Camp Fire Rotisserie

Leon was in need of a high quality, easily portable, camping capable rotisserie system for whole chickens.  Rather than resort to a expensive commercial solution (like this really bad photoshop job I found online, there’s no way I’m linking to this site):

Shopped Chicken Roasterhe decided to break out the aluminum and take a shot at a prototype:

chickens, beginning their delicious journeyAside from the chairs that look like they’re about to fall in the fire, it certainly worked much to the enjoyment of those present:

20120101-DSCN0182Time for revision number 2, which required some aluminum angle iron and the CNC mill for adjustable height roasting while keeping the design really simple:



20120101-DSCN0190nicely done.Thanks Leon for the pictures!




Posted in Projects

Handmade Bookshelves

Kemper needed a massive set of bookshelves to hold all of his titles; and rather than turn to a carpenter to make them, he laid out a clean design and built them himself:


He first started with a solid design:


and broke things down to the individual shelf to better understand how the pieces would interlock and join:


(I think his architecture background might have helped a little in the process)

After following through on the design, they came out great:


and a long day at work:

bookshelves-kemperThanks for the write-up Kemper!



Posted in Projects

Lots of Upcoming Events at Sector67

There are an amazing number of classes this month!

You can come and learn about an amazing variety of skills this month, as we’re hosting everything from a Fractal Soap Making for Adults class on 1/10 starting at 6:30PM (Registration required), to the Madison JavaScript Meetup (MadJS) on 1/13 starting at 6PM, to the grand opening of the Madison Sewing Studio on 1/24 starting at 6PM followed closely by their swatch design competition on Saturday 1/25.

Fractal-Logo2_HeatherCommentsRevB Fractal continues to offer a full line-up of kids classes covering everything from Minecraft and 3D printing, to food science and science enrichment, to building your own hot air balloon or a flashlight.

Silk Dying

And the Sewing Studio will have you learning how to run an industrial sewing machine, making a leather bracelet, or dying silk scarves and mending damaged clothing.

In short, please support our community of awesome class instructors, who are taking a lot of their time to prepare high quality content for the Madison community!

And yes, we have some amazing stuff coming up in February, including our annual iron pour on February 8th but more on that later.
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Posted in Uncategorized

Yelp Fundraiser Tap Handles – October Launch

Yelp solicited the Madison community for people who would be interested in making some cool tap handles for a launch of their October “Red Bursting Ale” (made by none other than Page Buchanan) at our neighbor down the street – Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace.

Despite the major net cash loss (we’ll write this one off to the Clean Lakes Alliance that we hope got a big check from this – Jim’s modelling arms may never recover). The only criteria was that the handle must have the name of the beer visible and include the yelp logo.

Jim made an amazing handle from a full size negative silicon cast of his arm that was recast as a positive clear resin:

Adrian from Peredesign created a cnc routed and hand finished classic handle from recycled lumber IMG_1289
And Josh from Siglinda Knives pulled together a tastefully simple handle with laser cut engraving and wood elements (center):

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Posted in Projects

Madison Sewing Studio Launches – Grand Opening and Competition

Grand Opening:

Madison Sewing Studio will be having a grand opening to celebrate their new location in Sector67 (2100 Winnebago St Madison WI 53704) on Friday, January 24th from 6pm – 9pm with free sewing demonstrations, modeling of member creations, information on membership and classes, snacks, music, and a raffle.

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Come join Madison Sewing Studio for our kickoff event “Swatch-A-Thon” Saturday, January 25th from 10am to 6pm. Similar to Project Runway’s “Unconventional” challenge where designers use strange materials to make garments, we will be providing a variety of interior swatches (around 12″ squares) in which people can choose up to 8 swatches to create a design. It will be a first-come-first-serve basis so be sure to show up on time to get the best pick! Keep in mind, we are not limiting people to just “runway” garments, but you will be able to make anything you would like out of the swatches. We encourage you to have fun and be creative. Designers may also team up with someone to make a piece (each person is allowed to have up to 8 swatches). There will be mentors available to help with the sewing machines and can answer questions on construction.The event begins on Saturday, January 25th at 10am and goes until 6pm where participants can choose to present what they’ve made.

Please RSVP to secure your spot at

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Posted in Hardware

Build Madison 2013

Sector67 hosted the 4th annual Build Madison on November 23-24th, 2013.  This event is an excuse to spend 24 hours straight working on a project of any type, and we saw a ton of interesting ideas this year.

Things kick off with quick (<1 minute) pitches on projects and ideas that people might be interested in working on.

IMG_7461We heard from a variety of project ideas, everything from making soap, to flying quadcopters, to instrumenting baseball bats, and getting started on Raspberry Pi projects and Arduino ideas.

