Hackspace Move Date – 15th & 16th October

TL;DR: We’re moving on the 15th & 16th October. Please box up your member storage (or take it home for safe storage) and lend a hand on the day.

As you are well aware by now, Leeds Hackspace is preparing to move up the road to Unit 14, Sheepscar House. The time has come to commit to the new building and start using it as our full time premises.

We will be moving the current Hackspace from Mabgate Green to the new building on the weekend of the 15th and 16th October.

This is a major undertaking, and when we say we need as much involvement from the membership as possible we aren’t joking.

What do I need to do?

  • Member storage must be disappeared, or boxed before move date.
    If you can take it home, please do! The less we have to move the better. If you aren’t able/willing to take the contents of your member storage home please at least box it, then label it. Just like when it is stored at the Space we don’t take any responsibility for things which are lost or broken during the move.
  • Sort out some rubbish
    The to-hack pile has a lot of extraneous rubbish in that nobody will ever use. Take a look through and place anything you think will be genuinely useful in the “To Hack Keep” boxes that will shortly be appearing in the Space. Everything else will not be brought with us.
  • Responsible for a thing? Get it ready for the move.
    Are you responsible for a thing, like the laser cutter, or a 3D printer, or a display screen? Make sure that everything is well labelled, any spares are boxed together and labelled sanely so that we can just pick it up and go.
  • Got moving equipment?
    Do you have machinery skates, or stair climbing sack trucks? Fantastic, can we borrow them please?

Wait a second, is the space even finished?

It’s very close, it just needs the final touches. We’re getting an electricity supply installed shortly, and the actual electrical installation will be completed very soon. At the very least the utility provision will be no worse the current Space. Did I mention that the new Space has three toilets and two sinks?

Still do do is floor, door and electrics. Busy stuff, but we can do it!

There will be disruption over the next few months as we rearrange and build furniture, but this is stuff we need to do once we’ve moved in.

What else do I need to know?

There will be no advertised open night for the general public on Tuesday 18th October, we’ll still be unpacking and getting things sorted. All members are of course welcome on the night to get the unpacking moving forward at a reasonable pace.

The days leading up to the move will be busy – essentially from the 11th October the Hackspace will be closed for personal projects. Please come along and help pack boxes and things instead.

There will be a party!

Probably in November. Date TBC.

Thanks, see you in October!

Leeds Hackspace Management Committee

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New Space Update: 6th Edition

What’s been happening at New Space this week? Lots, that’s what.

Workshop wiring is nearing completion – we installed the final length of wire for the workshop-wide e-stop loop (which will cut power to the marked single sockets when pressed) and when the continuity was tested it worked out perfectly. Dado trunking facia plates have been installed in all areas that don’t need any extra wiring doing. Alongside the e-stop button in the video below you can see the backbox for the speed controller which controls the incredible fan we have mounted to the workshop roof. Fan not currently working, no power, but illustration included below.


Spinning Fan in Workshop
Samwise (swwils) & Aidan (adnbr) went to Huddersfield on Friday and bought a new front door. The current wooden one is not not only falling apart, it’s also incompatible with the access control systems you have come to know and love. The new door will be installed over the next two weeks.

Door in back of van being tied down with a ratchet strap

Andy (Andy51055) and Samwise have been sanding the Foyer floor ready for a coat of varnish. When the carpet adhesive was laid in this area it was simply poured out of the tub instead of spread out with a comb. The red carpet is long gone but a thick layer of glue remain making this a soul-destroying job. (Ab)using a random orbital sander is gentler on the somewhat fragile parquet flooring than an actual floor sander but is still more aggressive (with a coarse grit) than doing the job by hand or with a power sander.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week (26th – 28th September) will involve a layer of varnish being applied to the Foyer area of New Space, so don’t be surprised if you have to perform a hop-skip-jump over the wet areas if you come down during the day.

Floor sanding with Random Orbital Sander


Electrical installation spearheaded by Tim (timpin) means that the electronics bench (located on the wall underneath the workshop window) now has 24 general purpose sockets available for utilisation by oscilloscopes, soldering stations, work lights and who knows what else. Tom (toldbury) has championed additional sockets in this area to allow various tools to be available for instantaneous use. Arranged in 3 groups of four these sockets will enable three entirely separate in-depth electronics projects to be underway at any one time.

If electronics or metal/woodwork isn’t quite your thing the craft area is starting to take shape, thanks to the installation of sockets to this area.

The current distribution board will be moved to the workshop and be replaced by a larger one which will offer more flexibility in segregating separate circuits.

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New Space Update Episode V: Electricity Strikes Back


Early this morning I was greeted by the sight of sunlight streaming through the upper window in the kitchen, illuminating the entire room. No chance of this being covered by suspended ceiling now, it lets an incredible amount of light in, if only for a short period of the day (which most of use are likely to never see…)

Today we began the installation of the electricity – that is, the wiring and sockets that will eventually carry power to tools and computers throughout the space. All the wires in the section completed today lead back to a Workshop distribution board ready to be screwed into terminals connecting them to 3 phase electrons.

