Forged in Fire: Blacksmith, Bladesmith, and Grand Champion Theo Nazz Shares His Story, 19 March 2018

Theo Nazz won the Forged in Fire competition twice and lived to tell about it. Come hear the behind the scenes tales. Learn about the competition, the publicity, and how his win affected him as an entrepreneur. Theo is a maker’s maker. He dives deep into the technical side of bladesmithing and combines that with innovative new techniques like laser cutting and 3D printing to create work that rises to the level of beautiful artwork.

Former journalist Bill Steinhardt will get the discussion rolling by interviewing Theo to get some juicy details from behind the scenes in Forged in Fire, and find out how Theo was able to use his success to start a blade smithing workshop in the heart of New York City. Then we will open it up to you to ask questions and get Theo talking about his knife making techniques, his business, and life as an entrepreneur in the cutthroat world of blade smithing. Sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/248060268/

This event is designed to foster up close interaction with Theo, however Bill, our awesome blacksmithing steward, has also helped arrange 2 other events to benefit our  community of once and future bladesmiths.  Theo will be have a booth at the upcoming Nova Makerfaire https://nova.makerfaire.com/ and he’ll also conduct a bladesmithing class at Nova Labs. https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/246883505/. The class is for experienced smiths, however, makers are welcome to observe him at work at both venues.

See some of his work:   http://www.theorocknazz.com/types-of-blades/

Check out this video of his shop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHsCCXZUcXc

Quote from the video by Theo Nazz about his own shop. “This is a shared space..Seeing other people working kinda gets the juices flowing for me. So it’s always nice to see other people working on their own projects and doing neat things. Help me with my own projects.”

We agree with Theo wholeheartedly! This is a key value in the Nova Labs community. This is why we have open shared session such as our Blacksmithing Meetups, Metalshop Monday, and Woodshop Open Office days. Take advantage of these sessions. These are practice sessions, inpriration session, push your game higher sessions, go deeper/learn more/collaborate/mentorship session. We’d really like to see more of you guys coming back after taking Blacksmithing 101. By design, these open sessions are either free or low cost because they are all about makers making their own individual projects while building a stronger community of makers making together. Don’t just come to classes folks, come back to make stuff.

Come to Blacksmithing Meetup Sessions on Saturdays. Signup first to share the cost of the propane. https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/calendar/

Valentine Make and Dine Makesperience (for Couples)

Join us Sunday, Feb 11th. Spend time with your sweetheart – Make/Dine/Relax. It’s all about making time to share together.

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and friendship. Let’s face it, you probably didn’t think of Nova Labs while thinking up your romantic plans. Well, paradigm shift. What if Valentine’s Day was more about an unusual sense of togetherness? The idea of forging something with a significant other.

Wouldn’t that open things up a bit of a new experience this year? Maybe even a MAKERSPERIENCE!

OK, if you are with me. Let’s do this thing. 

Here’s the plan.

You still have the chocolates, the roses, and the romantic dinner! Except, you forego the crowded restaurants with tough-to-get reservations. This year, you and that significant other will share and experience; you’ll make something together.

Let’s face it, when it comes to the maker experience, Nova Labs has got ALL the tools in AAALL the right places.

Making is our thing, but now, we are adding RrrrOMANCE! Tools AND romance? Awesome.

Here are a few simple steps to help you get a personalized experience:

Step 1. Sign up for your class. Space is limited. Each class has its own meetup.

 

Classes include

  • Intro to woodworking with handtools – Learn to make a frame
  • Paper roses – Learn to make realistic paper roses that last forever
  • Wine rack – Blacksmith wine bottle rack
  • Patrick – Design and laser cut your own love birds heart light
  • Woodshopcowboy –  Woodworking for the Kitchen

Step 2. Sign up for the dinner at 4pm. https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/247457901/

The dinner features a romantic setting, candle light, wine, food, music, back ground visual. Dine alone or combine tables with friends. Relax on the couches and talk about your makesperience during you classes and what you made.

Additionally, for those of you still looking for unique gifts from our local artisans. Mark your calendars for this last minute gift idea market later in the week.

Maker Market (Valentines Edition) – February 13th, Nova Labs

  • Need a special Valentine ’s Day gift? We’ll have handmade items from our artisans and makers for sale. Beautiful, personalized vases. Paper flowers. Just drop by and pick them up

** If you wish to be an artisan/vendor contact us at events@nova-lab.org. Tables are just $5

** If you wish to order a personalized vase with a floral arrangement, contact us at events@nova-labs.org

Crafting Custom Floral Valentines, Forging Press Arrival, Maker Faire NoVA Coming Soon!

