March 2023 - Board Meeting

3/1/2023 - Area 515 Board Meeting for March

3/1/2023 - Area 515 Board Meeting for March


  • President: Dave

  • Vice President: Jake

  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director: Ryan

  • Director: Carlin


  • Director: Tom


  • We have all the stuff we need to upgrade the Lead CNC! Woohoo!!

  • Our Treasurer is having a baby! And so is the wife of one of our directors!

Approval of Minutes from Previous 2 Meetings

Vote to Approve Minutes of January and February Board Meetings

Yes: 7 (Tom voted by email)

No: 0

Result: Passed


  • It was decided that reimbursements for the Metal Lathe should come from the Metal Shop. Brad was reimbursed for a lathe plate.

  • We received a $1,000 check from Wells Fargo matching funds charity so a big thank you to someone for contributing to us.

  • After the meeting Brad will go through the cash in the Laser Area lock box.

Soda Purchases

  • Board verbally agreed that Jake's screenshot of his soda expenses was sufficient to reimburse him.

  • We went through soda, particularly Mountain Dew, really fast. We'd go through $2,500 per year at the current rate.

  • The plan is to order every 2 weeks.

  • Our price of 50 cents per can lets us just barely break even. For instance, right now Coca Cola is just over 50 cents per can.

Current Members: 96

  • We were temporarily at 100 members.

  • Currently 28 Full members

  • One member wrote a check for over the amount of a year membership. Initially we thought he overpaid but now believe he was covering a back payment.

  • A member again requested adding friends to a Family level membership. The board reaffirmed its position that Family memberships are only for families. If a group of friends want a reduced membership they can apply for a Starving Hacker Rate.

Helping Our Treasurer

  • In light of our Treasurer's pregnancy, other board members agreed to take over certain tasks during her maternity leave.

    • Jake agreed to handle Amazon purchases.

    • Brad agreed to do PayPal reimbursements, cash checks, and sign and deliver rent checks.


  • Jake will fix automation for the Tool Fees.

  • When making keys for new members, board members need to remember to copy info from the Current Members sheet to the Tools sheet, so that the automation can record their tool fee payments.

Iowa SoS Biennial Report

  • We thought we had filled this out last year, but Barry, a former member of the space, received an email from the state requesting it be refiled. (The report needs to be filed every 2 years.) Barry took our info and filed the report again, as he has every 2 years in the past. The Board decided to update the state's contact so Barry doesn't have to do it any more. Jake volunteered to take over the duty of filling it out.

Facilities Committee

  • Dave proposed creating a committee for larger building projects and making long term plans for if we decide to move.

  • Dave said he's willing to be on it.

  • Carlin said he'd help too.

  • Tom wasn't there so everyone decided he should be on it as well. (Plus Tom has already expressed interest in finding a new building.)

Vote to establish the Facilities Committee initially consisting of Dave, Carlin and Tom

Yes: 6

No: 0

Result: Passed

Metal Table Tops for Metal Shop

  • We have metal for the frames. We need table tops about 2' x 4', 1/4" to 3/16" thick. Carlin will get quotes. Plan is to make one 36" tall and another maybe 30" tall.

Shipping Container

  • They seem to be coming down in price. We would like to find one with minimal damage that's 40' - 50' for less than $1,000. We would put it in the courtyard and use it for member storage.

IT Admin Committee

  • We already have an informal IT committee that's really just an email list of certain members. It's called BOFH (Bastard Operators From Hell) and consists of Dave, Don, Jeff O, Ray, and Nabil. Dave added Ken R, Caroline and Jake to the list.

  • Dave suggested it would be good to have an official committee that can come up with a better IT infrastructure plan.

  • Among some of the current IT complaints: a new computer is needed for 3D printing, and there is a file server to share files among the space computers that has been down for months

Vote to officially establish IT Committee

Yes: 6

No: 0

Result: Passed

VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) Conversation

  • The new milling machine has special power requirements. A static inverter was considered, but there are reports that it can cause premature motor failures.

  • Ryan offered a Rotary Phase Converter, but he said it's old and still wouldn't be as good as a VFD

  • A VFD was agreed to be the best option, the downside is it could cost between $400 and $700

3D Room

  • Thank you to Jake for putting new tables and shelves in the 3D Printing room. Chris had donated the stuff from John Deere.

  • A Endr 3S-1 was donated to us

Space Updates

  • Matt is making good progress on his van.

  • Some board members will try to talk Jerry into perhaps allowing us to house and use his plasma table.

  • Dave will start an In for $10 for a 20 ton press break kit. It was mentioned a finger break might be more useful, but it cost $329.

  • Note: The hydraulic press we have works. (The Secretary was wondering about this.)

  • New Cabinet for Metal Shop - A good one was found at Harbor Freight for $379. It was already approved as part of the past Big Tool Buy so no new approval is needed. The idea of mounting a swing away vice on it was discussed, as well as using it to store mill, vice, tooling, collets, etc.

  • Jake talked about maybe doing another Lead CNC upgrade in the Fall. He'd like to replace the stepper motors with servos (they'd provide 4 to 8 times the torque), isolate the spindle and get it computer controlled (get something like a 1.4 kilowatt spindle). With the leftover parts Jake talked about making a C-beam mill.

  • Our neighbors have been found to throw away some good tools.

  • Dave talked with Jerry about doing maintenance on the auto left.

  • Dave made a list of all our charter members and found that quite a few of them are still members.

  • A non-member named Christine Clark would like to hold a meet and greet at the space. She does life coaching for artists and creative people. Carlin said he'd host/facilitate the event.

Meeting Adjourned

  • The Secretary was relieved to find out there's no audio with the security cameras. Consequently he will no longer keep his voice down when he's alone at the space singing along with his music.

  • Board Member 1: "I have pregnancy brain." Board Member 2: "I have that and I'm not pregnant." Board Member 3: "I have something called Dumb Brain."

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