Member Meeting Minutes for August 20, 2019

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HackPGH member’s meeting agenda for August 20th, 2019

Call to order

  • Vice-President Sean called the meeting to order at 7:45 PM


  • Simon Heath, President,
  • Sean Guzek, Vice-President
  • Becky Zajdel, Secretary
  • Bethany Klick, Treasurer
  • Adam Longwill
  • Alex Reasinger
  • Kris Kunihiro
  • Gil Tygart
  • Phil Garrow
  • Tom Fetherston
  • Charles DiPasquale
  • Rob Bedel via Google Hangouts
  • Geno Soroka via Google Hangouts
  • Morgan Hartley via Google Hangouts
  • Ezra Juliar via Google Hangouts
  • Steve Owens via Google Hangouts
  • Kevin German via Google Hangouts

New Members/Visitors

  • Nikhil Shinde
  • Jason Toliopoulos
  • Emilio Incerto
    • WELCOME!

Quote of the Day

  • I always thought HackPGH was a home for the weird and broken people with above average intelligence who were cast out by the rest of society. -- Geno Soroka, hero of Ukraine

Treasurer's Report

  • As of the end of July, HackPGH had $25,636 in assets.

Old business

  • Grants
    • Becky has officially submitted the final application for the $5,000 outreach grant to McAuley Ministries
    • We will hear if we have been approved in October, but if you would like to volunteer to teach or help with marketing, please let Becky know!
  • Heat Safety project with Uptown Partners
    • Becky is still collecting monetary donations and NEW fans
    • We accept cash, check, online donations, and/or new fans. Please donate! We can provide receipts.
  • Drone Club!
    • Simon Heath would like to re-start Drone Club. It will be held once a month and dates can be changed regarding demand.
  • Gravel for parking lot?
    • Dale has offered to purchase gravel for our parking lot.
    • Phil has offered to rake it out.
  • Makernet updates
    • None at this time. We will get updates from Chad and update the members at the next meeting.
  • Our coasters for Fresh Fest were a HUGE hit! We even had businesses try to place "orders."

New business

  • Alex will discuss:
    • CNC Machine updates and call to Forest Scientific
    • They are offering us a $10,000k grant for one of their large CNC machines. They are pre-built, no kits required, and they are in-Pennsylvania and can offer support if we have problems. The two options of machines:
    • Maker-Fab Series RMF 48" x 96" CNC Router $20,000 (our price $10,000). This one is made of steel and more rigid, durable, etc.
    • Titan Series 48" x 96" CNC Router $17,000 (our price $7,000) This one is made of aluminum and has bolted connections.
    • We had a live call with John from Forest Scientific. He answered the following questions:
      • Q1: Alex indicated that the base model came with a router spindle. Is that true?
      • A1: Yes, but there is a negative in that it is a little louder. The positive is that they outlast routers and spindles from foreign companies.
      • Q2: What is the limit on material, can we cut aluminum plates?
      • A2: Yes. Ideally the machine can cut woods and plastics, but it can cut aluminum as well. It's all a matter of coming up with the right speeds and settings.
      • Q3: What is the collet size on that router?
      • A3: 1/2 and 1/4.
      • Q4: What kind of motion control system does it have?
      • A4: Central control, made in Pennsylvania. It can smooth out a 3D object. Rack and pinion motion control. Over time, the rack and pinion can do better than the ball and screw controls. There is an anti-backlash system that requires less maintenance and less oiling.
      • Q5: Advantage of buying from them?
      • A5: They are local (two hours away) and thus (unlike a Chinese machine) they can add or change things down the line for us.
      • Q6: Any issue with warranty or us doing our own maintenance?
      • A6: There is a three-year onsite warranty. We call them and they will guide us through any repairs and modifications. They do prefer that we confer with them regarding any possible modifications.
      • Q7: What size motors
      • A7: They tend to restrict them between 300-500. That way in public situations it will keep it in the healthy torque and safety areas.
      • Q8: Do you really have onsite training included in the price?
      • A8 Yes! When the machine gets delivered, Forest will do a "train the trainers day." They work with schools and Maker Spaces worldwide.
      • Q9: Will it run VCarve?
      • A9: Yes, and any other commercial software.
      • Q10: What about shipping?
      • A10: Free!
        • We will have a vote (open for two weeks) on which CNC machine to get.
    • Pottery Wheels
      • Alex has been researching pottery wheels and has gotten us a few quotes.
      • He reached out to the Ceramics Shop, and they sent us back three options (with three price points)
        • Artista tabletop Pottery Wheel ($410) 3-year warranty, does not have foot pedal
        • Brent IE Pottery Wheel ($1,048) 10-year warranty
        • Brent EX Pottery Wheel ($1,521) top of the line 10-year warranty
      • Why get a pottery wheel?
        • We currently have a large kiln, and it will go up to cone-8.
        • There has been interest in getting pottery equipment, and we can offer new classes!

Shop updates

  • Thanks to Phil and Simon have fixed our Sound System.
    • We are going to do research and get a kit to repair them
  • Trash rules
    • We cannot throw out large amounts of "construction refuse" like wood and metal in large clear bags.
    • Rule 1. We must use black/opaque contractor bags.
    • Rule 2. We must break huge heavy construction refuse into smaller bags.
  • Powder coating?
    • We need a powder coat gun. Phil has researched quotes from different companies.
    • The prices are $86 and $172. The advantage of the more expensive gun is that it's a dual-wattage gun.
    • A regular oven would finish and dry the powder coat.
    • Do we want to pursue powder coating?
  • Becky will look into making sure that the fire extinguishers are inspected.

Voting items

  • We will put out a vote for the CNC machine

Project updates

  • Phil has cleaned up the corner! Thank you!


  • Shop clean on Sunday, August 25th 2019. Please come and help out!

Move to adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 PM

Meeting minutes written by Becky "The Icebox" Zajdel