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

   

Nova Labs is off and running with a variety of activities as diverse as our membership. In the shops, makers craft custom Valentine’s vases with expertly arranged roses thanks to a collaboration between longtime member and CNC laser engraver/cutter steward Patrick Thompson and florist Melanie Cameron of Mystical Rose Flowers, who recently discovered Nova Labs when Tech Shop unexpectedly shuttered their doors. Makers explore the capabilities of the recently arrived forging press. Girl Scouts discovered making in the second annual Pinewood Derby Workshop made possible by a generous grant from the Northern Virginia Community Foundation. Out and about, Nova Labs volunteers enjoyed productions at the CenterStage made possible by the Reston Community Center including Tamika Mallorydelivering the Keynote Address for the Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, and performances of The Color Orange, and Peter and the Starcatcher.

This month we are pleased to welcome new key members, including family members (a key member benefit) and a number of longtime volunteers with cybersecurity for youth. We are thrilled to host a monthly Startups Social where ideas for new ventures are shared. The Maker Faire NoVA committee is hard at work preparing for our upcoming signature event hosted at George Mason University.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy Making!

Marybeth Haneline Signature

Click below for the rest of the newsletter! Continue reading

Don’t miss out on being part of Maker Faire NoVa!

Time is running out to be part of Maker Faire NoVa!

Deadline extended! Submit by Sunday, January 21!

Maker Faire NoVa
The 5th annual Maker Faire NoVa is coming up on Sunday March 18 from 11AM-5PM and we’d like to invite you to be an exhibitor! It’s one of the biggest events of the year for Nova Labs! Last year we had about 140 exhibitors and speakers and 5,000 attendees.
You do not have to be a Nova Labs member to be a Maker Faire exhibitor, by the way!

Here are six reasons why you should join us this year.

Cardboard robot at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa

Cardboard robot at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa – photo by Tim-Stahmer.

  1. If you are not selling anything, an exhibitor booth is free. If you are selling something, it’s $150.
  2. We are looking for makers of all types—the bottom line is that your exhibit should be about something you make and want to talk to others about. We are looking for 3D printing exhibits. rocketry, robotics, fiber artists, beekeepers, artisans, blacksmiths, woodworkers, glass and ceramic artists, Minecraft pros, programmers, STEM programs for kids, printmakers, LEGO fans—what else you got?
  3. It’s a chance to meet interesting people of all ages
  4. This year it’s at George Mason University—so free parking!!
  5. Free t-shirts and free admission for all volunteers
  6. It’s more fun than grownups usually have

There are lots of ways to get information about Maker Faire NoVa.

3D printers on display at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa

3D printers on display at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa – Photo by Anna Kulyk

General info is here:
The application for exhibitors is here:
The email address for the Maker Recruitment team is here and we’d love to help. 
Teaching kids the wood lathe at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa

Teaching kids the wood lathe at the 2017 Maker Faire NoVa – photo by Anna Kulyk.

Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
Maker Faire NoVa 2018 Organizing Committee

Time is running out! Submit your application by Sunday, January 21, 2018!

Nixie Tube Clock by Bob Cogeshall

Nixie Tube Clock by Bob Cogeshall, photo by John Nelson

January 2018 Newsletter

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Generosity and Gratitude. These traits play well together and are found in abundance at Nova Labs. The Shops and Orange Bay overflowed in December with diverse gift projects underway by makers. The banner photo in this newsletter features a hand-crafted, customized cutting board that is finding its way to into the hands of valued teachers and under many trees, thanks to one of the shop’s popular classes.

In the week before Christmas, as the Board convened for the year’s final work session, we were surprised and deeply touched to receive a gift of appreciation from the maker community. The cleverly constructed, laser cut box filled with chocolates cast with the Nova Labs gear is truly special for the thoughtfulness and collaboration that went into the creation. Special thanks to Steve Fritzinger for leading this effort; the gift is warmly received.

We are grateful for the generosity that make Nova Labs possible. The makerspace is a hub of activity thanks to the many skilled volunteers running the front desk, open hours, shops, classes, technology, membership, marketing, facilities, events, entrepreneurship program, and more.

Happy New Year!

Click below for the rest of the newsletter!

Continue reading

December 2017 Newsletter

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

The Orange Bay was recently awash in the fragrance and beauty of fresh cut flowers. This welcome addition was brought on by an unwelcome event – the sudden closing of the doors of TechShop earlier that week. Being neighborly, Nova Labs opened our doors to the displaced makers – including Melanie Cameron of Mystical Rose Flowers, who was in the midst of arranging flowers for a wedding that weekend. Thanks to our many volunteers who graciously stepped up to lend a hand however needed.

In the days immediately following the closure of TechShop, we posted an open letter to the TechShop members and TechShop-powered businesses to offer support and help from the Nova Labs community. We created a survey for TechShop members to gather interests and needs and are matching Tech Shop makers with Nova Labs key members with the necessary skills. It is working so well that we plan to incorporate what we are learning for everyone who expresses interest in joining Nova Labs. We are providing support to TechShop members while also preserving what makes Nova Labs a unique, volunteer-driven community: our culture.

