2013/04/09

DHMN Makerspace Workbenches

The new DHMN makerspace (Distributed Hacker/Maker Network) on Morrison Street in Appleton, Wisconsin, is a relatively small space. However, makerspaces are for 'making' things, so workbenches seem like an essential ingredient for our new facility.

There are three logical places for workbenches in the basement of the DHMN makerspace.
  1. In the large, main workspace.
  2. In the alcove next to the kitchen and electrical/utility room.
  3. In the storage room.
The most obvious location for a couple workbenches is in the main workspace, the big central room which recently had the walls re-done. At least 92 different configurations and layouts of workbenches could be proposed, and the entire perimeter of the workspace could be lined with workbenches of all sizes, shapes, purposes and colors.

However, because the makerspace at Morrison Street will be primarily used for quiet and smaller projects (think Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, programming, knitting, stenciling, authoring, model rocket building, stained glass, etc), much of the 'making' will not require a workbench and can just be done at the regular tables. Those regular tables will be able to accommodate many more people and a wider variety of projects than some workbenches would lend themselves to. So it makes sense to have more 8' x 30" tables with folding legs than workbenches in the main workspace. What I propose is to have two heavy duty and versatile workbenches located along the east wall of the main room, as shown on the drawing that Jason handed out at last week's make session (or at least I think he handed them out).

Having two good workbenches (each with two high workbench stools) in the main room along with four 8' x 30" tables which each have eight stackable or folding chairs (six chairs each if we don't have the more compact stackable type chairs) will give seating and work area for 30+ makers at one time. 

There will be times when quiet activities will be the focus of the main room activities. For situations like that, it will be good to have a couple workbenches in areas outside the main room for people who need to drill or pound on their projects. There are two locations outside the main workspace that could be used for workbenches with this type of reason for existing.

One location outside the main workspace which is good for a workbench is the small alcove next to the kitchen and electrical/utility room. There are some less-than-stellar shelves there right now, but it seems like DHMNs purposes are better served by storing tools and supplies in the storage room and putting a workbench in that alcove. The alcove will accommodate a large workbench, maybe something like 7.5' or 8' long by 36" deep. There is probably nowhere else in the basement as well suited to a large workbench like that. When someone wants to drill or do other heavier-duty work on a large project, a workbench in this location would be perfect.

The other location for a workbench outside the main work room is in the storage room. Along the east wall of the storage room are a set of also-less-than-stellar shelves. Those shelves could be taken out and a 24" to 30" deep workbench put in place of the shelves. Having a workbench in the storage room gives a workbench where someone can go into a separate room and close the door to work on their somewhat noisy project.

We'll be downstairs from The Avenue HQ coworking office spaces and from Willems Marketing, so we can't do a lot of loud work, but at least the workbench in the storage room gives a workspace where the lower-decibel noises can be isolated behind a door.

If four workbenches are set up as described above, it gives a nice mix of locations and types of workbenches, as well as allowing for a maximum number of tables and chairs for people working on projects that don't necessarily require a full-on workbench with vises and thick wooden top.

Work On!

*****

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