Skip to content

Mobile Makerspace

I would like to invite  bit of discussion on the concept of a mobile makerspace, as a portable educational portal for various skills of interest to the patriot community.  There are two areas for discussion, the missions, and therefore needs and equipment of the space, and the fundraising and programs to set it up and keep it running and providing service to the communities it supports.

There are three basic missions I see:

Middle to advanced manufacturing–basic techniques like welding and machining, and more adadvanced ones like showing what a 3D printer or cnc machine is like and how it works.

Electronics–from radios to drones to cracking cell phones, it’s a good idea when playing with very expensive gear to have someone around who knows what they’re doing, and help keep you from letting the magic smoke out.  Aside from basic soldering, this is a place I’d be looking at providing some facilities and equipment, and having someone else provide expertise.

Firearms-again, something where it’s nice to have an experienced hand looking over your shoulder to keep you from making expensive mistakes.  Most of gunsmithing just needs a bench and some jigs, but advanced work, like manufacturing, can be taught since the other equipment is available.  Reloading would also potentially be on the list of skills to be taught.  Again, something where most teaching would be done by others.

Some comment on the above would be appreciated.  Trailers would provide more space, but due to weight issues would be more space than machine.

The other side of this coin is funding.  I’d want at least a 20 foot truck, preferably 24 or more, I’d need a welder, a generator, probably a compressor, computers, machine tools, etc.  The truck would need some modifications to support the machine tools, and probably other work since it’d be a used truck.  A fifth wheel trailer and truck could work too, but would probably be just as expensive, though probably easier to get and set up.

All that will top a hundred grand.  With some work togeneralize the missions, groups other than patriots could hire it out, but it will also cost a few hundred to park it (still need to keep it registered and insured etc.) When not on tour, and a few thousand a month to drive it around.

Western RiflesRifleshooter’s Association promotes a lot of training events this could be good for, but moving something like this around would be rather pricey and harder to justify.  Getting some ideas on that though would be good.  80% receivers and printed doodads are nice, but I’m not thinking of much past that.


Blogspot doesn’t like to let me comment for some reason, but I felt a need to talk about this. You can still get some decent stuff from Radio Shack, so by all means. Most locations have been more of a cell phone store than a general electronics store for the longest time, but they’ve kept a decent collection of components.

As for the replacement? They’ve been all around for a while, and I actually doubt that many makers have been using them as a source of supply for a while. Most decent sized places have a store like Gateway, and most of these stores actually are better for the electronics enthusiast that Radio Shack. Some even still carry vacuum tubes.  You might have to do some digging to find your local store, but it’s worth it.

The other alternative is online, of course.  sites like Sparkfun or Solarbotics.  These sites focus on smaller stuff(though still useful, like Arduino), so a site like The Robot Marketplace  for the heavy duty stuff.  AndyMark will be familiar with those who participate in FIRST Robotics, as they’re a sponsor and a main source for the competition legal parts.

As I said, likely if you do a lot of this stuff, you already know of the local sources, and there are even more websites out there.  I’ll be happy to make a list in a post if I get a lot of links in the comments.

Printing, printing…

Tomorrow I’m gonna pick up the keys for the shop, and get my stuff moved over.  I’ll also hopefully have pics of the waldo I’m printing here and at school, and a discussion of 3d printing, my Leapfrog versus the Dimension at school.  I’ll also be able to go crazy on a post about the shop and it’s goals, since this print is a bit of a big deal, it’s the second useful thing I’ve printed, and a demonstration of how I want to make industry work and all that dream and vision stuff.

In the meantime, I’d post a few pics of the printer running if the 3G was working right.  Since it isn’t, good night.


Weaponsman lays down on making/adapting rifling machines.  It appears easier than I was seeing the last time I looked at it, but still complicated, especially if you want to make lots of barrels.  You still need to gun drill though, and that’s not fun.

Drills and the difficulty of drilling a hole is generally determined by the ratio of the diameter to the depth.  Per a manufacturer, gun drilling is typically used when the ratio exceeds 20:1, and can work up to 400:1.  For a .223″ hole, that would be 4.46″ to 89.2″  I doubt many people will be putting an 89″ barrel on an AR, so you can see the advantage.  It uses a special straight flute bit, not all lathes can feed slow enough to run one, and you need a high pressure coolant feed.

Be wonderful to get a post by someone who’s done it, to get a proper laydown of what’s needed.


Hi, my name is fabbersmith, and it’s been a month since my last post.  Now that the holidays are done, I can try to post more, and I have 3d CAD software and got some of the 3d printer fixed, so I can start posting about some of that now.  Basically, unless you spend close to ten grand at least, you can expect a lot of work to get a printer up and running, though a lot of the ones over a thousand don’t take too much physical work.  I need to figure out why the filament is screwing up, though I think I need to get the heaters recalibrated.

So, happy New Year, and hopefully you’ll see more of me this month.

patriot video game

So, it was brought up on that post on WSRA about kids not knowing skills, and how distracted they are with games and stuff. Games could be a fun way to get people interested, and show how these things can matter. A good shooter isn’t all shooting though, there are usually puzzles, and these too can be used to introduce them to practical physical skills. It also exposes, I’m not just a fabbersmith, I’m a wordsmith as well.

In five minutes I had thought up part of a decent plot. Gamer dude lives across the street from preppers, who get raided. Stray bullets make it across the street, and his mom who he’s living with dies. Trouble ensues, cops try to intimidate him into not testifying, and he ends up with a militia group.

Not sure about the exact trigger on the raid, but it’d be something that triggers more raids as well, starting a civil war scenario. The group that rescues him convinces him to help expose the atrocities that are happening, and maybe get a ceasefire that will allow secession to happen with little bloodshed. The maybe/maybe not on that is open, but it gets a story.

The game mechanics I think are the important part. You don’t get to carry ten guns and a million rounds of ammo, and may not end up with a gun at all. You also frequently end up with crappy guns, and may have to pick a gun that be used through several diverse scenarios—you might bypass a useful AR for a running battle for a pistol that will be easier to conceal later when escaping. The thought was also to do a very open world, where lots of choices happen. When running, you can just run, or find a cheap .22 in someone’s house, or find a dying veteran who tells you where to find a Garand and a bunch of black tip. You might find an AR, but have to put the FCG together real quick(and get it right or risk jamming) to get a gun, or just nab some ammo to trade for something later. Fun stuff.

There are three basic points—you can’t escape politics, they’re far too interested in you. Even the gamer in his mom’s basement can’t escape into fantasy. You have to have skills—someone who already knows how to put an AR lower together can get it done and have a gun, whereas if you just stumble around, you’re making due with less, or nothing. You might need to do some math and other stuff to solve some puzzles, and the more you know the better. Part of the goal is to introduce people to those skills and maybe get them to do some studying. For those that are already patriots, it can help show holes—the multiplayer mode would be designed for them, but during the game you might see the guy having trouble because the hand signs he uses in the Call of Duty generic clone he plays aren’t the same as the militia guys use. You have ammo shortages, and weapons troubles.

There are several “engines” for the non-gamers, that can be used for this sort of thing, it would just take some story and world development, which we could open source, and then just some coding and lots of modeling. Some voice acting as well. It’d be fun.

Thought it might be worth getting some input and gauge some interest, any thoughts?

pictures are stalling

Trying to get some pics in the next post, too late for tonight, see you tomorrow hopefully.