A number of E-stop switched sockets are available to power in heavy machinery. A push of one of the four Emergency Stop buttons which will be scattered around the workshop will cut power to the single sockets with a yellow surround by tripping out a high current contactor. Machines will of course have their own No-Volt-Release controls and E-Stops to complement this workshop-wide fail-safe.




It hasn’t all been wire cutting and stripping though, Andy has been scrubbing the kitchen floor clean of lino adhesive to reveal an attractive tile pattern underneath the grime. The end of the main hack area has also now been boarded off to allow the mounting of the trunking that will run power to the electronics workbench. It’s been screwed into the rather sturdy RSJ, it’s not going anywhere quickly.



Thanks to everyone who came down today to help out, we got a lot done. Whilst we’ve still got a lot to do on the electricity front, next up is the flooring (screeding the workshop, carpet tiles for the main area) and the RFID controlled front door. Anybody who’s looking for a quick and easy job to do over the next week, paint the new section of MDF wall white! Everything must be white.

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Space Update #3

It is with sadness that we report that Samwise (swwils) is stepping down as a member of the management committee. Never fear, he’s not going anywhere and you will see him around the space.

Now, what else is happening in the space?

  • HackTheSpace happened on Saturday, and things certainly happened. Check out the previous post for a brief overview, or see the changes for yourself when you come down to the space and help paint!
  • We’ve received an MPAN number for our meter at the NewSpace. Harriet is currently gathering quotes from energy suppliers in preparation for the electrical installation.
  • The oscilloscope is here! It’s currently tucked up safely in its box.
  • There’s been a bit of a reorganisation of the Wiki. Check out some of the changes, including a push for useful categorisation. Michael in particular has been tidying up the Electronics section. Want to help to make the wiki better? Ask on the mailing list if you don’t have an account.
  • Better Slack/IRC integration – Slack users can now query the space status using the ?status command that the IRC users have been loving for so long. Slack users can also check the temperature of both new and old spaces using the /temperature command.
  • Inductions – It will soon be easier to get an induction for the laser cutter. Streamlined induction processes and digital forms will help you get access to that sweet, coherent light all the quicker.
  • We’re always looking out for awesome projects – if you have done something cool then please let us know so that we can tweet pictures and videos!
  • That’s all for this instalment. Next up we will be setting a date for the move. We’ll really need as many people as possible, watch this space!

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New Space Update #4 – Paint, paint, paint


HackSpace 3.0 is coming along nicely – there is trunking installed ready and waiting for electrical cabling and the Hack The Space day this Saturday was well attended. People picked up job cards and got to work, meaning that we now have (amongst other things) clean and tidy toilet, at least three coats of white paint on the kitchen walls, a few coats of paint on the foyer area and a door handle moved to the correct side. A sincere thanks to everyone who came down to help out, every little helps.


The toilet cubicles themselves have also had another coat of paint to bring them all up to the same level. Please don’t try and open the middle cubicle window, it might fall off its hinges! Re-installation of door hardware will be happening this week meaning that we will have three (yes, three) working, individually partitioned toilet cubicles ready for use by the weekend. Nav has installed the mirrors
Andy has built a cupboard in the back of the toilet block – this is where you will find blue roll, toilet paper and eventually the hoover. Importantly, this is also where cleaning products are located.

Back Corridor

Back Wall

If you want to lend a hand but really aren’t sure where to start, simply ask on IRC (#leeds-hack-space on freenode), Slack or the Mailing List and someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

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New Space Update #3 – Wall Edition


Walls have appeared in the new space!

The new partition walls and boarding are a major (£2000) undertaking in the new space – they serve to create the new porch area, workshop which is sound isolated and the divide the kitchen / wetdark room area.

Various items of work are involved in erecting a metal stud wall and help is needed!


We’ve started work with both our own electrician member, the landlord and the electricity board to re-enable what looks like a 63A 3 phase supply to the space – this will take time and the existing electric supply we have been using in the newspace is a very temporary arrangement. Avoid items with large draw and inrush currents!

Once the supply is in a better state, design of the phases in order to balance use within the space can be better put into action. – Sources for electrical materials such as sub boxes, dado trunking and fittings are welcome!


Hackspace 3.0 on 20/07

There is a new shared album with photospheres from the workshop here:


Other work

The new space is now ready for more hands! Work such as painting, filling, designing, sanding and being handy is starting to pop up so be sure to check it out!

A big weekend

Its looking like the 23rd and 24th will become a BIG weekend at the newspace – add to your calendars if you are able to help out.

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Scrap material setting gauge

Cutting off material with the power hacksaw

When doing repetitive jobs on the lathe it is helpful to have a way to easily measure and preset the length of material protruding from the chuck. This gauge assists in doing just that and is made from a length of printer rod and some brass from the scrap material drawer at the Hackspace.

