Making Pens With Our New Lathe


Our new lathe has arrived and is now fully assembled. It’s the perfect size for doing pens, bottle stoppers, candle holders, bowls, and more.

Phil learning to use the chisels to turn the square blocks of wood into round pencil stock.

We did our first project this past Monday evening during Open Lab hours. With the gracious and expert help of member Dennis C., we turned two blocks of oak stock into a beautiful mechanical pencil.

lathe pen
First pencil made with our new lathe.
Dennis sanding the wood bodies to a glass-like finish.
Pressing the pencil components together

Closure on 4/13 (Sat)


UPDATE: Thanks to the gracious assistance of one of our members, the MakerLab will be be open on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 for Open Lab.

We still will be closed on Saturday, April 13 for the SouthWorks Engineering and Robotics Olympics. Join us from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the fieldhouse of South Suburban College, 15800 State St., South Holland, IL.

Please check Meetup and Facebook for any changes.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause our Makers.

Phil & Don


Closure on Mon. 3/25


Due to a staffing shortage, the MakerLab will be closed on Mon. 3/25. We will reopen on Wed. 3/27. We also apologize for any Makers who attempted to attend Open Lab on Sat. 3/23.


Add Welding To Your Maker Skills


Welding Workshop- March 30th

This class covers principles involved in equipment, material, and procedures, combined with demonstrations and supervised practical experience, using standard industrial equipment. Students will be exposed to Arc, Gas, MIG and TIG welding. Students in this 4-hour workshop will be introduced to the theory of welding and how to safely work with the tools and equipment. Students will also receive hands-on instruction and have the opportunity to create some basic welds.

Prairie State College is an accredited American Welding Society Educational Institution Member.

Only 8 slots available


COST: $75 

DATE: Saturday, March 30, 2019

TIME: 8:30am to 12:30pm

LOCATION:       Prairie State College

                            Welding Lab, Room T165 (Technology Building) see map

                             202 South Halsted Street

                             Chicago Heights, IL 60411


Bookbinding and a Beautiful Lasered Cover

Hand-bound book with wooden cover using laser kerf for spine

Jackie is a gifted self-taught bookbinder who has been coming in to use the laser. The picture above is one of her creations- a roughly 3 inch by 5 inch book of thick card stock that could be used for autographs, notes from guests at a special occasion, and more. See the video of the entire book.

She cut and laser etched the cover on our laser and added the beautiful medallion and elastic. The intricate design of the spine allows the solid wood to bend enough to serve as a cover. We have several designs for the spines that are both beautiful and have different amounts of bend.

We’re hoping to have Jackie in to demo her bookbinding techniques. Let us know if you’re interested in that. Plus, if you already have a book, phone, laptop, etc. that could use a cover, stop in and discuss how to make a personalized cover out of wood, plastic, leather, and more.


Model Railroading and Miniature Builders

Al’s outhouse

If you’re into model railroading, you’ve probably purchased kits to build extremely authentic replicas of buildings, scenery, vehicles, and other objects that make your layout come to life.

Why not easily create your own one-of-a-kind pieces? Al quickly designed and laser cut the sample outhouse above. He added the amazing details of the weathered paint and vent stack, and it makes it realistic enough to use!

You can also start with a kit/design you have, and we can show you how to modify it to make it uniquely yours.

You can also use the CNC router in the lab to “carve” your own logs, create non-linear/non-flat details on your creation, and create other details. 3D designs are out there (free and paid) to 3D print layout pieces. Those design files can also be used to CNC your item out of wood, plastic, Corian, soft metals, foam, cork, etc.