Knocking on wood: Carpentry Class 1, Session 2

This week the second session of the first carpentry class, we learnt all about joining wood to form good stable and load bearing joints.

I introduced the gang to my favourite topic, "Building without fasteners". As with the previous week, chatter was little and slogging, a lot.

Everyone tried their hand at planing before we went to the carpentry wood shop and zipped through the wood like butter.  The machines are quick, fast and accurate, but they are for mass production, this carpentry class, correctly this session was about working wood by hand, designing without a computer and finally developing the assurance that carpentry isn't only for the "professional".

After planing, and thinknessing the lengths I showed them the basic plan and each of the gang has gone through the rigour of creating their own dimensions and choosing their own types of joints.
Let the images speak of the dedication of my favourite gang.

presentation   sizing_mallets

dedicationx4   Ali_cms_to_inches

Framing_mihir    Ash_wood

For the coming week, we will see some tips and tricks for the various cuts, we will take a look at how sandpaper works and why it is required when polishing and varnishing. Ofcourse we will also varnish the table and finally we will cut the tops to size and perhaps, if possible have some laser engraving done.

Oh we may also be working on an interesting material called particle board. Something I havent seen in the shops since I was a kid. I wonder why it went away.

Knocking on wood: Carpentry Class 1, Session 1

After a long long day, I've woken up at 5, nervous I guess, I sit to type out my joy.
And what a joy the day has brought me. If you're regular on the group then you'll know that I'm taking a carpentry class, or is it giving a class on carpentry.

Initially when I called the class I didn't think I would get anyone as zany as I. Who in their right mind would want to learn carpentry, when there are easier things like electronics, or more exciting things like knitting?
Well there are lots of people out there, some cooler than me, but most just like me. I met 8 of them today. Their reasons for wanting to learn wood working are the same as mine.

They came to the Asylum promptly at 10, some a little later (Yes Mrinal, I'm pointing at you) and listened to me talk about one of my passions over the last 7 years.
I led them through

  1. The concepts of wood working, and in a broader sense the concepts of working with any material.
  2. Then onto grain and how it determines strength.
  3. Wood working tools, we discussed a whole range of them, and how to use them

Hands on quickly followed and the plan was to make 4 mallets which we could use in the coming sessions.
With the limited time we had on the first day, I decided to simply cut up the pieces and then continue in the next class.


By 1:30 we were all done and hungry as we were, there was a fairly large amount of joy when someone from the asylum told us we could continue to 4:30.

A quick lunch later and we were back at the workbench.

They quickly got a hang of how to measure, mark out and cut lengths of wood and 8 "cheeks" were quickly cut up. Followed by the handles.

Handles were marked onto the cheeks and each participant cut out a slot for the handle by sawing on the line down to the marked depth and then chiseling out the waste.
We then glued up the mallet by sandwiching the handle between the cheeks.

I was amazed to see that the fit of most mallets was so perfect, that we had to use the clamps to bring the cheeks together.

So here we are 6 hours from the start of the day and 4 mallets richer. But most importantly we have learned the basics which we will need to repeat a number of times while making the laptop table.


Next session will be understanding drawing, measurements, laying out of the joints and cutting out the joints.
I believe very strongly that the raw laptop table will be done by the end of the second day.

The best dressed C-3PO

Project C-3PO was born when Godrej reached out to us to be a part of their three-day leadership conference — GLF 2015. The event invited global leaders from the company’s offices across the country to talk about ‘Choices’. What are the choices we make as individuals and how do they make a difference, is what the conference hoped to delve into. Parmesh Sahani, Head of the Godrej Culture Lab and a global leader himself, approached us with the opportunity to present an exhibition with the aim to explain what makers do and how maker spaces function as a platform to innovate and collaborate.

Our team spent an evening mulling on what we could display that would represent the community. We dabbled with the idea of using everything from augmented reality to 3D printing.

