Makerspace Starter Kit Available

For a variety of reasons that aren’t relevant here, I must dramatically reduce the amount of stuff in the Basement Laboratory / Machine Shop / Warehouse.

If you (or someone you know) has / is starting / will start a makerspace or similar organization, here’s an opportunity to go from zero to hero with a huge infusion of tools / instruments / make-froms / raw material / gadgets / surplus gear.

Think of it as a Makerspace Starter Kit: everything you need in one acquisition.

You’ve seen much of the stuff in these blog posts during the past five years, although I tightly crop the photos for reasons that should be obvious when you consider the backgrounds.

A few glimpses, carefully chosen to make the situation look much tidier than it really is:

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I’m not a hoarder, but I can look right over the fence into that territory…

I want to donate the whole collection to an organization that can figure out how to value it and let me write it off. Failing that, I’m willing to sell the whole collection to someone who will move it out and enjoy it / put it to good use / part it out / hoard it.

We can quibble over the value, which surely lies between scrap metal and filet mignon.

As nearly as I can estimate from our last two moves, I have 6±2 short tons of stuff:

  • Metal shop: old South Bend lathe / vertical mill-drill / bandsaw / hand tools / arbor press
  • Cabinets / shelves loaded with cutters / tools / micrometers / calipers / whatever
  • Gas & electric welding equipment, gas foundry furnace
  • Walls / bins / drawers of fasteners / wire nuts / plumbing fittings / pipe clamps / you-name-its
  • Bookshelves of references / magazines / databooks; I’ll keep at most one set of the magazines with my columns
  • Ham radio equipment / antennas / cables
  • Radial saw, blades, clamps, tooling, and a lumber / plywood stockpile
  • Labeled boxes of make-froms on steel shelving; you get the shelves, the boxes, and their contents.
  • Solvents, chemicals, metals, minerals, elements, etc.
  • Electronic / optical / mechanical surplus & doodads
  • Stockpiles of metal rods / pipes / beams / flanges / sheets / scrap parts
  • Tools & toys & treasures beyond your wildest imagination

When we left Raleigh, the moving company estimator observed “This will be like moving a Home Depot!”

You must take everything, which means you must have the ability & equipment to handle 6±2 tons of stuff in relatively small, rather heavy, not easily stackable lumps. You’ll need 1000+ square feet of space with at least a seven-foot ceiling on your end to unload the truck(s) and create a solid block of stuff with skinny aisles between the shelves. This is not a quick afternoon trip for you, your BFF, a pickup truck, and a storage unit.

I plan to keep the Sherline, the M2 3D printer, various small tools, some hardware / parts / stock, most of the electronic instruments (antique-ish, at best) and components, plus odds and ends. I’ll extract or clearly mark those items, leaving your team to move everything else without (too many) on-the-fly decisions.

I can provide photos and descriptions, but, realistically, you should evaluate the situation in person.

Although we’re not planning to move in the near future, if you’re thinking of moving into the Mid Hudson Valley and always wanted a house with a ready-to-run Basement Shop, we can probably work something out. Note: all of the online real estate descriptions, including Zillow, seem confused, as the two houses on our two-acre property contain the total square footage / rooms / baths / whatever. Contact us for the Ground Truth after you’ve contemplated the satellite view.

As the saying goes, “Serious inquiries only.”

21 thoughts on “Makerspace Starter Kit Available

  1. I’m not consciously trying to be a hoarder but I think I might be. I have been trying to find the time to get rid of everything that I can for years as well but that cannot and will not be through trash/waste disposal. I donate as much as possible to local organizations or maker communities and individuals as I see the needs or requests. I suppose hoarders often have actual trash in the mix as well. I have just tried to rescue as much good tech junk as possible knowing what it is and that it deserves a good home. Like my wife tells me, it didn’t happen overnight so it can’t be cleaned up over night. There’s always a happy medium, the trouble is finding it.

      1. Sophi pointed me at the Hackaday Traveling Hacker Box… I could carpet-bomb that project with goodies!

        Certainly a good idea, although a bit slow to help clean out my stash. I understand your “all or nothing”, as digging through everything to piecemeal it out just makes a mess and takes too much time. Also, local COSI-type institutions can be rather picky about certain items if they contain glass (read, liability). That can make donations difficult, since nearly every device worth taking apart can have a display of sorts (scanners, printers, laptops, etc.)

