This Summer OPENSOURCE Art will hold a weekly evening workshop for making home products out of reclaimed materials from the Champaign-Urbana community. OPENSOURCE will have a basic wood shop set up with experienced people in shop to assist with using the tools and a wide range of waste materials in stock. Participants are also invited to bring in their own reclaimed material and tools. Let's get together and make some beautiful products out of waste from our area!

OPENworkshop will take place Wednesday nights from 7-10pm. Additional meetings will be added as needed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Using the Planer

Tonight we took a bunch of the pallets and put them through the wood planer. Some of them turned out really nice. We have a metal detector to find nails in the wood, which wasn't working so well, but might prove useful in the future. We also stripped the nails out of a bunch of pallets. Now there is getting to be a big stock pile of wood that is ready to use. We plan to have some step by step DIY walkthroughs up on the blog soon as well.

Monday, May 28, 2007


I made some diagrams in an attempt to explain the system we developed last year for turning waste in to modules for products.
The concept is: determine the two the main sources of waste we would have in constant supply: pallets and drywall. Then estimate the average amount of material we could get out of the waste and based off of this develop modules for making products. These drawings show the system for making a modular shelf.

This is mostly just a concept, a process for turning lots of waste into lots of products quickly. This concept is pretty hard to explain visually and all the details of the process aren't here, but this should give a general idea of what we were trying to do and maybe it can help inspire some product ideas or better yet inspire ideas for other systems of (sort of) mass producing products out of waste.

Using x-Acto, cut drywall into 12" x 12" sections

Using circular saw and crowbar, strip pallet town, ideally preserving three 2 x 4's and x number of cross boards (these vary from pallet to pallet)

Using the table saw, rip the 2 x 4's in half then cross cut these, resulting in several 12" x 2" x 1" sections (these will be used to frame the drywall for the sides of the shelf). Next, cross cut the cross boards into 12" long sections and plane one side (these will be used for the wide shelf planks)

Next, using the table saw, route out 1/2" grooves in the 12" x 2" x 1" sections. Fit these sections around the drywall sections that were cut down earlier to create the sides of the shelf. Laminate the planed cross boards together (this can be done many ways, we found the best method was to use a biscuit jointer), and using the table saw, rip off any excess to create 12" x 24" shelf planks.

Use these modules and a few more cuts with the table saw to create a shelf! Or use the modules to make something else!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The beginning

For the past few weeks we have had people start to collect waste materials to build with, research materials (books, magazines, articles, etc.) and tools. We have begun to set up a woodshop in one of the front rooms at OPENSOURCE Art in downtown Champaign. Everything is in the early stages as far as designing and producing things, but hopefully we can start building some cool stuff over the next few weeks.