Urban Workshop

The Maker Movement is growing and Makerspaces are popping up all over the country, Orange County is no exception.  With President Obama’s declaration of  June 18th as a National Day of Making and Mini Maker Faires continuing to blossom in all 50 states, as well as around the world, we are becoming a #NationOfMakers.  One of the newest additions is Orange County’s own Urban Workshop which will hold a soft open celebration on Tuesday July 15th.


Recently Urban Workshop owner Steve Trinidade invited members of the OC Mini Maker Faire to hold their Make:OC  Let’s Build a Smoker! Meet-up in the brand new facility.  We built some smokers, ate some great smoked food and got a sneak peek at some of the cool things Urban Workshop has to offer.

From the website: “The facility includes 3D printers, laser cutters, a welding shop, wood shop, machine shop, CNC mills, Textiles area, vinyl cutters, electronics lab, and computer lab. Members have access to advanced software including SolidWorks, Photoshop,  illustrator, and more. A huge work area with large tables, compressed air and electricity is ideal for working on projects and collaborating with others.”

Classroom/work space Urban Workshop

Classroom space and general work area including storage bins for rent so you don’t have to haul all of your materials with you every time.

Urban Workshop wood shop area

A wood shop area in the works.




Steel top rolling tables.

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If you’re thinking about becoming a member ask them about the Make:OC Special discount and let them know you heard it from the OC Mini Maker Faire.




Make:OC Smoker Build

One pleasantly sunny Saturday in Southern California a group of people got together, their mission: to hack, modify and re-purpose a few items and create a portable smoker. OC Mini Maker Faire Team Members Chris Reyes and James Howarth organized this project with design advice from advanced Smoker Maker, Barry Bates. Barry’s  Mini Weber Smokey Mountain Grill is “an easy modification creating a competition tested, portable, compact smoker that can be used as an introduction to the world of home-built smoking”. If you’d like to have a go at building this smoker at home here’s the parts list.
Parts ready to be made into a smoker.

Our venue was provided by Steve Trinidad who invited us to hold our Meet-up at his new makerspace facility, Urban Workshop.  More about Urban Workshop in a later post.

James and Chris brought their smokers and cooked some food to give attendees a taste of what they were in for. Two chickens, corn and biscuits made a fine smoked meal along with an assortment of chips, bread, brownies and beverages.

Delicious moist, tender chicken stuffed with apples, onions, lemon and rosemary.


Seventeen intrepid Makers showed up and three completed smokers went home.










Richard Platts took his home and gave it a coat of paint.

Join our Make:OC Meet-up group where you can join group projects, go on field trips or suggest your own field trip or project.

Until next time, keep on making!



June 2014 Update


Hello Makers!

Yesterday, President Obama proclaimed June 18 to be the National Day of Making and also hosted a Maker Faire at the White House. The event was a celebration of you, the makers. 

You can find out more at www.whitehouse.gov/maker-faire. If you look closely, you may even see our very own Gene Sherman of Vocademy!

You can also take the “Building Maker Communities” pledge at http://makezine.com/day-of-making/  and find different ideas on how to spread the making message.

We have a few upcoming events that you may want to bring your family and friends to.

Sunday June 22 is Factory eNova’s 1st Birthday. They hosted the laser cutting segment of our manufacturing trifecta. They will be having a BBQ in the parking lot  and you can see the cool stuff that people have made. Get some ideas, get inspired, learn, and make!

This Monday, June 23, we are co-hosting the Hardware Show N’ Tell  put on by our friends at OC Worx. It’s going to be held at the eagerly awaited, brand spanking new,  makerspace, Urban Workshop. While I can’t guarantee that there will be a collection of fine whiskies at this location, (the ones who attended the last event know what I’m talking about),   I can guarantee that there will be thought provoking conversation and very interesting people, (and power tools)!

Tentatively planned for Sunday June 29, the Make:OC will be hosting a Smoker Build.  We’ll be using Smokey Joe Jr grills and Steamer Pots, to make some smokers. Even if you aren’t into BBQ, feel free to come by for some fellowship. I’m sure there will be plotting on how we plan to take over the world, (with the 2015 OC Mini Maker Faire).

