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Madagascar Institute in Brooklyn, NY have some interesting classes coming up very soon at their Gowanus facility:

Electrochemical Etching with Household Ingredients Dec 9 and 11

This class will teach you to transform flimsy paper images into indelible metal, using easily available materials and the magic of electrical ion transfer. Make authoritative brass plaques to commemorate historical events, street art that won’t wash away, or letters guaranteed to make your steampunk sweetheart swoon. The class will cover theory, materials sourcing, prep, and process, and everyone will leave with a finished etch and the knowledge to do it again and again.

Intro to Machining Dec 14 and 21

In this class the student will learn techniques for turning, boring, milling, and tapping all while transforming some aluminum and brass into knuckle rings with a big shiny spike. Machines covered will be the lathe and mill primarily, the band saw, drill press, table grinder for finishing materials, and an array of hand tools – files, hand taps. Everyone will go home with what they’ve designed and built.

Make Your Own Absinthe Dec 21 and 28

Build your fin de siecle street cred by learning to brew the infamous green liquor at home with almost no special equipment. We’ll talk about how to source or grow your own ingredients, flavoring, purifying your finished product, and tasting. You will emerge from the second session with a bottle of finished absinthe made by you!

Intro to MIG Welding Jan 4

Impress your friends, your older brother, and that cute bartender with your tough new skill. This 3-hour introductory welding class will teach you the very basics of MIG welding and familiarize you with the tools you’ll need to finish a project- the grinder, the chop saw, etc. MIG welding is the handy hot glue do-all kind of welding, the primary kind of welding used in making traincars, art, cranes, etc. All sorts of people have come thru Madagascar Institute knowing nothing about a shop and have become capable metal workers, get your start here. This class focuses on the hands-on experience of welding. You will learn a little of the theory and tech behind it, but mostly you will get a feel for the manual skill of welding.

Intro to TIG Welding Jan 13

TIG is the welding method used for the most technical and demanding welding applications done, from aerospace to drag racers. Because of this it has a certain mystique and a reputation for being the last type of welding one should try to master. I personally don’t think this way. TIG allows the learner to see exactly what is going on as a weld is executed, up close and without being showered in splatter. As such, this class is being offered to anyone willing to find out the hard way that ‘metal gets hot when you weld it’.

Photograph by Eric Ogden for a Madagascar Institute profile in Popular Mechanics

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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