From the moment I first heard of the concept of a “maker space” I was intrigued and thought it would be a perfect fit for Lowell. One of the basic pillars of the city’s prominence in 19th century America was the propensity of its citizens to excel in the mechanical arts, usually with little or no formal training. I believe the “tinkerer” gene is deeply embedded in the city’s DNA which perfectly positions Lowell to excel in the new Industrial Revolution that is grounded not in textile mills but in small scale, custom manufacturing.
To better meet the needs and desires of Lowell’s tinkering class, Lowell Makes has embarked on a fund raising drive to help it build a full wood shop with floor-to-ceiling walls, a sawdust collection system, workbenches and assembly tables and modifications to the ventilation and fire suppression systems. Learn more about the project on the Lowell Makes website and by watching the video below. To contribute to the cause, visit Lowell Make’s Indegogo page.
I suppose when we look back on my generation 50 years from now, the most embarrassing thing (Besides the proliferation of boy bands) will be that somewhere along the way, we lost touch with the ability to build and fix shit ourselves. From tree houses to oil changes, we happily pay other folks to take care of it for us. (A year ago I didn’t want to change a tire because it was too hot out so I called AAA. Slightly embarrassed, I hid the jack in my hockey bag and told the guy it was missing.) But it isn’t necessarily a case where we DON’T want to take matters into our own hands. We certainly have access to tools thanks to Home Depot, Plastic, and China. It’s more a circumstance where we don’t know how to use them, or when to use them. And it’s even more awkward having to pretend we do in front of the ladies.
But fear not fellas, the folks down at LowellMakes are giving you the opportunity to turn the tide here. Space/Tools/Knowledge…(Friendship optional)…all in one space. Looking to add a few more dingahs to your stats this summer? Why not build yourself a whiffle bat in their 3D printer. Want to make that $10K dining room table your wife liked at Restoration Hardware that you claimed you could make? Lowell Makes. Lowell Makes. Lowell Makes.
They’re a mere 15K away from firing up the lathe. Check them out and then go buy yourself a tool belt, you studs!