A ruler will do the job, but this is fancier!

Facing the brass in the lathe, held in a collet

Brass parted off and test fitted to rod

Finished gauge, with aluminium blanks

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New Space Update #2


Things are progressing with the new space and the general feeling is that we are now ready to press on the accelerator and speed towards the grand opening!

Most of the major work projects have been identified and measured ready to go, including:

  • Self level the workshop area floor (and possibly beyond!)
  • Make ready the rest of floor for rent-o-sander and carpet tiles
  • Build the stud walls throughout the space, some of which are acoustic.
  • Make good the skylight well areas
  • Make good the exisiting walls in the space
  • The new front door and RFID lock system
  • Electrical planning and dado
  • Lighting
  • Fire alarm system
  • Decoration
  • Item moving

Survey Results

Results have come back and are available to view; as a summary asbestos was found in some materials in the back bathroom floor and the workshop-area floor – So absolutely NO drilling, scraping, sanding these areas of floor.

If you are at the new space there is information on the walls with regards to any work that is going on.

We now know about these materials and will be managing them into the future!



Hackspace 3.0 on 03/07

There is a new shared album with the latest photosphere here:


Call to Arms

The space now has a mighty amount of labour work to be done! Paint needs stripping, holes need filling and we are requesting that people with time and a drive to help out step forward to help get Hackspace 3.0 ready! – Talk to your nearest friendly director to get cracking as these can be taken on alongside many other parts of work.


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New Keypad for the New Space

Keypad and LED mounted

We need a new keypad for the new space, and a custom made enclosure seems just the ticket. The current wood-and-hot-glue RFID reader has served us very well over the years but it’s looking likely it will stay where it is when we move out. We’re working out some kinks with the CNC at the moment so the outer edges aren’t the prettiest but the functional surfaces work perfectly.

There are two pockets – one front and one back which contain the electronics. The back pocket brings the RFID reading ciruit close to the circuit so it can read access cards reliably and the front pocket will hold the port expander and LED circuitry.

RFID backplate and components


Melting in a nutsert

The front panel is held on by four “security” torx screws which thread into plastic “nutserts”. These brass widgets are melted into an undersized hole and provide a very sturdy tapped thread for repeated fastening and un-fastening. They are melted into place very simply using a rubbish soldering iron grabbed from the shelf in the Space. A generous counter-sink lets the ejected plastic sit below the surface – any excess can be easily trimmed off with a craft knife.

Don’t tighten the screws too hard, or the insert will spin instead of letting the screw undo. A torque setting of “7” or “8” on a cordless drill is plenty powerful enough. “14” is far too strong, don’t ask how I know that.

Next up is the electronic hardware.

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New Space Update #1


After gaining access to the new space we set about actively working out the floor layout using ticker tape.

The overall impression is that the new space is large and to allow for growth the area of the workshop has been increased, the workshop also needs to be separated fully from the space (due to noise, dust, etc).


Proposed layout of new space

The other areas of the space are aiming to be more open plan and adaptable unless they have a dedicated function – we are looking as much as possible to incorporate storage into the design of the place – a tidy space is a functional space, get your thinking hats on for any creative options!


My rough idea for the workshop partition wall – windows + storage bits.

We are hoping that members will contribute as much as possible to the design and renovation of the new space so feel free to start drumming up ideas for sub projects that could be executed. I.e. Have a great idea for that dividing wall? Own the project! Start a google group thread or setup a time to meet and discuss it with other interested people!

Hopefully these sub projects can then pool materials and transport requests with other projects, getting many elements of the build going with less waste.

Phil’s blog over at http://stuffphilmade.tumblr.com/ covers most of the particulars so far in the new space very well. Thanks Phil et al.!

Next steps

We are still working on making the new space ‘safe’ for members to visit more regularly, this includes:

  • Security / access – changing the doors and access to the space from keys to RFID. We have to work out a mechanism to allow this to happen on the metal gate bars which would be a shame (and risky!) to remove.
  • Fire exits and signage (requires communication with enterprise next door)
  • Asbestos register update – we’re going to get someone in before any major works to check out the new space as part of the regulations for refurbishments.
  • The big decide – should we make good the ceiling space above the suspended ceiling? Its a large job but its one of the very few that could only reasonably be done now without disruption.
  • The electricals – immediately identified as something that will have a big finance weight behind it, but we really are committed to getting away from extensions in extensions. Currently the state of the electricals are enough for the build, but nothing else. The progress on the layout plans has made planning the install simpler (leaning towards surrounding the space with dado with some separate breakers for areas that need it). There also is 3 phase into our unit already.
  • Project Management moving forward – ideally going to get everything tasked into sub-projects that can be OK’ed and be given materials centrally; this should help with clearing communications up a bit and getting the ball rolling in various areas in the right order.

Wrap up

Regular roundups can occur every Tuesday on the open night for people who miss the online communications.

Getting pictures of the build process will always be great!







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