From Artisan's Asylum

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You can send me mail at


Or text/phone

 in the 617 area code. 

After noon east coast time, please.

Occasionally I leave myself logged in to places I shouldn't. Eventually I notice when people update my wiki pages.


Tools I own that might be borrow-able

Available For Loan from this user:

At AA already are:

  • a nice long fish tape reel
  • some spools of guy wire
  • husky air compressor. probably trashed during the joy->tyler move?

Can be made available:

  • pair of dremels, one 2-speed, one variable speed, one flexible extension
  • pair of m22520 wire crimpers, die numbers. 1-08 and 1-17. if you need to crimp d-shell pins or similar, this is the thing you want.
  • Seasonic kill-a-watt meter
  • ATX power supply tester (older; not great for power supplies less than 3-4 yrs old)
  • AC outlet tone-sender and reader (for finding what breaker goes to a circuit)
  • telephone toner/tracer and banjo breakout
  • rs-232 data generator w/db-25
  • fluke volt-alert (senses power and lights up when in proximity of high voltage, good for tracing wires inside of walls or checking if something is live before you touch it)
  • cheap circ saw, cheap corded drill
  • contour gauge (line of pins style)
  • screw thread checkers
  • 50' tape measure


  • piles of coax crimp-on connecters and barrel connectors (intended for 10base2 ethernet)

Asylum History

  • 2010 Feb or Mar - Gui says to me "What do you know about living in industrial space?"
  • 2010 April - AA founded by Gui and Jenn
  • 2010 May 01 - kickoff party, drew >100 people, maybe 40-50% from the Blues Dance community.
  • 2010 May 12 - Decided to merge with/adopt remains of Willoughby & Baltic (Jimmie, David S, Aaron F, Peabo, ...) and expand to two locations (Windsor & Joy Sts).
  • 2010 Jun 18 - Joy St Grand Opening Party Fundraiser. Raised about $6K from auction proceeds, joining fees, donations. Borrowed art display panels from Arisia.
  • 2010 Aug 27 - VIMBY hackerspace competition filming; as the Wallace and Gromit theme plays from the windows, Gui gets pelted with breakfast food by the machinery in the alley. Propane torch toaster works well, but forklift-powered orange juicer has issues. After taping, we have Mexican food, and then throw Jimmie in the Charles River as punishment for his violation of the Jimmie Rule.
  • 2010 Dec 20 - First Secret Santa party.
  • 2011 Feb 27 - Cake and Robots party.
  • 2011 May 22 - Gui sells us on trying to relocate to Tyler St.
  • 2011 Jul 09 - Reboot Party as our first big event at Tyler St.
  • 2011 Jul 28 - Tyler St Land Grab, when folks plunked down money to reserve spaces; 60% of our initial 25k sq ft went the first night. We spent the next three months doing build-out.
  • 2011 Nov 04 - Tyler St Move-In Day, when renters were allowed in to occupy their spaces.
  • 2011 Nov 06 - "Baby Elephant Meeting". The last formal meeting of the Wardens group before it was dissolved.
  • 2012 Apr 22 - Bylaws presented (though they had already been sent to the IRS).
  • 2012 May - First board elections; we elected Aaron F, Calvin, Gui, and Mimi.
  • 2012 Nov - Gui resigns as Executive Director, goes away for 4-6 weeks, can't say where (Reality TV show "Big Brain Project").
  • 2013 Oct 20 - Candidates introduction night for second board election.

Missing: Sometime in 2012-early 2013 we expanded to building 8 and to building 13, but I don't know exactly when.

venn diagram


Todo Notes

For Asylum's first two years, before we had fulltime staff, I spent a lot of hours thinking about various AA-related topics and even occasionally doing actual work. Here's the last traces of that that I might do useful things with...

Stuff I've thought about looking into for AA in the past:

  • policy: figure out the space-planning issue with tools that don't have a craft area
  • space: inventory (as of Oct 2012, tons of stuff is still not tagged, nor are we making it easy for folks to label their stuff)
  • space: where are volunteer night to-do lists?
  • Outreach: most Outreach stuff lives at the Outreach Agenda and Outreach Tracking pages.
  • Working on space signage; see below
  • outreach: networking
    • sprout
    • show and tell/lightning talks
    • design challenge
    • intermediate stuff (welding, electronics, mech design)
    • retries (talk to mechanic, video game prog, bookbinding, intermed elect)
    • puppets, sharpening, glue
    • big projects: cnc a mill or lathe, constitution guy annealing oven
    • home repair related stuff
  • renter's insurance?
  • classes: troll IAP for instructors
  • membership: wardens can help you with with page
  • outreach: New logo 11x17 pdf
  • outreach: get fact sheet and biz cards uploaded
  • outreach: make press clippings album
  • wikify:
  • media conversion station
    • lcs: qic (150?), maybe DAT, maybe Zip. Has controller cards also.
    • need: 8mm, tk!
    • look for dlt? vhs/svhs, 8mm camcorder, vid card, dat camcorder/fw card. vinyl?
  • check old giant to-do spreadsheet
  • class credit for amy k
  • Tensor

