Category Archives: FCW

Physical Meetings Cancelled — Covid 19

In order to help prevent the spread of the Covid 19 virus. All Physical meetings of FCW are cancelled until further notice.  This includes the regular Tuesday and Saturday meetings; the GDG and Like Unix groups; and any classes/workshops.

Members may still work on projects on an individual basis as long as social distancing is practiced.

Provisions are being made for Virtual meetings.  Additional information will be forthcoming.

More Machine Shop

Programmable Heat Treating Furnace

Here are two additional items donated by Corning.  The first is a programmable Heat Treating Furnace.  Along with the Hardness Tester, previously donated to the Science Area, this gives FCW a start on manipulating hardness of steel fabrications.

The second item is a RAM EDM.  For those not familiar with Electrical Discharge Machining, this machine literally burns holes in metal using electrodes.  It is possible to create blind holes of odd shapes, or even create threaded holes in stainless steel.

Both units need some cleaning and wiring.  We have the materials, so it is just a matter of time (hopefully short) before they are on-line.  Again, many thanks to Corning for the donation.

Welcome the Mills

Many thanks to Corning for donating two Tree CNC mills to FCW.  Kudos to Brad, Oscar, and Kay for the unloading and positioning.  They need a little TLC and power but should be up and running soon.

(BTW- The one on the left may make Star Trek fans a little nervous)

How Dry I Am!

A recent donation included this industrial drying cabinet.  It is proving valuable to create low humidity storage for 3d printer filament, welding rods, and anything that the Science Center may need.

After running for 20 minutes, it had dropped the internal Relative Humidity (RH) from 59% to 15%.  After one day, it seems to be holding at 6% RH.

Ham Radio Tech Class – Jan 2020 – VE exams Feb 1

FCW will be hosting an Amateur Radio (Ham) entry level Techician Class in January 2020.  This class will prepare participants to take the Technician exam, which will be offered at the end of the class.

 The  sessions will concentrate on the more difficult portions of the exam.  The instructor is Gary Schwartz

Class #1 Sat Jan 11, 9:30-12

Class#2 Sat Jan 18, 9:30-12

Class#3 Sat Jan 25,  9:30-12

Exam: Sat Feb 1, 10 AM

The sessions will be held at FoothillsCommunity Workshop, 141North Main Street, GraniteFalls, NC 28630

The class and all materials are free and will be available online for downloading.  This class is open to the public.

The exam fee is $10. The exam is at all levels and is available to anyone wishing to obtain or upgrade an Amateur Radio license.

For more information, contact michelle@foothillscommunityworkshop.org or call 828-754-5002

 

Open House, Dec 7 and 8

Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dec. 15, 2017

FCW will host an Open House on Friday, Dec. 7 from 4-9PM and Saturday, Dec 8 from 10AM-6PM.  Although visitors are welcome at FCW anytime someone is at the space; at the Open House there will be

  • Food
  • Tours of the areas
  • Demonstrations
  • Activities

Much has been done since the previous open house.  Demos in Arts & Crafts will include the 3d printers, laser cutters, and CNC mill.  The Electronics area will be showing Arduinos, propeller and Raspberry Pis.  The Ham Radio station, K4FCW will be operating, and (with any luck) the railroad will be operational.

Primary parking is in the rear.  This event is free and open to the public.

Ham Radio Field Day

On Saturday, June 23 starting at 2PM through Sunday, June 24 at 2PM, FCW’s Amateur Radio station, K4FCW will participate in Field Day.

Sponsored by the ARRL, Field Day is set up as a contest to make contacts all across the US and Canada.  It allows Hams to set up portable/emergency equipment for practice and provides an opportunity to introduce Ham Radio to new people.

K4FCW will be operating  to introduce persons to Ham Radio.  If you are a Ham, or interested in Ham Radio, come by (it is a 24 hour event), and “get your feet wet” on long distance radio communications.  Our antenna system is still being rebuilt, since the fire, but we will be operating.

Contact Michelle, kd4ytu at michelle@foothillscommunityworkshop.org or (828) 754-5002 for more details.

This event is free and open to the public.

Grand re-Opening/Open House

Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dec. 15, 2017

It has been a long journey since the fire on July 21 last year,  but FCW has, for the most part, recovered nicely.  On “Star Wars Day”, Friday May 4, from 4-9PM and Saturday, May 5 from 9AM-6PM. FCW will be having an Open House celebrating the re-Opening of several areas for usability.    The areas ready for use are:

Electronics – includes electrical, analog and digital electronics, microprocessors, robotics, computers, networks, automation, PLCs, soldering, and Internet of Things.

Arts & Crafts – includes the former stagecraft and fabrication areas: model shop (wood, metal, plastic and glass), sewing, laser cutting, 3d printing, sets, props, costumes, special effects, lighting, sound, video, animation, and VR.

K4FCW- the Amateur Radio station.

Classroom – set up for 20 participants.

Computers/robotics/gaming – includes general computing and all kinds of games.

Computer Museum – various vintage computers.

Lounge – a place to relax.

Woodshop – includes woodturning, woodworking, construction, and CNC routing.

As usual, with the Open Houses, there will be food, tours, demos and activities.  One special activity this time is a retro-gaming which includes vintage computer games, console games, and arcade games.

The address is 141 N. Main St, Granite Falls, phone 828-212-0930.  This event is free and open to the public.

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.

 

Robotics Club Meeting at FCW

Alex instructs the Catawba Valley Robotics group

Alex is meeting with the Catawba Valley Robotics Club at FCW on Wednesday evenings from 5PM until around 8PM.  This group is composed of children of Elementary and Middle School age and uses the Lego robotics components.  The group competes in contests involving tasks for autonomous (self controlled) robots.

Any kids in the age range, and their parents are welcome to attend.