Birth of an idea

The discussion was in the thick of it when Hemal and Himanshu showed up to work on their own projects. I decided to use them as a sounding board for my ideas. We tossed ideas back and forth till we struck on a project that we could work on together — an origami robot! The answer is always an origami robot. The collaboration between art and technology would be built to interact with participants. The marriage of two seemingly unrelated subjects, we hoped, would convey the culture of the maker movement. And so the C-3PO project was born.

The making

We bought a mannequin that would become the skeleton for the robot. As a part of our R&D plan, we played around with the mannequin to see which parts were moveable. What did we learn? Mannequins may be hollow but they are heavy.

Hemal, Rupin and I, who were working on the robotics aspect of the project struggled to find the motors that would be strong enough to move the heavy limbs.

After several iterations, we struck on a design to make the movements simpler. While Hemal coded the Arduino boards to control the movement of the motors, I worked on the 3D printing. We modelled all the joineries in SolidWorks and 3D printed them to make the mannequin move. Once we were done with creating a moving model, our half-dressed mannequin was handed over to Himanshu for a custom fitting.

Artiste at work

Himanshu’s crafty fingers are magic when it comes to creating lifelike structures out of folds of origami paper. Honestly, you have to see it to believe it. Take a look at his earlier workshop at the Asylum here. (Link)

He worked around the clock for two nights straight. His job included carrying out complex calculations while designing how each origami creation would fit into the other to ultimately form a weave of paper on paper suit for the mannequin.

While Himanshu was doing what he does best, I reached out to Sunil, a passionate painter (spray cans are his weapon on choice) to paint the robot when it was done. Sunil hopped onboard and began by testing the papers that Himanshu was using with different colours to best suit the model.

The final countdown

On April 15, one day before the event, Hemal and I setup the 3D printer and DrawBot. Hemal had earlier showcased this at TEDx Gateway with us. We stayed at Godrej till 1 am testing our equipment while Himanshu worked on the origami. Owls hooted outside to keep us company. Sunil eager to get his hands on the model to start his work, stayed up all night, but the model took longer than expected to finish. The next morning, the origami work was complete. A resplendent albeit pale robot was delivered to Sunil’s workshop in Chembur. The relay of work had reached its final player. Sunil worked on the model at his place and put the final touches on the street outside Godrej’s Vikroli office.

C3PO was alive; assembled and suited up.

I’m happy to say this part-wire-part-paper gentleman incited a considerable amount of curiosity. Our origami C3PO was welcomed by visitors with questions and spurred conversations.

Now, C3PO occupied prime position at the Asylum. We plan to work on him over the next couple of months to incorporate various sensors and better the model.

You are free to visit him.

C3PO Robot-Build Log

The beginnings

We were celebrating Arduino day at the asylum, While having lunch with Anool, Vaibhav started the discussion about making an Start wars inspired C3PO which was to be displayed at Godrej's Leadership forum organized by Godrej Culture lab and asked me if I’d like to make the electronics control system, without question I immediately said YES!. Himanshu[Origami Champion] dropped by we started discussion of how to execute the plan, we decided to get a mannequin as the base as we were short on time. I headed out with Sachin, the intern at the asylum, to check out the mannequin of how the arms, head and the torso are connected and if it would be hack friendly, there were many options there the shop with the material of mannequin the joints on all were more or less same. There was fiberglass and plastic. I went for the plastic, hoping it’d be easy to work with.

We got the mannequin at the asylum and folk started playing with it in a good way.


I posted this photo of the Mannequin on Facebook, it turned out to be a great sales man.



Anool gave me some MAPone (Arduino clone designed at the asylum) few weeks ago, it was time to use that instead of the original Arduino. We had to control four movements of C3PO, head, waist and two arms. I started with idea in my head and pen and paper,this is what that came out.

[caption id="attachment_4522" align="aligncenter" width="300"]system diagram system diagram[/caption]

After making the system diagram I started soldering my way to completion

[caption id="attachment_4564" align="aligncenter" width="300"]11078179_1095520260474799_3041902711058669893_o Keep calm and solder on[/caption]

I used L298 driver which can control two DC motors, which were mounted on the arms and two servo, one for head and one for the waist.