        1. They’re using a Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box, so I’d be in the position of shipping an approximately infinite number of astonishingly heavy $13.45 packages.

          But, yeah, I ain’t man enough to pick up / admire / remember every single thing in the Basement Warehouse before stuffing it into a box… [heavy sigh]

    1. If you don’t find any other takers, you may want to contact this group:

      Bergen Makerspace

      Hackensack, NJ
      1,914 Makers

      Bergen Makerspace is a community learning center. Come and see what can be achieved when educators come together to provide access to the maker movement for everyone.

      Check out this Meetup Group →

      1. I’m convincing a potential recipient that I was serious about the tonnage of stuff involved; with a bit of effort by all parties, this should work out to everyone’s advantage… [grin]

        But I’ll keep them in mind. Should anybody else need help with a basement full of stuff, your pointer may come in handy.


  2. It’s always nice to learn that you’re not alone in the world. Having almost finished going through my late fathers collections*, I accept that I need to reduce the quantity of stuff here. Sadly, here in central Texas we don’t have basements, so the stuff builds up elsewhere. *it’s nice to know I come by this honestly. I’m sure it’s genetic.

    1. I volunteered to clean out my grandparents basement (apparently that’s where I got it from) that was nearly piled to the ceiling. The main reason I volunteered was that I was the only one in the family who could possible identify everything and was willing to do so. My grandfather worked for TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) for many years and had lots of unusual electrical gear as well as many other odd mechanical devices and tools. I wanted to make sure these things were not just recycled as scrap metal. I still managed to stage and fill a 20 yard dumpster by myself in a single day. That is truly a large volume for those who have never done it. As I told everyone after the fact, that if I put it in the dumpster, it was truly garbage. It took 4 separate trips last winter and was over 500 miles away from where I live. Everything was disposed of properly.

      1. Well done!

        Unless you can find someone who wants mysterious mechanical and electrical doodads, they’re basically e-waste or scrap metal. The site of those Third-World e-waste boneyards makes my skin crawl…

    2. I sent our Larval Engineer off to school with a breeding set of stuff. She admits to adding this-n-that from various scrap piles, so, when she settles down after graduation, she’ll be ready for the genes to ramp up…

      1. It’s not hoarding – you gotta have stuff to make stuff :)
        I’ll admit the line is thin, but finding just the right piece that’s missing to complete whatever you’re working on in a scrap heap at 2am on Saturday sure beets having to go buy it on Monday or ordering it off eBay and waiting 2-8 weeks while Chinese post sits on it.
        Trick is to keep only the stuff you’ll eventually need. Time machine would be useful :)

        1. Starting with a thing that looks a lot like what you want to end up with certainly helps!

          I’ll keep a few bits & pieces, but it’s long past time to reset the overall level … [sigh]

        2. My sweetie used to complain a little about the volume of STUFF, until the fridge died in the middle of the night and her ice cream was at risk. The fact that I was able to repair the CPU board on the fly with parts I had on hand (saving her ice cream and over a hundred dollars for a new CPU board that would have died too), opened her eyes to the usefulness of that stuff. She no longer complains about it.

  3. Good luck with the disposition. (Thinks of 1400 ft^2 shop/barn, remembers moving 400 square feet of shop in ’03, sighs)

    I’ve learned to take Zillow’s and Trulia’s information with a grain of salt. Instructive to look at houses you know…

    1. Yeah, my current house was listed as 2900 square feet, with basement. Turns out it meant 2900 square feet COUNTING the basement. Stinkers.

  4. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” Thomas A. Edison

    1. There’s that pesky time thing too (aka “other responsibilities). That’s the biggest one for me, I’m good on the other ingredients!

  5. If I lived closer, and had an empty basement… worth it for the South Bend lathe alone, as far as I’m concerned.

    1. You’d think different with the rest of your basement loaded Plimsoll down …

      Although I’m developing a nasty set of hesitation marks, the die is cast.

      1. Not sure if this is one of the ways you want to consider, but how about a surplus buyer? I recall a couple from the Usenet days, and Fred Eisner’s company is still around, and advertising in HSM. Looks like he might be local to you, at least in Westchester County.

        1. I’m probably biased, but the machine tools are a relatively small part of the collection and I’d rather not be left with all the rest of the, ah, stuff; better to get the whole collection to a Good Home where (most of) it can be useful together.

          As nearly as I can tell, generic machine tools go for scrap value, net of transportation. I’m definitely not in possession of the Mother Lode down there…

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