Over the last month I have been working on a new collaborative project for the Open Bench. Or rather, I should say “we” have been working, for it is though the efforts of many different people that this project is coming together. We have begun a collaborative effort to create a sign for the Open Bench Project. The idea is to create something which includes many of the disciplines you would expect to see at our shop, a project that in some way represents the OBP.
It started with a slab of wood from Harvey Johnson… not just a slab of wood, but a 72″ x 36″x 1 7/8″ thick live edged slab of black walnut. Then we added a hand forged bracket from the fires of Portland Forge. Jacob Staub printed us a part with his MakerBot 3D printer, but his print bed was too small, so some other friends @ the Maine FabLab printed us one that was larger. Next week we will be hosting a workshop for some local kids to learn soldering and they will build an LED backlight for this blue cube. Jason Smith will do some precision welding for us later this week and finally the sign will be hand painted by Erik Loman. In the end, I believe this project is a great representation of our process of working together and collaborative learning. The process of creating the piece also does a great job at demonstrating the issues involved when every one has a shop in a different location for I have needed to carry this giant slab of wood from place to place, and meet with each individual one at a time. We hope to hang it soon, on the side wall of a common space, one which we all can share and we hope you will come for a visit.