Category Archives: Construction

Arts and Crafts Area partially operational

As FCW works to get all areas rebuilt after the fire, some areas are further along than others.   One of the expanded areas is Arts & Crafts.  Spawned from the Stagecraft shop and light Fabrication labs at the old space before the fire,  A&C, when completed, will have all of stagecraft (sets, props, costumes, efx, lighting, sound), 3d printing, lasercutting, and contain a model shop (metal, wood and plastic working), glass shop, art, photography/videography,  and VR.

A significant portion of the model shop and fabrication is now operational.  The model shop is for reasonably small items, large items should be built in the wood shop and metal shop.

Hutch welder MIG/Stick with spool gun

Bolton metal lathe

For metal working, A&C has a welder, bandsaw, small metal lathe, chop saw, and drill press. These will soon be joined by a desktop CNC mill and some sheet metal tools.

For woodworking,  A&C has a table saw, small jointer, and drill press, which will soon be joined by a sander, bandsaw, and miter saw.

For fabrication, the shop just got in a Lasersaur laser cutter

Lasersaur 2’x4′, The cheesy grin belongs to Robert

(courtesy of Dallas Makerspace) to join two small laser cutters previously donated.  These will be set up over the next few weeks as exhaust ducts are installed.

 

There is also a vinyl cutter and 3d printer operational in A&C.  Other items being currently set up are sewing machines, an overlock machine, an industrial sewing machine, a vacu-former, and a powdercoat/curing oven.  This area is adjacent to the electronics shop (partially operational)and science center (under construction), both of which add additional capabilities.

 

FCW Open House

FCW will be having an Open House at the new facility on Friday, December 15 from 5-9PM and Saturday, December 16 from 10AM-6PM.  Even though visitors are welcome anytime someone is at FCW, at the Open Houses, we make a special effort to show of the advantages of FCW,  This Open House is special in that is the first one since the fire destroyed nearly everything at the Shuford facility.

At the open house, we will have:

  • Food – mainly burgers and hotdogs on Friday, a more traditional meal on Saturday.
  • Demos  of replacement equipment.
  • Tours of the new facility and future plans.
  • Activities

The Open House is at the new facility at 141 N. Main St., Granite Falls, NC 28630  (directly on 321-A).  Note that parking is at the rear of the building.   This activity is free and open to the public.

We Have A New Building!!

New FCW at 141 N. Main St.

As of Monday, October 31, 2017.  FCW has a new location.  Since the fire on July 21, we have been obtaining equipment and looking for a new home.  Many of our members spent extra time, money and effort to help FCW get started again.

The new location is at 141 N. Main St. Granite Falls, NC.  We have to do some work but can start up several operations soon.  This location is 11000 sq. ft which is slightly over twice the previous space.   Due to scrounging and donations, we have roughly 60% of our equipment back and plan to start up the areas as soon as possible.  This is a two story building and has large external doors accessing both floors.  This building is air-conditioned and has 5 restrooms.

Part of top floor as equipment is moved in

There is a lot of internal construction and wiring to be done for full operation. The current plan is as follows:

 

Top Floor:

  • Common Area/Lounge
  • StM  vintage computer museum
  • Classroom
  • Galley (expanded from before)
  • Science Center, containing:
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Supporting subjects
  • Electrical,  containing:
    • Electronics
    • K4FCW -Ham radio station
    • Robotics
    • Mechatronics
    • Motors and Controls
    • PLCs
    • Computer repair
  • Arts & Crafts, containing:
    • Stagecraft
    • Costumes/sewing
    • Sets
    • Props
    • Lighting/sound
    • Animatronics
    • Special effects and CGI
    • Art/Sculpture
    • Glass shop
    • Jewelry
    • Videography
    • VR
    • Model shop
    • 3d Printing
    • Laser cutting
  • Railroad

The Science Center and Railroad will take additional time before they can be used.

The lower floor contains:

  • Office
  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking, containing:
    • Machine shop
    • Sheet metal shop
    • Welding
  • Canteen
  • Exercise room (new)

The metal shop will take some time to build.  The wood shop is missing a few items which should be replaced soon.

The crew is working to make the space usable as soon as possible.  Spread the word — FCW is back!!

 

Recent Woodshop Updates

A lot has been happening with the FCW woodshop lately, primarily in the manual equipment area.  In late Summer, a Slide Miter Saw was donated.Slide-mitersaw-small  A short time later, several members donated money to purchase a wood lathe.  Harbor-freight-wood-lathe-smallThis lathe, along with lathes loaned by Rick, Dave, and Colin, will be used for woodturning classes, and, of course, it will be available for general use by members and guests.  Then, in late September, the opportunity arose to purchase an industrial 20″ bandsaw.  20in-bandsaw-smallAgain, the members came through with funds and, after much grunting and wheezing, the bandsaw arrived.  It needs cleaning, painting and wiring but was tested before purchase and works well.

Finally, in October, a Woodmaster 18″ planer/molder and 18″ drum sander were donated and picked up. Woodmaster-Planer-small Like the bandsaw, they need wiring.  The woodshop crew: Rick, Ross, Kay, Dave, and Gary Woodmaster-sander-smallwill be laying out the shop over the next few weeks so that wiring should begin around Christmas.  Many thanks to all those who donated time, money, equipment and muscle to obtain and move these machines.  They should greatly enhance the capabilities of the woodshop.

New Space Opened

FCW recently acquired some additional space adjacent to the “cave”.    The space consists of two rooms.  One is 20×24 ft and the other 20×20 ft giving a total of 880 sq ft of additional space.  Both rooms are on an outside wall, giving an additional 6 windows for external access.  As seems to be our lot in life, one of the rooms has no power at all and the other has a single circuit that is at least 50 years old.  Also, there is no control over the lights, so one of the first tasks will be to wire the area.

There have been several suggestions as to what to put in the new area including: an extension to the woodshop; the science lab, glass shop and ovens; a prop/costume shop,  a small office; and others.  It will be used for supply and project storage until the wiring and remodeling  occur.

With this space, FCW has averaged an expansion every 13 months, with the initial space Sept. 2011,  storage area Nov. 2012,  Lab Nov 2013, and new space Dec. 2014.  Now it just needs a name.

New Office Floor

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Saturday, May 11, FCW installed a new floating floor in the “office” area.  The laminate flooring was furnished by Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and matches the flooring in the Model Shop and Classroom.  Besides making the area look better, the floor should reduce the dust.  This area contains the Ham Radio station (K4FCW), the Electronics Shop,  and the Lounge.  Furniture was re-arranged to create a kitchenette in the alcove.  There is still quite a bit of setup required since everything had to be moved for the floor, but all should be fully usable within a short time.

Cinderella Carriage Nearly Complete

SONY DSC
Cinderella Carriage

FCW has been building a carriage for the play “Cinderella” to be given at South Caldwell High School in May. Ross designed the carriage and built a 1/6 model. Then with some help from Warren and Rick, Ross completed the full sized unit. The final finish, painting and decorating will be done by the school drama department, who also paid for the expensive parts.
The carriage has working steering and is capable of being disassembled for storage. It was mainly cut out using a CNC router. FCW will be getting a PR spot in the play brochure.