kwartzlab–new home: same great community

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My very good friends at kwartzlab opened the doors last Saturday on their new home on Charles St. just below Stirling Ave. at Kent St, and what a great space it is!  If you’re completely new to this thread: kwartzlab is a not-for-profit community of 30’ish multi-discipline makers right here in Waterloo Region.  Check them out on their Tuesday Open Nights, 7-10pm, when they open their doors to the public (3+ years running now!)

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Maker Jaymis Goertz helps young makers launch the water rocket that he designed and built.  I reckon the bottle was reaching at least 60 feet in the air.

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See, this is *exactly* the kind of makerly stuff you expect to find at kwartzlab.  Housed in a toolbox, there’s a 12V air compressor with hose connected to a “needle” attachment (like you use to inflate a basketball).  All powered by a 12V garden tractor battery and operated by a simple and somewhat remote red button.

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The “needle” filler thingie is pushed right through an inverted rubber stopper (a #4, did you say, Jaymis?  And obtainable at UW’s lab supply store?) that is mounted on the outside of the lid.  With the lid closed and 2L pop bottle filled about 1/3 with water, the bottle is inverted quickly and pushed onto the stopper.  Just a friction fit.  Then it’s a simple matter of standing back, and pushing the button to power up the compressor, which bubbles air up through the hose to the needle and into the bottle, pressurizing it.  Once the pressure overcomes the stopper friction, it launches.  Cycle time was less than 2 minutes, excluding the many trips indoors to refill the bottle.  Awesome project!

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If you’re driving down Charles from downtown Kitchener, you’re looking for a yellow building on the right with this giant banner hanging in the window.  And, more than likely, a bunch of blinking LED’s.

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Oh, Agnes!

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Maker/artist and 2013’s Art Program Director, Agnes Niewiadomski is showing her installation in kwartzlab’s front room.  We’ve covered Agnes’ work in the old lab space, so it’s great to see a new piece in the new place.

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Tools for members!

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And storage.

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And chill space.

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And cooking space.

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And a screen saver riffing on some kwartzlab history, that made me burst out laughing.

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Electronic test tools.

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Assorted electronic bits.

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And software that helps you…

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cut stuff out on the laser cutter with help from kwartzlabber Mark Pitcher (right).  Nick and his posse at left.

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With dirt-cheap 1/8” hardboard and a laser cutter, you’d better set aside a lot of time for making…

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What you don’t see in this post is the supportive/collaborative community of kwartzlab that is independent of any physical space they occupy and forms the lifeblood of the group.  To see that, you need to get off the sofa on Tuesday night…

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and Hustle on down there.

Congrats kwartzlab.  You’re a real gem.


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One Response to kwartzlab–new home: same great community

  1. Stan Aube says:

    I was there on opening night and was so impressed all around. The possible inventions that could be incubated there to fruition could be a great contribution to our society. It is so exciting to know that anything there is possible with the many minds that work together to try out new and ingenious inventions. I wish you all the best of luck in the future. I hope that it catches on to many of our future inventors and they seek you out. I will be happy to pass the word around.
    Good luck to you all.

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