low priority / NMP

  • space: find a place for the stained glass gear
    The two main space requirements for it are a very small counter-height table space for putting the grinder on (the cardboard box, of the 3 boxes); and table space we can use for cutting and laying out and soldering that won't get us yelled at by fabric, electronics, metal or wood for getting glass shards in their space. I can see it working ok to do cutting on the main table in metal, then layout and soldering in electronics. I don't know if Giles brought grids, but glass cutting should happen on plastic trays with a grid that will collect the shards during cutting. There are also two glass cutting tools that have been stored in the woodshop's red toolbox for no good reason other than lack of where else to put them, and these should get migrated to the stained glass area if we do indeed get space for it.
  • Outreach/Doc: sam g. pics photos/79895980@N00/sets/72157624363323604/
  • rss
  • wiki: "resource" nodes ideally reachable via instructor, class, or tool area. figure out a better name than "resource" ?
  • tooling: three broken TIGs at Joy, d said he'd look at them in his CFT, 07-Sep
  • check out
  • check out including
  • space:
  • classes: edgetechweb - possible eventbrite equiv.
  • tooling: Jeff's leasing suggestions: FabLab uses the Epilog Mini 24, the Roland MDX-20 $110/month,

class ideas

  • video game programming
  • bookbinding
  • glue
  • talk to mechanic
  • paper marbling
  • repeat forming sheet metal
  • repeat tyvek tents
  • repeat intro mech design
  • less expensive fire eating

signage notes

  • woodworking and welding area rules
  • defen bin tear-offs
  • tags for larger trash items
  • that steel block is fine for cold work of softer metals (silver, copper, brass, aluminum). It just shouldn't be used for cold steel as the block itself is steel (not hardened steel) so that would chew it up


  • broken item tags, keep this item tags, defenestration tags, sell this item tags


  • CNC embroidery machine
    ($6k for HAPPY HCD-1501, can do 20"x15")
  • software - adobe creative suite (video editing, graphics production)
    Maybe Mike can swing something...
  • plasma cutter
    ($4k for a baby or home-built, $20k for big and butch)
  • computer bar
    (a big table for laptop users with power and such; ~$130 in materials?)
  • lightbox
    (about 11x14 should do, maybe $60-$100?)
  • overhead transparency projector
    (cheap or free...)
  • overhead webcams for teaching surfaces
  • camcorder
    ($400 for hard drive, way less for tape-based)
  • pocket digital camera
  • microphones for recording classes
  • incra rules
  • ham shack
  • resolution chart
  • tie-dye and batik gear
  • microscope rulers
  • airbrush
    (~$200, but we need a place we can use it...)
  • usb microscope, or microscope with DSLR mount
  • decent large paper-cutter
  • tabletop photo setup
    (~$120 for a nice pre-made, or put something together ourselves)
  • inventory. plywood, dimensional lumber...
  • darkroom-free screenmaker
    (ask Blake about this)
  • place for media conversion station
    (also still need some components)
  • tool library (geiger counter, color calibration gear, odb reader, IR and UV filters, 3-phase analyzer, TDR, tile saw, ...)
  • arbitrary surface printer (a fantasy of mine...)
  • Maybe: picture mounting press. some reports indicate PMA tape and a burnisher are a better plan

Tools with no definitive craft area

  • Stained glass stuff
  • laminator - "will do up to 8-1/2 by 11 (longer if you have a longer pocket). It also does business card sized, and whatever else we have stock for." (lives at front desk)
  • ultrasonic cleaner (lives in e&r)
  • bore scope (lives in e&r)


  • Our phone number is (617) 863-7634, google voice
  • openoffice wiki editing See under "Using a WYSIWIG Editor."
  • Wiki can be edited via FUSE; see other wiki for details.
    should also be usable on Mac OS X using macFUSE:
    Firefox plug-in "It's All Text" which allows an arbitrary application for entering text fields. Af: I have mine pointing to Emacs on OS X:
  • Wordpress links: Cat says If something goes odd again like that, go with underlined black or red (though red is already the hover color). The hex code for the red is ED1D24, which matches the red in the logo.
  • peabo's name suggestion: makerplex
  • If you care about insurance issues for hackerspaces, here's some reading:
  • To get help moving things, post to Craigslist offering free beer.
  • The Armory has very reasonable space rentals; classrooms with capacity of 15-25 for $30/hr, conference room for $25/hr, cafe for $500/event, and all specifically stating that non-profit budgets will be considered upon request.
  • tld/wikipri..../Special:RequestAccount
  • Jf prefers gin and tonic to beer for free drinks
  • List 1: David S - IC tubes; Jesse - pallets, uhaul ramp; Drew - antistatic material; AKB - hats, ducks, compressor.
  • wiki clue: change history is greatly shortened if you are not logged in
  • our fiscal year ends June 30th. Accountants informed us we didn't need to file for June 2010 as we'd only been inc'd a month and had no cashflow.


  • Jesse says
    3 125K BTU furnaces, we're at a total of 375K BTUs per hour. 1K BTUs is 1 therm. The gas company charges $30 flat rate per month plus .28/therm. If we end up running all three heater units at full blast 24/7, which I am guessing we will be doing just to keep it possible to walk in without getting frostbite, we're looking at about $800/month to run the heat. Maybe it'll be more, maybe it'll be less, maybe I'll need to install a bigger heater near woodworking, but we'll cross that bridge...
  • AkbOutreachPlanning


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