If you would be interesting in hosting an event, please let us know.  Thank you all for the positive impacts you are making to your communities.

Try something new and keep making!

– Arman, Bequi, James, and Chris

Note: The above graphic was cropped from the WhiteHouse.gov website.

No OCMMF in 2014

The OC Mini Maker Faire Team is taking a break for 2014.  However, there is a Mini Maker Faire in the works for the Inland Empire for October and hopefully San Diego will put on another show as well.  

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported us and made it happen two years in a row!  Whether you are a maker, club, vendor, sponsor or attendee it never could have happened without you all!


Help the OCMMF


Dear Friends in the Maker Community,

It has been our great honor to organize and present the Orange County Mini Maker Faire over the last two years.  It’s through your generosity, that we’ve been able to share the passions and talents of our wonderful and growing Maker community with more and more people. Because of the trust that you have granted us, we feel that it is our obligation to let the community have a say in deciding the future of the OCMMF.

The current OCMMF Organizing Committee consists of active volunteers who have taken on many leadership roles.  The Committee feels it is time to pass the reins to new blood.  We are seeking individuals who have the passion and time to carry on this amazing event.  There are critical leadership roles that must be filled as well as volunteer roles in various areas that may suit your skills, talents and interests. Unless we can fill the leadership roles, a future Faire is unlikely.

A detailed outline of the organizational structure necessary for a successful Faire can be found here: OCMMF Core Team Leadership and Organizational Structure v.3

Please join us at the OCMMF organizational meeting on March 27th, 7PM to find out more check the meet up site at http://www.meetup.com/Make-OC/

Currently we have scheduled the meeting at Del Taco 25521 Commercentre Dr. Lake Forest in the downstairs training room.

Help us Make this show happen. We won’t be able to do it without you.

The Year of a 100 Maker Faires!

Congratulations to the whole Maker Faire Team and all the Mini’s around the world!



Happy Holidays from the OCMMF Team!


Arduino Holiday Star

This year at work there was a contest to make the best ornament for the Christmas tree.  We, the IT Department, almost never participate in these activities.  Well, this year we did.  At work I was shown a star cut from a computer motherboard by Robert.  Amanda asked, “Hey, can you put lights on this?”  I said “Yes, I can use an Arduino”.  I took the star home to made a prototype.


The prototype took a couple hours to cobble together and program.  The program makes the lights dim, get brighter and blink using an Arduino UNO some LEDs and resisters. I brought this back to work and everyone liked it.  A few more holes were drilled and given back to me with a CPU glued into the socket.

Below it he back of the ornament I ended up with…


The finished ornament!  There was no hole for the LED on the leg with the power plug, so I brought the LED around to the front of the star.


My workstation on the kitchen table with a $5 soldering iron.


The ornament did not win the contest at work. 

Slideshow From 2013

Do you have photos or videos from OC Mini Maker Faire 2013?  Please, share them with us in the comments here or on our Flickr account or on our Youtube account

Happy Holidays!

Here’s a slideshow of the photos caught by our photographer Greg Gebhardt.

Self-Watering Recycled Bottle Seed Starting Planters

One of the many hands-on projects that will be featured at OC Mini Maker Faire 2013, are the self-watering recycled bottle seed starting planters!  Here are the details on the project, if you want to try it out at home:

Self-Watering Recycled Bottle Planters

Remove the label from the bottle.


Carefully poke or cut holes into the bottle, near the neck, to help water seep into the soil.  A soldering iron, awl, knife or scissors can be used.  (Note to parents: This step should be completed by adults or older children.)


Carefully cut the bottle in half.  If using scissors, it helps to pinch the bottle slightly to allow the scissors to grip the plastic.  Trim the base down until the mouth of the bottle nearly touches the bottom, when inverted inside the base of the bottle. (Note to parents: This step should be completed by adults or older children.)


Place a piece of paper towel to cover the hole in the bottle, or use a coffee filter to line the bottle opening – both methods help keep the soil from escaping.


Add water to the base, add soil to the top, plant desired seeds, and place the top into the base.  You’re ready to grow!



There are many variations of this project on the interwebs!  Many thanks to desperategardener.com for the photos you see here!