January 2022 - Member Meeting

January 2022 - Member Meeting

1/29/2022 - Area 515 Member Meeting

Total Number of Full Members Attending: 14 + 2 by proxy

Quorum was reached (12 Full Members were required)

Board of Directors Attending:

  • President: Dave

  • Vice President: Jake

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director: Ryan

  • Director: Tom (by proxy)


  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Director: Carlin

Secretary's Note: In light of COVID-19 this meeting took place both in person and via Google Meet.


  • Given the large number of new faces, everyone introduced themselves to the group.

State of the Space


  • We're on solid footing. We've been operating in the black, even if you exclude the large donations we received last year.

Current Membership: 78

New Tool Updates

  • We traded a mini lathe for a medium sandblasting cabinet.

  • Autoshop got an ultrasonic cleaner large enough to put a carburetor in. People will need training to use it.

  • We successfully accomplished two "In for $10"'s recently.

    • Curtains for the 3D Printing room

    • Setting up the CNC Router Lift

  • Jason is working to set up a new jointer/planar in the Wood Shop

  • QR Codes have been posted throughout the space. If you follow the link, they prepare an email to the Tool Stewards you can use to inform them of any accidents, mishaps, or relevant information.

Update on Additional Space from Landlord

  • This has been tabled indefinitely. Jerry's business is expanding and if anything he needs more space.

  • We need to be more efficient with the space we have. The maker space in Peoria was mentioned as a model for this. It has slightly fewer tools but a lot less square footage.

  • It was emphasized that wood for future projects should not be stored at the space. Only wood to be used in a current project should be there. It was also mentioned that members have been better about this the last 6 months.

  • One member said that some storage rental companies are willing to let non-profits use some of their facilities for free. None of the board members expressed interest in pursuing this.

Clean Up After Yourself

  • ...and always put your tools away when you're done.

  • The space is run entirely by volunteers, including the Tool Stewards, so nobody is paid to clean up.

Treat Tools Respectfully

  • When using tools, members are encouraged to have some "mechanical sympathy" and listen to how the tool sounds. If it sounds wrong, you're probably doing something wrong.

  • Jason summarized this nicely when he said "99% of what we have here doesn't require strength, apart from the autoshop."

Code of Conduct

  • The Secretary is currently collecting signatures from all members. Emails have been sent to members allowing them to sign using Adobe Acrobat. Physical copies have also been provided in the classroom to those who want to sign in person.

  • Currently, just under half of members have signed it.

  • Everyone needs to make sure they've signed the waiver too.

Red Bull Soap Box

  • Red Bull is sponsoring a soap box derby here in Des Moines. It's meant for adults. They want teams of 5, and unique entries are highly encouraged.

  • One of the first group projects at Area 515 was a tuk tuk goose chase, which proved to be a wonderful bonding excercise.

  • The space's entry for the Powerwheels Racing Contest in Kansas City was also discussed. It could do 40 mph in a straight line and had a propane torch for the tail pipe. The rules for the race were significantly altered after our entry.

Vote to Promote Supporting Members to Full

  • None at this time.


  • The President specifically acknowledged Caroline, Jake, Jason and Carlin for the numerous improvements they've made to the space.

  • New members were highly encouraged to start checking the Google Groups page since that's our main method of disseminating info and asking questions.

  • The electronics room could use more 3D printed drawer dividers if members would be willing to make them.

  • Bill let everyone know that he found a new indoor RC racing track in Merle Hay Mall called Wolfram RC. They sell entry kits for $225. The track is for smaller cars but if no one is racing you can use their track for free.

Meeting Adjourned

  • "It was a lot of fun and nobody got hurt." - summation of the space's experience with the Kansas City Powerwheels Racing Contest.

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