FCW supports The Makerlab in Durango, CO

By Jerica Cook: FCW Durango Employee and TML instructor

“The Makerlab is a community-led makerspace in Southwest Colorado dedicated to providing a collaborative workspace, tools, equipment and resources to makers and artists in the area. We have a

metal shop, woodworking lab, laser lab, textile lab, 3D printing lab, electronics lab, classroom space, and tons of workspace.”       -- themakerlab.org

I was invited to teach Intro to Welding in October 2023. Generally, I teach one to two two-hour classes per week. I like to keep the environment fun and relaxed. My personal approach is hands-on so all participants gain some familiarity with the basics of the welding process. I start with compressed gas and cylinder safety procedures. Then we cover functions of the actual welder, which is a Miller 211. Once the power is on,  we move right in to tacking and laying down some small beads. As they begin to understand stick out, speed, and weld puddle, we discuss welding positions and a few basic welding joints all while we volley questions and continue to weld. Covering things in that order lets us round out the class at troubleshooting weld beads.

Last fall we also offered what we decided to call a ‘Project Series’ of classes. Participants who took intro to welding could submit an idea for a small welding project. They were then responsible to acquire the materials and over the course of three weekends we met on Sundays and welded it up.

The metal shop is gaining more interest with every passing week. TML seems to stay busy always acquiring more equipment or scheduling classes for guest instructors to come in periodically to share their expertise. There are plans to have special forge and blacksmithing courses and by the summer they are hoping to have their plasma table installed and available for members as well!

The best part is that it is a creative space run by creative people, full of innovative ideas and a lot of collaborating! Many fun and exciting changes are coming, so for more information visit their web page https://themakerlab.org/    

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