I wrote a basic sketch to test out the system was working.

Meanwhile Rupin had designed and printed the servo head mount and tested it using RC rx-tx.

The arms were quite heavy so we used 3.5 rpm DC geared motor. I was done and waiting 3D printed parts for the arms as Vaibhav was in Delhi setting up now not so secret Maker’s asylum Delhi.

It was also required to cover the mannequin in masking tape so the origami can hold on to it, folks at asylum were very helpful.

[caption id="attachment_4524" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150414_135517071_HDR Rahul applying the Masking tape to leg                                   IMG_20150414_151933931[/caption]


The event was on 16 April, We all gather on 14 April at the asylum, the parts were done for the arms, but we had to laser cut the gears for the waist. I went to Himanshu’s workspace so that he can start the calculations so the origami would fit on top of the mannequin. it was a more involved process than I thought. He was not happy because of such short time left to finish, but the good man worked 2 sleepless nights along with his other commitments.

Some bad news, I finally mounted the four motors. The servo motor for waist was not of the correct torque and we had no time to replace. We figured, we’d just move the hands and head. More testing lead to another mishap, the gears in the DC motor on right arm broke, with origami on top no chance to replace it either. We had to go that one as well.

[caption id="attachment_4532" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150414_194517265 Inside C3PO[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4530" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150414_184719708 The brains of c3po are in its stomach[/caption]

I head back to asylum to set up the drawing robot(link blog post here), by the end of the day, I was tired but feeling good.

[caption id="attachment_4548" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_20150416_110651422 Drawing bot[/caption]


15 April comes, time to get wares to the venue and set things up. Meanwhile Himanshu working hard as ever and not giving up. works all night long, the spray paint artist Sunil Gogia was on standby.Me and Vaibhav went to Godrej One in Vikhroli to set things up,it took too much time and finally reach back by 1AM, 5 hours later we had to be there again at the venue for event start.

[caption id="attachment_4540" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150415_223607688 Setting up drawbot at venue[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4541" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_20150415_223648908_HDR Showing off 3D printer. 70% of crowd saw it for the first time.[/caption]

It was a great event with leaders from around the world giving inspiration talks, we were lucky enough to listen to some of the talks, which included a talk on Copenhagen wheel and a talk by Noble laureate Kailash Satyarthi. A big thank you to Parmesh Sahani for inviting us to join in.

We were also allowed to join on the property tour of Godrej One, where the Godrej’s old soap factory was converted to beautiful spaces with some elements of the old factory to remember it by.

[caption id="attachment_4558" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150416_185319481_HDR The old boiler, and violist playing.[/caption]

In evening we join in on the roof top dinner,great food and drinks, with a splendid view of the city and factory downstairs.

[caption id="attachment_4559" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150416_212006129 View from the rooftop[/caption]

17 april, the bot finally arrives, with only the head moving, it still got a lot of attention and praise. It is not the end, me and Himanshu are going to work on it again to make it better as he is not satisfied with the origami as it was made in such short time and it was a little rough around the edges, I'm not happy with the fact all the movements were not articulated.

[caption id="attachment_4550" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150416_174155162 C3PO, hands were being spray painted[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4561" align="aligncenter" width="169"]IMG_20150417_125931734_HDR c3po close up.[/caption]

The event ends with euphoria playing, I had to leave early to catch a train back home.

It was a great experience working with a team. It was the first time we were working together so learned a lot about one another.

Also while working with Himanshu, we got an idea to build more cool projects(hush-hush for now).

About Me

Hemal Chevli

Hemal Chevli

Electronics engineer

Hemal is an electronics design engineer based in Surat, India. He owns design house called Black Electronics, where he plays with his hand-built CNC router and Laser cutter, and also makes shiny interactive things and installations. Hemal Started out in hobby electronics over 25 years ago and since has worked in areas as design engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, concept design, software application design, PCB design, CNC hardware and software design, web development technologies, CAD/CAM and too much other stuff he usually doesn’t talk about or can’t remember.

