Like many other organizations, FCW scaled back operations during the Covid pandemic. Classes and meetings were paused, but the space was still available for members to work on projects.
One of our members, Colin M., used the time to build a 17 ft. strip canoe. Colin is a recent graduate in Mechanical Engineering and works as a designer for a local furniture company. He is also good at machining, welding, and is our CNC router guru.
Using plans that were purchased, Colin set up a work area in our outbuilding and located the appropriate
wood. He used the CNC router initially to make a custom stand for the canoe. Using the FCW woodshop, the strips were cut and hand fitted into place, then glued. The shell was
assembled, sanded, covered with fiberglass, then finished. Colin then made seats and a pair of oars.
The initial trip was over Mother’s Day weekend, and except for a few scratches was successful. Colin sent a picture of the completed canoe to the seller of the plans and was sent a set of plans for a kayak for free — so the next project is starting.
FCW was recently donated a vertical plastic injection molding
machine. The Gluco VS 25 will handle molds about 8×8 inches and several plastic and rubber materials. The machine is wired for 460V but can be reconfigured for 230V. Getting power to it will take some time since it is behind several other projects. After that, FCW should be able to make molds, then plastic parts.
Thanks to Brad, Oscar, and Colin M. for unloading the machine and getting it inside. It was taller than the door so had to be partially disassembled. It was working well when taken out of service and appears to be in good shape.
FCW has been fortunate to have been donated thousands of parts to the Electronics shop. Things start off with the Parts Wall,
containing parts donated by Hackerspace Charlotte, Dallas Makerspace and FCW members. There is a similar one in the Arts & Crafts area containing hardware and mechanical parts
That was later followed by a huge donation from UTC. Three cabinet carousels contain chips, transistors, connectors, relays, and numerous other parts, including a lot of Surface Mount components. These are still being sorted and it will take a while to complete.
UTC also donated an electronics parts cabinet with resistors, capacitors, relays and switches, and an electrical parts cabinet containing conduit fittings, boxes, breakers, outlets, plugs and sockets, and tools. All of these are available for projects, repair, and general learning.