Dallas Makerspace Show & Tell - November 2019

Post a picture and description of anything you are working on this month at the 'Space here!

It can be anything from a small craft project to a large CNC router project to building a table to 3D printing to a science experiment and so much more. There are lots of people doing cool things at DMS all the time, but most of us don’t get to see it. Post it here and share the interesting things you are doing at Dallas Makerspace this month!

Posting here helps not only promote Dallas Makerspace, but could inspire others to make something. It will also help PR post a monthly look at what can be done here on a blog post or other social media (with attribution to each maker of course).

:bulb: NOTE: Please try to include the following on each post, to help make for richer social media content!

  • a decent QUALITY photo
  • a notation about WHAT you’ve made
  • WHO you are (for attribution on the blog)
  • HOW you’ve made it
  • and WHY

10" Spiral ‘bowl’ with center rosette. laser cut and then wet molded. Now I just need to figure out how to best tint it.

create everyday.


Should become this…

This is my very first knitting project. Still in progress. It’s crazy. Choosing this pattern is like saying your first knitting project is going to be a pair of miniature socks. “Pattern difficulty: Intermediate” :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Here’s what I really want to share: It’s only by the grace of DMS’s Secret Sauce (Makers under one roof) that I am even attempting this.

  • The Fibers SIG holds a Fiberholic Fiberfrolic many Tuesday nights. I crochet, don’t knit. Showed @kyrithia and @classielassie the pattern and said this was my goal, “what do you think?”. They performed some mystical knitting Jedi Mind Trick on me while saying “Go For It!” and “You can do it!” and “Don’t buy the kit, we have felting fibers in better colors!”
  • Next I took @MrsMoose needle felting class so I could learn the technique for making the frog guts. And the Space has the tools so I don’t need to invest in my own just to make some tiny organs.

Giving thanks to DMS’s Secret Sauce seems very appropriate in the November Show and Tell thread.


Wow! That’s a very cool project. It might be a little ambitious … but I’m sure you can handle it.

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Made these in @JBluJkt class this week.


Finished spinning this spindle-full of cotton and winding it onto plying ball. I’m gonna count this as “finished” even though it’s only part of a much longer process because it took frickin forever.


Did I mention it took forever?



LOTS of committee meetings, Fiberfrolics, car rides, tv binge-watching. Then had to wind it off the spindle. Now next step is to fill another spindle, wind it off again, then ply (twist) them together. Then rinse and repeat until enough for my weaving project. So probably several more full repeats.

Eventually it’s going to grow up to be woven dishtowels, some assembly required.

The gory TL:DR details for those that care:

This cotton started off as gleaned cotton, which is cotton left on the ground after mechanical harvest that still needs the seeds and dead leaf bits removed. Someone gathered up a bag and gave it to me. The fallen cotton picks up A LOT of tiny dried leaf bits, left after defoliant used before they mechanically harvest cotton. Then of course picking out the seeds. It’s not hard to rig a small DIY gin for getting the seeds out faster, however, it’d do nothing but crush the dried leaves even worse. Slow but it’s better to just do it all by hand. Great for binge-watching TV and audio books.

The next step is to prep the cleaned cotton to spin. I experimented with various options and finally settled on just simply using hand cotton cards to fluff it.

Then it’s spun on a “tahkli” which is a support spindle style originating in India. The typical tahkli normally is a brass whorl (disk) about the size of a quarter that’s affixed to a metal shaft. My particular tahkli (see first pic) is one made by an Etsy artist that’s an enameled steel shaft and the whorl weight is constructed of a mix of wood/glass/metal.

The physics of the tahkli are that it’s center-weighted (vs much larger whorl) so it spins VERY fast, which is necessary to add enough twist to very fine thread of short fiber before it comes apart. Also to that end, it is a support spindle, which means you spin it by flicking while the tip rests in a dish (puts no weight on it to pull apart while building twist). Suspended spindles are tricky for very short fibers. Doable but tricky. Also possible on spinning wheel, but easier on tahkli, plus much more portable project. Tahkli are evolved to spin cotton and do it perfectly. Incidentally, the little dish is a spoon rest I stole from my kitchen.

Of course, while spinning, there’s the inspection process. Meet my inspector, Ethel.

Then it had to be carefully wound off the spindle onto a plying ball (I made in a needle-felting class). Traditionally the core of the ball might be a coin, but I like larger cores. The idea is that it helps make it easier to wrangle very fine thread and keep it under tension. I like the wool cores because they’re light, I can make many sizes/shapes, it’s easy to build in texture/bumps while felting which gives more for the thread to grab and stay in place. Plus they’re fun to make.

The point of a plying ball is to have a storage holder for the thread when plying the threads back together (twisting around each other for strength). Even if I had multiple tahkli (I do), plying directly from it risks uneven tension and broken threads when the thread feeding from it switches abruptly from large to small circumference on the spindle, or if the spindle gets caught in turning as it is feeding, then double that managing two spindles. It’s extra work and time winding, but MUCH smoother feed (equals less breaking thread) plying from balls tumbling around in separate bowls beside me as I pull the thread from them.

I also experimented with ways to smoothly wrangle the spindle when winding. What worked the best, plus easy low-tech and compact storage, was simply laying the spindle on a smooth scrap of leather (low abrasion turning) and light weight over ends with the knitted dish clothes. (Upper left of next image.) It lets the spindle turn freely but not a holder that would scratch up the coating on my spindle. Plus the leather and cloths are something I already carry in the spinning kit. So that sudden moment of inspiration is a big improvement on my previous system in several ways. A keeper. Yay.

So below is a composite of the last process, unloading the spindle to felted plying ball so I can start the process again.


this was a scrap cut-off from a similar skyline project. I hated to throw it away and so used it to engrave this reflective skyline. 12x6" in mesquite blocks.
create everyday


I helped my brother in law repair a smoker with a rusted out firebox door and vent.

Plasma cut a new door, vent, and bent some pieces for the latch. Rebar for the vent draw tab. All recycled from scrap metal.



I made a stained glass web for my beaded spider!


Friends and Makers - I’ve always been a believer that it is just as important to show the failures as well as the successes so that beginners can understand that even the most experienced makers foul up and that it is ok to do so just so long as you learn from it. This is my swing and a miss. I make leather embossing stamps using 3d models. The limitations are that the max depth can’t really exceed 0.125" (1/8) for the stamping. Beyond that it takes more on the order of a 20 ton press to try and get that much stretch out of the leather. The 2nd limitation is also trying to maintain the details as you flatten the model. The details in this didn’t work so other than the 3 hours I won’t get back I’m just moving on to the next thing. My tag line is always “create everyday”. they are not always gems but the important thing is to try. Cheers!


Using the class Jay Phelps taught on the Shapeoko on 10/29, I made a couple of boxes for some of my kitchen knives.

Finished products


Physical limitations may be keeping me from the space but the spirit carries on! This floppy disk emulator install wasn’t as complicated as I’d thought. It didn’t work, but I have a different part on order to give it one more go. Hoping to post success soon.


How do you like the Shun Knife? The Nakiri is next on my shopping list.

It’s nice. Slim but sturdy, fits nicely in the hand. Needs to be hand-washed/dried right after use to prevent rusting/pitting, but such is the life of HC blades. Hate the initial packaging (cardboard sleeve) it comes with, thus the boxes. Chef knife is next for box making.

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I have a suite of Shun Classic knives, they are amazing and not cray cray expensive.

I have the Alton Brown Shuns and love them. Had them for years now.

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Just finished my first ever bowl on the lathe! Thanks, @prl2018! I love it!