Say it with a Craft Project

Mark your calendar: Feb. 11, between 6 and 9 p.m. is the All Ages Valentine Craft Night. This free public event is sponsored by YuKonstruct, located at 135 Industrial Road.

Nominally priced kits for the special Valentine craft are available; step by step instructions for completion – and volunteers – will assist participants; and miscellaneous craft supplies are also available.

If you are interested in community sharing of equipment and knowledge, the craft night is just the beginning. Every Tuesday, YuKonstruct hosts an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. You can see the space and have a quick tour. You can meet some makers with their projects. Your creative mind will burst with possibilities for gifts and unique items for your home.

The concept of the “makerspace” is focused on using and learning practical skills. Participants learn through doing. Makerspace is part of our contemporary culture; a technological extension of Do It Yourself. A non profit endeavour, makerspace provides community  workspace with machines, workshops and studios.

YuKonstruct, our makerspace, opened its doors in September 2014. YuKonstruct houses a combination of industrial and traditional tools. The machines are expensive and not something an individual would purchase, but sharing allows anyone to learn and create. You don’t have to have prior knowledge of any of the machines as YuKonstruct offers how to workshops on the equipment.

While YuKonstruct is the first makerspace north of 60, there are a number of other facilities worldwide. One of the first spaces, Metalab, opened its doors in 2006 in Vienna, Austria. TechShop, a chain of commercial hackerspaces opened across the United States in 2006.

YuKonstruct’s  mission statement is all encompassing: YuKonstruct aims to provide access to shared space, quality tools, expertise and a collaborative environment.

I recently toured the facility. There are some very cool machines available as well as more traditional stuff. The more traditional room, Craft and Textiles, houses an industrial sewing machine and a few household sewing machines. The woodworking room is amazing. Carpentry tools enable users to build just about anything from cabinets and tables to cutting boards. The Coding Computer room has several computers and room for workshops.  The Digital Fabrication Room houses a 3D laser cutter, 3D printers and a CNC router. The machines are partnered with a computer. The creator prepares the idea/plan on a computer, pushes print and the machine does the rest. I saw some amazing chess pieces created on one of the 3D printers while I was there.

The list of equipment and machinery available is impressive.  Ditto+ 3D Printer. Dress forms. Mig Welder. CNC milling machine. Table Saw. Jointer. Digital projector. Robotic arm. Well, you get the picture – machines for just about any project you want to complete.

Shared expertise and facilities is not a new concept. YuKonstruct, however, brings the community together with modern technology partnering people, knowledge and enthusiasm. Visit the facility soon and get your creative juices flowing.

YuKonstruct is open Tuesday through Sunday.  During the week the hours are 11 a.m.  to 9 p.m.; the weekend hours 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The $50 monthly membership enables members access to all the machines on site. Visit YuKonstruct on Facebook or its website

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