Weekday Literati 1

Taking the initiative to being more of an educational group, we’ve decided that Wednesday is now class day here at Quelab. Here on out, we want to have a class every Wednesday night after Co-Working.

So, to start it out I will be hosting a class on glass etching this coming Wednesday, starting at 7PM, and running until about 10PM, or until everyone is done with their project. It’ll be a simple class, with a $15 per-person fee, and I can teach up to ten people how to etch their own pint glass (or glass object brought).

Register Here

And we’re going to keep having classes every Wednesday, all taught by community members about subjects which interest them… and hopefully you too. Here’s a quick schedule:

Date Subject Capacity Register
15 Aug Glass Etching
22 Aug Pre-Empted this week by Ignite NM 13 B
29 Aug Solar Jars 6
5 Sep Spray Painting Space Scenes 5-15
12 Sep Long exposure, Pinhole Camera making/developing 10
19 Sep How to Change your Oil like a Tech 10
26 Sep TBA — Sign up to teach here

And we intend on continuing this through September and October and beyond! If there is any subject you want to teach about, or you know someone who is passionate about what it is they do and they want to teach others, let them know, and we’ll see if we can fit them in. We’ve got tentative classes lined up all the way to December!

EDIT (17 Aug): More registration links for Classes added.

Calling All Musicians! 3

bottlecap contact microphones

Circuit-Bending Hackerspace Rock Band, CMKT 4, is doing a workshop Wednesday, May 9th, 7-9:PM building contact microphones in conjunction with Quelab. These microphones are powerful enough to do whatever you want, and accessible enough for all skill levels. Plus, they’re made out of bottle caps, which is just awesome. It’s a DIY electronics project that leaves you ready to do other projects, too. Register at any hacknight or through Eventbrite.

Workshop attendees will learn how to solder/improve existing soldering skills, work with recycled materials, and develop a basic understanding of piezoelectricity. The process involves a 45 minute dry-time, during which CMK4 will entertain the workshop attendees with a live performance. Additional kits and microphones will be available for purchase, as well.

There will be a separate members-only event later in May. If you’re interested, please contact us about details!

See them in action on YouTube.


Photos from the workshop can be seen here, And Wookie (Ready handed Media) took some video.)

Terry’s Amazing Little Camping Trailer 7

Terry Holt is a local Albuquerque maker who I met three weeks ago. He’s got an extensive background in engineering, but these days he’s working on (among other things) a portable structure he can tow behind his car and use to camp in relative comfort!

His first version was designed out of foam insulation.  He chose it as his material to prototype the design because it is light weight and easy to work, with the plan to eventually make the final design out of plywood.  After several months of use he found the strengths and weaknesses in his design. Ultimately he decided to stick with the light weight foam insulation instead of the plywood. This allows for it to be setup and taken down by himself in under 5 minutes and makes for a structure that is probably better insulated than my apartment!

It’s a little rough looking as he has recycled a good bit of his last version into this one.  I admit, with a quick coat of latex paint it might look a little less like a disposable cooler, but leaving it how it is does make it plain to see how it all works.  He had just finished building it, and I have no doubt that with a little spare duct-tape and care this one will last him a while.

Terry recently demonstrated the structure for Quelab members.  He brought it by not to gloat or show off (he’s really not that type), but as an example of the kinds of things he can do if members have ideas they want help making into a reality!

Below is a link to pictures I took of Terry’s project.


Event: Steampunk It Up – Saturday August 20th 2

Steampunk Goggles!

This month we’re celebrating everything Steampunk at Quelab!  Steampunkers, if you’re unfamiliar, try to imagine what the modern life would look like if technology had stopped in the Victorian era (think Wild Wild West).  Here’s a recent Alibi article on Steampunk. Join local Steampunk fans as we share our Steampunk creations. Bring your Steampunk costuming, jewelry, and/or toy-weapon supplies to work on, or trade for what you need.  We will provide an array of adhesives/tapes, spray paints, clays, friendly plastic strips, metal/cloth scraps, beads, cogs, batteries and LED’s to give your project some spark!  5-10pm Saturday, August 20th.  $10 for non-members, kids under 12 are free.

Two Quelab Instructables posts, about balloons.

Despite having to fly out of the state for a week, just before our big event, I pulled off a magic trick and found time to post two small instructabiles.

One is just a simple way to make a teeny “Throwie” (LED and battery, usually also a magnet, although i skipped that), and put it in a helium balloon.

And another one just a few minutes ago, about our project to launch a camera up over our Hackerspace on a tethered balloon!

or you can skip the instructable and just watch the youtube video from the balloon.

Non fire, paper popper/banger/cracker

To continue the tradition of celebrating Independence day, in a safe way, but also respecting the fire danger and such we are facing in the drought parched southwest.

All you need is a nice bit of paper! And its easy to refold and use over and over again! takes a bit of arm speed so might not ve good for little kids, but then again most noisemakers/fireworks are not to be used by children under 8.

The following video has been marked as not being embedded, so I give you the simple youtube link.

Have a fun 4th of July!

Safe Non-Fire Fireworks!

What with a large fire danger, and all the people worried about fireworks, i wanted to share with you all one of my favorite simple science demos.

Milk color explosions!

You will need:
A plate or wide flat shallow bowl, (depth is not really needed much
Whole Milk, (it can be about to expire, heck it could probably be expired, but might smell better if not!)
Some food coloring droppers
A little dish detergent, and a toothpick (toothpick is optional)

The above video does a good job of demonstrating it, but we have found if you get a gob of detergent on the toothpick you can poke it in multiple places to create color explosions all over the place. and sometimes when it looks like the effect is diminishing, all it needs is a little fresh soap.

Try making different patterns in the milk first. also Ive found teeny drops of color are better than huge puddles.

Send us links to your photos if you (or your kids) try this!