We are fortunate to have recently added wonderful talent to the Board of Directors and hired a Makerspace Coordinator, ending the year on a strong note. As we close out 2017, Nova Labs celebrates six wonderful years of making. We look forward to the New Year!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 

 

 

 

Click below for the rest of the newsletter!

Continue reading

3D Printer Build Group 11 is here!

Build your very own 3D printer at Nova Labs!

The 11th 3D Printer Build Group is launching on December 9th, 2pm, at Nova Labs. On that date we’ll be putting together a kit that anyone can purchase, assemble, and turn into their very own Nova I3 3D printer. If you’ve got time to help assemble, please sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/245247401/.

The 3D Printer Build Group meets every Monday evening from 7-9pm to assemble kits.

Kits will cost $450 for Nova Labs members, $500 otherwise, and may be purchased at any time, but will not be ready for pickup until the 9th. There will probably be kits available for some time after the assembly, but they are sold on a first-come first-serve basis. If you have any questions feel free to email Paul Chase – paenian at gmail dot com – or come to any of the 3d Printer Build Nights, every Monday evening from 7-9pm.

If you’re interested in joining the build group you can email Paul Chase: paenian at the gmail dot com


The printer we’re building is the Nova I3, which is a high-end printer for a mid-range price.
Features include:

  • Genuine E3D hotend, capable of printing high-temperature materials
  • Heated Bed
  • 24v motor and heater supply for high torque and fast heating
  • 200mm cubic build area
  • LCD & SD card for computer-independent printing
  • Available upgrade to dual-extrusion

The frames and 3d printed components are made right at Nova Labs; we’re also looking for volunteers to cut frames and print parts.

Laser Cutting

If you’re trained on the laser I could especially use help cutting – each kit comes from a single sheet of MDF, and takes ~40 minutes to cut. After cutting, the parts are stored in our boxes waiting for the kit assembly. Please contact Paul Chase, paenian at gmail dot com if you can spare some laser babysitting time 🙂

3D Printing

All the parts are printed by volunteers; they’re up on my Github page: https://github.com/paenian/i3_parts/tree/master/bg11

The full_plate.stl is everything needed for a printer, about 12 hour print on a BG machine. The other three plates combine to make the same parts if you have a smaller machine. Parts must be printed in (recommended) PETG or ABS; color is not important. Again, please contact Paul Chase, paenian at gmail dot com if you’d like to print a set or two :-)​

Nova Labs Maker Market and Artisan Fair, Dec. 2

Join us at Nova Labs for a special showcase of our Artisans just in time for the holidays!

Mark your calendars for a beautiful day at the Nova Labs Maker Market and Artisan Fair on Saturday, Dec 2nd. The fair goes from 10am to 4pm. Get there early because many of the items are one of a kind. If you are a holiday shopper looking for that special handcrafted gift. The fair is FREE and open to the public.

More information: https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/240782142/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse, meet, and be inspired by our talented artisans and entrepreneurs. Crafting at Nova Labs includes 3d printed designs, metalworking, woodworking, jewelry, handmade wool items, scarves, painted glassware, stained glass, canvas paintings, cards, personalized items, key chains, and much more!

Bring your family and friends. Meet our robots, see our drones, and play in our new augmented reality sandbox. Buy products or order a custom design.

 

Saturday, December 2, 2017. 10am to 4pm. See you at Nova Labs!

An open letter to the TechShop community

An Open Letter to TechShop Members and TechShop-powered businesses

As makers, we are deeply saddened to hear that TechShop closed its doors this week; we believe in the Maker Movement and want to do everything we can to help makers in our community. The Nova Labs makerspace in Reston, VA would like to welcome TechShop members and TechShop-powered businesses.

Nova Labs projects

 Here are a few practical ways to get involved:

  • Let us help you finish your projects. Our volunteers will help you get access to the tools and resources you are familiar with at TechShop. Please fill out this form to help us understand how we can help. https://tinyurl.com/novalabs2017
  • We can support your maker business. We will assign a dedicated liaison to help you find the resources you need including desk space, training, and tool re-certification. Please fill out this form to help us understand how we can help. https://tinyurl.com/novalabs2017
  • Consider becoming a member. All new members start by signing up on our website, www.Nova-Labs.org/membership and taking the GO (Green Orientation) class. You can be part of a strong, sustainable, volunteer-driven community with a multitude of interests: woodworking, metalworking, blacksmithing, electronics, arts & crafts, 3D printing, laser cutting and engraving, CNC, and more. You can even start your own interest group!
  • Come to our membership party. You are welcome to join in our upcoming member meeting/meet and greet. RSVP is appreciated. https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/244380446/

Some Background on Nova Labs.

