydrazine needs. Or for the occasional distillation of HF.:D

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