Saturday, April 2, 2011

Techshop Seattle

I wish... (no really, first star I see tonight)

But at least the Seattle Times has an article on what it is.
Sadly, the Techshop website does not have any listing for plans to come to Seattle, and I have no desire to uproot my kids and move. So, I'm going to have to take business classes, learn as much autodesk cad/cam as I can find, and save my pennies.

Heh, right now My tool box consists of a leatherman.

I miss my Dad's workshop. After he retired, he worked at the physical plant at a small college in Idaho. The same college I got my teaching degree in.

Dad was the kind of guy who would one day, out of the blue, build a recessed bookshelf right into a wall, or re-tile the kitchen floor, or convert the garage into a family room.

I went to my 8th grade class, and when I got home... the garage was carpeted, sheet rock was applied to what once was a garage door, as well as the rest of the walls, a new arch was cut into the wall and finished with proper trim, electrical outlets added, and the entire thing coated in stucco. A couple bookshelves, a couch, a tv, and our new atari 2600 to complete the picture.

 The only way to tell it had ever NOT been a family room was the smell of new paint. I can only assume he waited till I had left, and had his hired tool ninjas spring from hiding and hustle all day in a mad frenzy, just so he could see the look on my face when I got home.

Over the years, with his tools, I built a sand and water table to demonstrate erosion, a working hovercraft... multiple five feet around hot air balloons made from tissue paper, a mirrored kaleidescope big enough to stand in,  A blue box, a beige box, A cobra phone rheostat frequency switcher, A smoke ring vortex cannon, a breadboard radio, a series of hand made electrical motors, an electroplating glass, a rain jar, an oscilloscope, a potato gun, Several wooden puppets, A bicycle wheel gyroscope, and a whole lot of paper engineering prototypes I could then teach to my classes.

Now I live in an apartment. I have no tools, and my dad is on the other side of the state. The handymen in my complex fix whatever my leatherman can't handle, something I truly appreciate. Most of the projects I work on now are cut from cardstock with an exacto knife. My soldering iron is so buried in storage, I'm sure I'll never find it.

I must admit, I'm not particularly skilled with hand tools, and I envy those who are. What I do have though, is a strong computer background, a lot of chemestry, physics, and electronics, and I can learn. Cad/cam design is right up my alley. 3d printing,  5 axis routers, laser cutters... THESE are the tools for me.

I want my own techshop so bad I can taste it.


  1. Why not reaching out to TechShop and spearhead the development of it in Seattle. I would support it big time.

  2. I have, actually, I've spoken to two separate people from tech shop and they are not franchising... but they are keeping my name on file.

    I'm hoping to hear more from them. One of the things they need is to raise enough money to set up shop. they are asking for loans that they will payback at 10% interest, along with giving lifetime memberships... Its one of the things I'm saving for.

    Sadly, as I'm an ex-teacher supporting Fiber optic installers as a network technician, I make sure fiber Pon circuits work... I don't particularly make money.

  3. I came across your blog while checking on Seattle TechShop stuff. (FYI, before the recession, a Seattle location was in the works. See
    You may be interested in a new hackerspace in Seattle, Air Light Time & Space:

  4. Thank you, Matt, that looks like a very cool space... absolutely the sort of thing I'm looking for... I'm probably going to make my own, relatively soon (maybe a year of two, tops) I'm right now trying to plan out a way to make a living while doing it. I'll go visit the actual location in the next week or two... in the meantime, I'm forwarding the website to a couple buddies trying to build some interesting things, see if they like it as well.