We are a 10,000 square foot facility with 50% workshop and 50% office and classroom space. We have many of the same tools and equipment found at TechShop locations including two large scale, high power laser cutters, nine 3D printers, full electronics workbench, full woodworking and metalworking shops, 4×4 foot CNC router, and 4 axis Matsuura CNC machine.

The focus at Nova Labs is on community. We are member-driven and volunteer based. Everyone at Nova Labs supports the cause through teaching, maintenance, and development. We love networking, so be prepared to meet your fellow makers and make some new friends.

We look forward to meeting you,

Nova Labs Board of Directors:

  • Marybeth Haneline, President
  • Brian Jacoby, Vice President, Founder, Past President Jim Sweeney, Treasurer
  • Lieselot Whitbeck, Secretary
  • Jim Girardi
  • Tom Welsh
  • Sam Aparicio
  • Margaret Kositch

 

P.S.

Following is a link to an open letter for Tech Shop members from:
Dan Shapiro, CEO, Glowforge
Zach Kaplan, CEO, Inventables
Ayah Bdeir, CEO, littleBits Electronics
Max Lobovsky, CEO, Formlabs


 

Nova Labs "Orange Bay"

The Nova Labs “Orange Bay” is hopping during an event, with many makers showing off their projects and answering questions.

Mentors at Nova Labs

Nova Labs member Jeff C. helping a maker during an event.

Small Batch Assembly

Nova Labs’ first incubator space occupant (and still going strong), Small Batch Assembly, explains the pick-and-place machine for building complete PCB boards.

 

Fun with Appliqué and Embroidery – multi-tool projects at Nova Labs

Ed note: This article was provided by Jeff Chanesman, a Nova Labs key member and steward in the woodshop, laser lab, and instructor for our CNC embroidery machine. Look for sessions on our Meetup page.

Applique pillowThe embroidery machine isn’t just for embroidery. Suzanne and I made these fun pillows using appliqué. Appliqué is the sewing of fabric onto larger piece of fabric to create pictures. The only thread used in this example is black. All the colors you see are pieces of fleece cut on the laser cutter and then sewn into place. It’s like painting with cloth!!!

This was very easy to do with the embroidery software we have at Nova Labs; Hatch from Wilcom. Shapes are imported or created and the converted to appliqué. This not only automatically creates the stitches to hold it in place but also creates stitch outlines for placing your pieces of fabric. You can then print out a template for cutting out your fabric “parts” or print them to PDF so you can convert them to DXF for laser cutting. I was able to cut out the eye, iris, and mouth for twenty of these pillow guys in less than 15 minutes including setup.

A bunch of pillows

You could easily make all sorts of projects using this technique. From potholders to stuffed animal friends.

I will give you an overview of instructions for doing this below, but remember you need to be signed off on the embroidery machine (and laser cutter if you plan on using it to cut your fabric) in order to sew these at Nova Labs. Hatch software is installed on all the machine in the CAD lab and you are more than welcome to use it but I would strongly encourage you to take the class. It is easy to use but can be daunting at first, especially if you are a first timer, as there are many specialized tools and settings.

Digitize AppliqueSuzanne created the initial design in Adobe Illustrator but you can use anything including Inkscape or CorelDraw (in fact if you happen to have CorelDraw X6 it integrates directly into Hatch). I had her size it to the exact dimensions she wanted and then saved it as a PNG. You then import the PNG into Hatch for digitizing. Using the Appliqué toolbox from Hatch’s left side menu. Digitize your shapes and then use the Object Properties toolbox from the right side menu to select fabric type as well as the kind of stitches to be used. This is also where you can select whether or not you will be using pre-cut fabric, or if you intend to trim in place.

Objects menuFor my project I chose pre-cut. Once you are done with each piece, save and export to the desired embroidery file type. You can then print out the templates to PDF. The machines in the CAD lab have the “Microsoft Print to PDF” as one of the printer selections. Choose this and save the file to a known location.
Import this into Inkscape or similar and save/convert it as a DXF in millimeters for importing into the laser software. If you are using Fleece, 400 speed 70 power works pretty well.

Hoop your fabric and stabilizer on the embroidery machine.

Load and run your embroidery file. The first stitch will be your placement. It will outline the location of where to place your pre-cut fabric pieces and then stop. Spray the piece with temporary fabric adhesive and place onto your fabric. Start the next part of the file which will tack and stitch your cover. Move on to each piece until complete.
Let me know if you have questions or if you would like a class specific to this sort of project.

Applique pillow eyeball

Parts of the eye after the outline (for placement) and tack-stitch were finished. The next step will be a satin stitch to cover the edge and provide a solid outline around the parts.