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Ministry of Broke Things
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This idea is so good, I can't believe that it hasn't been done before. Well, I guess it has, but never on this scale, and with this quality. Here's to hoping they put one in Dallas, TX. Wonder if they'll do club memberships? Here's the article, via Hemmings:

http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2012/05/10/diy-auto-restoration-made-easier-techshop-expands-its-membership-based-workspaces/?refer=news

"Whether it’s true or not, we Americans love to think we can do anything we put our minds to and make anything we put our hands to. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of having the right tools, we tend to tell ourselves, and that project would get finished lickety-split.
With the advent of TechShop, we might no longer be able to use that excuse about the tools or the shop space. TechShop is a membership-based workshop that makes an incredible array of tools and equipment available to members, along with expert instruction on using them. Currently, California-based TechShop operates five workshops: Menlo Park, San Jose, and San Francisco, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Detroit. They are currently in the planning stages to open their first shop in the Northeast in Brooklyn, New York. Current plans call for rolling out TechShop in three to five new cities each year.
While set up to support a burgeoning DIY movement, the TechShop may be just the ticket for an amateur restorer. They have equipment for power coating parts in the finishing room. They have sheet metal brakes, large, industrial punches and even an English wheel.
Having a hard time finding that unique plastic piece that has been broken for five owners and 50 years? How about just printing a new one? That’s right; TechShop also has state-of-the-art 3D printers that can rapidly create plastic parts from a CAD file.
Along with an array of the latest machine tools for working metal, including such advanced equipment as a four-axis, CNC milling machine, TechShop also has equipment for casting various materials, working with wood, plastic and sheetmetal. Hand tools, power tools and large stationary tools, along with plenty of workbench space are all hallmarks of TechShop. An automotive area includes floor jacks, jack stands, a transmission lift, an engine hoist and even pneumatic tools. Plasma cutters and heavy-duty industrial sewing machines are also fair game for members.
The array of tools simply boggles the mind and truly dwarfs what would be found in most restoration shops, particularly when it comes to machine tools. Modern lathes and Bridgeport milling machines with digital readouts are part of the landscape. The list goes on and on, but suffice to say that if you can imagine it, you could probably build it at TechShop. Perhaps as much as the presence of the tools, TechShop’s biggest contribution might be the community that grows around the hundreds of members at each TechShop, each person working on his own project inspiring his fellow members.
TechShop, whose motto is “Build your dreams here,” was started by Jim Newton, who found himself lacking suitable space for his projects when he left a job as the science adviser for Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. Along with access to tools and space, Newton’s business provides expert instruction in safety and use of the tools. Members must take safety classes for those tools that could potentially injure you.
TechShop membership works like a gym, with monthly and annual deals available. Membership ranges from $125 per month to $1,200 per year, with student pricing and family add-on memberships discounted. Given that each TechShop has around $750,000 worth of equipment under its roof, the value is impressive, and you’d be hard pressed to duplicate even a fraction of the equipment at those membership rates.
It’s not a new concept, providing space and tools for others to pay to use, but it’s one that’s been sporadically implemented in latter decades. Here’s hoping we’ll see such community workspaces spring up in cities and towns all across the country in the near future. For more information, visit TechShop.ws."
 

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That has got to b one of the best things anybody has done for the restoration world since the cuting torch or somethin along thoes lines:beer: I'll toast to that.
 

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:poke:Well, let's see. Retiree discount, senior citizen discount, and a student discount (from the school of hard knocks), I might be able to sign up!:laughing3:

Doug
 

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That is the most kick ass thing I have read in a long time! Too bad we will never have one in the hick town Im from lol
 

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Ministry of Broke Things
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Discussion Starter #6
This is the tool that really intrigues me:

"Having a hard time finding that unique plastic piece that has been broken for five owners and 50 years? How about just printing a new one? That’s right; TechShop also has state-of-the-art 3D printers that can rapidly create plastic parts from a CAD file."

Imagine being able to replicate hard to find interior trim parts, and etc. :nanawrench:
 

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I wonder if the membership allows you to have access to the tools but you still have to pay to use the high dollar tools. I cant imagine them not charging for the consumeable material. Kinda like buying a season ticket to a ball club and then having to buy tickets for each game. Back in the early 80's, there was a shop in Carrollton Texas that rented some shop bays on an hourly basis and then you could rent any of their tools you needed. I used to take my Mustang there to change the clutch. That was alot easier than laying on my back. I'm sure insurance is included in the membership.. great idea.
 

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Ministry of Broke Things
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Discussion Starter #8
I'm pretty sure that the use of the tools is part of the membership. However, you do have to purchase materials.
 
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