The last stop on my trip this summer was the Hacker Consortium in Nashville TN. The Hacker Consortium has been around since late 2007 after acquiring a building that had been abandoned for several years. They had quite the task ahead of them, since parts of the roof had caved in and the building was in a general state of disrepair. The price was right though, so they set out to make it habitable. They did a great job too. We found the space to be pretty cool. They’ve got tools for wood working, metal working, collaboration, etc. They also have a nice little kitchen area, a classroom, and a laser cutter. Unlike the other spaces we visited where anyone willing to pay the monthly fee can be a member, these guys tend to be a little more concerned with how you can contribute to the group. You don’t necessarily have to bring a new skill to the table, but you have to be an active part of the team somehow.
During our trip through Tennessee, we were able to get a sneak peak into a hackerspace that hasn’t quite opened its doors yet. Chatt*Lab in Chattanooga has just acquired a space and begun putting equipment in. Chattanooga, once called “the dynamo of the south” due to the amazing amount of industry located there, has been in need of a gathering place for like minded hackers for a while. They’ve been conversing through various means on the web for some time, but have finally found a space that suits their needs.
[Tim Youngblood] gave us a tour of what they currently have and shared a little bit of their plans for the future. As you can see in the video, there’s not a whole lot of stuff there yet. There are a handful of nice tools and a very nice looking and rather large CNC machine. However, they have solid plans and determined people, so we expect this to expand soon. On the subject of expansion, this space may seem tiny but that’s only because we shared the active space. The rest of the facility is vacant and available for them to expand into as they grow!
Let this act as a reminder, we don’t care how big or small your hackerspace is, send us a tour and we’ll publish a story on it. On almost every single hackerspace intro, we’ve seen comments where people had no idea there was a hackerspace in their immediate vicinity.
When I announced that I would be traveling through some areas of the southeast this summer, [Slade] from Freeside Atlanta emailed me to set up a stop at their hackerspace. I am very happy he did too, because this place was really cool. [Steven Sutton] agreed to walk us through the facility and did a great job of being the tour guide.
This place served as a very strong reminder that not all hackerspaces are the same. Housed in a masonic temple, 7hills makerspace is quite different. They are fairly new, having just built out the location in January. I didn’t have a visit planned, and just happened to get lucky enough to catch [John Grout] there doing some screen printing. He agreed to give us a tour on the spot, and I think he did a fantastic job.
When I announced I would be traveling through Alabama and Georgia this summer, [Tim] from Makers Local 256 emailed me pretty quickly and asked if I’d like to swing by for a visit. Since I was planning to take my kids to the space center in Huntsville anyway, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to tour another hackerspace.
I am particularly pleased to be announcing SquidFoo, an Art gallery/studio and hackerspace in Springfield Missouri (hackerspaces.org link). For those unaware, this small town is where I’m located (Brad Pitt came from here too!). I would love to take credit for this hackerspace, but I can’t. [Scott Sauer] and [Phil Broussard] created it and reached out to me when they heard I was in town. I’m going to make up for coming late to the party by helping them get organized, and possibly planning some events. You’ll be seeing more of SquidFoo here because this is probably where I’ll be doing future Hackaday projects for a while!