Science and art meet in New Hampshire’s makerspaces

What to expect at Make It So: a tool lending library, shared workspace and creative services.

Courtesy photo.

Across New Hampshire, community makerspaces provide the room, and the tools, for artists, inventors, and other DIY types to get creative and learn from each other.

Whether the goal is to make a wooden table or build a robot, people with a passion to create are welcome in these spaces — including kids and families.

Makerspaces typically charge a membership or drop-in fee to cover use of the space and equipment, which can range from wood and machine shop tools to 3-D printers, computers and kilns.

Ready to dive into a project with your “mini maker”? Here’s what happening – and being created – near you.

Manchester Makerspace on Old Granite Street in the Queen City offers a 6,000-square-foot playground for the imagination with space for woodworking, an automotive shop, metal shop with welding equipment, an electronics station, and more. If you always wanted to teach your teen how to use a wood lathe like you used to in shop class, this is your chance. 

Every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m., the Makerspace offers an open house for curious DIYers to discover what happens in the space and how to get involved. Throughout the year, member volunteers and guest experts offer workshops and learning opportunities for all ages. Check the Manchester Makerspace Facebook page for upcoming events. Adult and student memberships are available.

Portsmouth’s Port City Makerspace focuses on metal working, wood shop, electronics and bicycle building and repair. No experience is necessary to join this nonprofit, only a desire to learn and try something new. Members are trained on equipment by other members and classes are offered in various disciplines throughout the year.

When you are ready to start making, stop by for Open Hack Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays. Non-members are welcome to work on electronics projects, 3D print designs, sewing projects, small repair, and more. Admission is a suggested donation of $10. Port City Makerspace memberships are also available for kids 12 and up (attendance with a family member adult is required).

Make It Labs in Nashua is New Hampshire’s oldest and largest makerspace. Its facility on Crown Street hums with activity from all corners of the 12,000-square-foot workshop which is divided into different maker areas including an electronics and computer lab, wood shop, machine shop, welding/fabrication shop, and automotive garage bay.

To find out if Make It is the right makerspace for your family, stop by on any Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. to tour the workshop and learn more about upcoming classes, no appointment needed. If you would like to become members, kids ages 12 and older are welcome to join with their parents. Mini makers younger than 12 may be able to join by special request.

Make It So: The Monadnock Makerspace in Keene serves the Monadnock region’s itch to get creative from its workshop headquarters on Eagle Court. You can do your creative thing on-site — the makerspace has room set up for wood and metal working and sewing and fabric crafts. But Make It So also offers members the bonus of being able to borrow tools and other creative gear for a nominal fee (i.e., $1 to bring a drill home for the week). Highlights for kids are the Kinex and robotics kits available to borrow.

Jacqueline Tourville is a frequent contributor to PNH.

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