First TechShop Project

A friend of mine out in California has been working on projects for years at a place called TechShop. It's basically a tool co-op. Instead of having to maintain a shop in your home, you pay for a membership and use the co-ops tools in its facility.

TechShop is an expensive proposition to join. There's the membership, plus the cost of the certification classes you have to take before you can use the facility. It's only going to be worth it if you actually go there and make things. This location here in Pittsburgh just opened this month, and I've already taken two classes I needed to get started in their wood shop. What better way to spend a day than making my first project there?


Cypress Tool Chest

It's just another Japanese tool chest, but I made it at TechShop. Since all their equipment is brand new and super sharp, plus they have some equipment that's just better than mine, plus they have some equipment I just don't have, this one is a little nicer than the others I have made. Also, I have more practice now.

Anyway, this chest is made of cypress wood. I started with 1x12 for the width, and 1x8 for the height. The main purpose of this chest is to be a base for my cherry marudai which is about 12 inches wide, so that's why the chest is so wide.

I spent about six hours there working on this, if you don't count the time I had to run out and buy screws at the local Home Despot. TechShop is only about 12 minutes from home, so it was tempting to just run home, but the store is only about 5 minutes away. Plus, if you stay parke din the garage more than three hours, they start to charge you. Taking a break half way through means not paying for parking.

Here's hoping I get a lot more use out of TechShop. The lighting is much better there, plus there's tons more room to work. If I start getting checked out on the laser cutter, water jet cutter, industrial sewing machines, and metal shop, I think I could get up to some real trouble.

2013.03.13 at 10:00pm EDT