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, June 20, 2007


We have a table saw now! Tonight Eric, Louis and Ryan set it up and installed a fresh blade. I cut out the shape of Illinois on the scroll saw and replaced the blade. Molly was in the workshop working in her studio. Things are starting move more fluidly now that we have all the necessary equipment. We are using the front window to display all the cool things that people will make. Right now Louis is finishing up his shelving unit. Check out the pictures!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

DIY Pallet Stripping Demo Images

Over the past few weeks we have developed an efficient method for stripping pallets down to usable wood. First run a hand saw down the center of the pallet, getting as close to the center support beam of wood as possible. This allows the cross planks to be easily pryed off of the side support beams with a crow bar. When prying the cross planks off, be careful that the wood doesn't split around the nails (this happens when the cross planks are thin, so we have been careful to select only pallets with thicker wood). Next remove any straggling nails from the cross planks. You can then run the cross planks through the planer to get a flat surface on one side. The planks can then be easily cut using the table saw, chop saw or jig saw.

Feng Shui

This week we worked on reorganizing the entire OPENworkshop room to save space and create specific areas to house tools, books, wood, etc. It was a lot of work, but I think it totally paid off because it is very clean and easy to find things now. Eric continued work on his project, sanding down some wood and getting everything cut to the right length. I also found a great blueprint for some modular shelves which don't look hard to build, but are also really nice looking.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Screen Print Demo and Biscuits!

Today Meghan gave a screen printing demo. We learned about a good cheap place to get screens and the basic steps to get started, from making your design to laying down ink. It was fun and hopefully we can use this knowledge in the future to make some DIY OPENworkshop T-shirts. If you would like to learn more about screen printing there are a ton of great free tutorials and tips online. Here are two sites with different demos: here, or here .Lou then explained what biscuits and biscuit joining was all about for those of us that didn't know.