After brief pitches, work got underway with some initial planning:


With the occasional sidetrack including a youth Minecraft LAN party in the computer lab:


Work on a traditional “penny-farthing” style bicycle started after some donor part gathering and a lot of research into the design:


Some programming on a Raspberry Pi project (right) and some sew-able lily-pad (Arduino) circuits (left):


Mixing up a batch of soap made from bacon fat and a custom 3D printed and vacuum formed BuildMadison mold:


Some projects appeared to be a little more disorganized:


Than others:


As the soap started to take shape, so did some other projects in process:


Including a run of recently launched BlueTipz ice fishing bluetooth tip-ups:


A topographic map of lake Mendota for the Hoofer area of the UW Memorial Union undergoing rennovations:


Madison West Rocketry Club took on a large project for the weekend, intending to construct a RepRap style 3D printer:


As late evening approached, the penny-farthing appeared to have wheels, with a 4 foot spoked wheel coming together:


And the hallmarks of progress and success being evident on some projects:



While others were still resembling an exploded pile of parts:



As morning approached, a Keepon was being hacked together with an Arduino


A 3D printed predator head had been carefully hand painted to amazing realism:


And the penny-farthing was ready to claim its first victim for its first test pilot:


The RepRap build from the rocketry club was mechanically ready to go, with some software and electrical challenges remaining:


By early afternoon, sharks with lasers were cutting the bacon smelling air and projects were receiving their finishing touches:


And by noon there was a handful of folks who made it through the night and were ready to present the progress they had made on their projects including a sewn together light reactive LED panel:

An electronically knit image of a dog:


A CMYK hangbot:


Bacon soap:


A computer knit sign with multiple colors (hard!):


Some progress to report on a website project:

The penny-farthing bicycle was completed well enough to ride:


And some discussion the the difficulty of building a first-person-view R2D2 robot in under 24 hours:

Overall it was a great event, with a ton of people sticking around overnight to push hard on their projects and make some significant progress. If you were at BuildMadison and we didn’t get an image or description of your project please feel free to e-mail something over so we can update this post.

Thanks everyone for coming, we look forward to next year!

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Posted in Hardware, Software

Madison SOUP – November 10th 4PM

Madison SOUP Logo

Interested in enjoying a bowl of made-from-scratch soup, salad, and bread and exercising the power of your vote to change the community?  Please purchase tickets today to support Madison’s Sunday SOUP event on November 10th starting at 4PM at Sector67.  This is a private event, so pre-registration is REQUIRED.

SOUP is still seeking presenters – do you have a Madison-area community project that could use a few hundred dollars to make a big difference?  Apply today!

If you’re wondering what SOUP is all about, please take a look on the about page or check out the prior winners and what they’ve done to improve our community.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Build Madison 2013 – November 23rd! 24 Hour Hackathon

Build Madison
Sector67 is happy to again play host for the third annual Build Madison community create-a-thon.  Come one, come all for 24 hours of work of all sorts.  Please sign up on the Build Madison website to register your attendance.

This year we’ll be running from 2PM on November 23rd until noon on November 24th, leaving us with a 2 hour window for brief presentations on projects and progress over the worksession.

Projects are expected to span from arts and crafts to software, hardware, electronics, and everything else so please feel free to join in.  There aren’t any requirements for participation so please join in the fun.

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Posted in News

Sixth Apollo67 Balloon Launch Successful!

Over the weekend a merry band of Sector67 members pulled together to launch another high altitude balloon. This time with a proven package that made it worth launching a GoPro black in 4K video mode for great stills from the video:

Here’s the launch:

More information here.

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Posted in Hardware

Happy 3rd Birthday Party

Please join us Saturday, October 12th from noon until 5pm for our 3rd anniversary celebration!

Posted in Uncategorized

Surface Mount Soldering Class

Sector67 had a surface mount soldering class on August 21st.

A Lumen Electronic Jewelry Skull Kit was used by everyone. Check out Lumen’s website.


First, paste was applied to the one side of the skulls.


Then, the parts were applied to the paste side of the board and placed on a hot plate.


Once the hot plate was turned on, the heat set the parts in place.


Onto the other side of the skull. The soldering-by-hand begins!





The finished product:


The finished product in action!


Posted in Uncategorized

Xbox Reworking Party and BGA Chip Soldering

Sector67 recently hosted an Xbox rework and BGA chip soldering class.

The ball grid array (BGA) is a “type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits. BGA packages are used to permanently mount devices such as microprocessors.

In Xbox 360s, the infamous “red ring of death” is often the result of a soldering failure by BGA-mounted graphics card.



A couple o’ BGAs.


Xbox graphics card mounted on a BGA.


Soldering a BGA is tricky business and cannot be done by hand, instead calling for the precision of a temperature controlled soldering machine.

The infrared BGA rework station for soldering is a Jovy Systems RE-7500 model.


The Jovy RE-7500 at work:


The wires held down by the yellow tape are thermocouples monitoring the temperature.




See those white specks? One of the graphics chips was dropped and splattered everywhere.


And here is a successful soldering of the BGA chip.


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Posted in Hardware, Projects


Upcoming Events