Screen Printing Workshop

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins</p>

We  Print

We are known by the name “Jama - Handprint Art. we are proud to be known as screen printers. Screen printing is our passion, and inherited profession in family. it's what we do. we still make our own stencils on screens and run ink through the stencils

In this digital era where everything is at a touch of the finger tips, but still there are various such areas where this medium is still going steady and many opportunities for those startups who wish to build their own brands and builds own product line of quirky and kitsch lifestyle products or simply who wish to have their own screen print studio for customize printing services.

We Teach

These ancient technique is soon dying because of its laborious process and less income, that’s where the idea of teaching screen printing germinated.

We have been practicing this art since 1968, plunged into teaching this art since 2009. We used to conduct this workshop at our very own commercial unit in sion dharavi. But this year from 2015 we have started going places.

We really want to thank the team of Makers Asylum, for giving this opportunity to conduct the workshop and helping us with the space. Especially Vaibhav Chhabra and Akshat who responded to me with a prompt “YES” about my screen print workshop. Also a warm invitation to their interesting hub Maker’s Asylum which could help many like me and others who believe in doing rather than mere watching or with ready made stuff. As my screen printing workshop goals matched with similar line what (makers asylum) they are doing, its only the areas are different.

The goal of our workshop is very simple

• Keep this dying art alive

• For those who want to build their own brands by learning this technique. Which can be easily replicated at home, easy to use material and mobile equipments easy on pocket for startups, not restricting the space.

• Whether you’re a hobbyists, Graphic Designer , Corporate or small scale industry manufacture like PCBs, T-shirt, Invites, Wedding Cards, or a Customize gift solution company.

And to my surprises we had participants from different field, such as copywriter, architect, software developer, an engineer, graphic designer, digital designer and an entrepreneur - already into the business of t-shirt manufacturing, all enthusiasts to learn the art and use it in their specialization areas.

Screen Printing Session in Progress

The session begin with introduction (nothing new but it’s a ritual and best to know and network).

Well that’s how I got to know that they all came from different field, I indeed had a great time with bundle of different questions and more and more to share with the known and unknowns in screen print as a medium.

And now it began with real serious introduction to educate with the basic material of screen printing, basic items such as


Step 1. Introduction to Materials

A ) What should be size of the Frame ?

B ) How to calculate the size of the screen (the usable area for creating the stencil )?

C ) Depending on the artwork and the substrate to be printed one should consider the suitable mesh count of the screens, like 140, 120, 80, 100, 40 etc ?

D ) Emulsion and Sensitizer ? Type and preparation

E) Inks

F) Printing Table



Step 2. Coat Screen - Apply the Emulsion

The participants were asked to apply emulsion (green solution + sensitizer) on the given ready screens. An instructor to guide on how to apply and hold the coater!! One can use any Hard plastic card or even a very good visiting card would work or squeeze if you are comfortable with even application. The pros and cons of applying and coating the emulsion discussed and learnt, hand on experience.

                7 8

Step 3. Design / Artwork to Print

Everyone got busy in creating their own designs.

                10 9

Step 5. Transfer the Design – Build your own stencil

Now the result - whether all our steps have been on right track since it’s a manual process, even an extra minute would create loads of difference, ensure that its should not be overexposed or underexposed. How to build your own exposure unit at home. Being a very bright day and lots of light from al the sides spoiled the mood as we could not transfer some designs initially but we could correct it since we had some good ready stencils with us to further proceed for the final stage.

Lesson Learnt : we need a dark room to expose the screens.

                 11 12

Step 6. Set the Table – Ready to Print

We had seven tables of different designs to print. Check the pics below:

                 20 19

                 18 17

                 16 15

                 14 13

You guys can see the results on paper and t-shirt and smile on the participants face. Nothing compares to the satisfaction one sees when its done with your own hands and turns out to be successful.
Looking forward for them to try it once to replicate this at home. I am just at a call away if you get stuck or any error to be corrected while practicing this art.

Blog Post by Jagruti Mange