Jeffrey McGrew's blog

Shopbot's new Handibot!

Shopbot, makers of our beloved and tirelessly working robot Frank, have launched a Kickstarter to fund the development of their awesome new little CNC machine, the Handibot!

If you were at Maker Faire this year, you got to see this impressive little portable CNC router. Perfect for jobsite work! I'm expecting a big future for this little guy.

Great thing is that if you know how to use a Shopbot at all, you already know all you need to use this new robot. And if you don't, Shopbot is looking to team up with various app developers. I can see lots of small apps for this; apps to route door latchset pockets without having to take the door off its hinges, cutting perfect circles for bathroom fixture install (like they show in this video), and a whole lot more!

So you should help back their Kickstarter and put these empowering CNC tools into more people's hands!

Friday, March 1st, BWC 2013 Winter Open House

Winter is almost over (yay!) and it's not freezing in the shop anymore. So stop by and help us join in the fun!

We are opening our doors for Because We Can's Winter 2013 open house.

We'll be starting early at 5PM and going until 8PM-ish.

All are invited, so come on by! We'd love to see you.

We'll be celebrating and showing off recent projects completed and those underway.
It's a great time to drop by and talk shop with us.

We'll have some snacks, some drinks, many new projects to show, and more.

Kids welcome, but it is a shop and a party. Lots of sharp corners. And they might learn some interesting new words!

Friday, March 1st

5PM - 8PM

2500 Kirkham St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-8846

Click here for the Google Map.

Meet us at Autodesk University Las Vegas 2012

Meet us in Vegas! We'll be presenting at Autodesk University again this year. Keeping it low-key this time after last year's keynote, we're just giving a single talk on digital fabrication. Thus giving us time to go to lots of awesome classes, meet up with great people, and visit a wonderful tiki bar. We'll see you there!

Welcome to the new site!

We've just migrated our site from Drupal 6 to the new Drupal 7. Huzzah! We took the opportunity to fix some outstanding issues & revise our theme. It's a snazzy new one that auto-adjusts for device and looks awesome on tablets (and soon smartphones).

We'd love to know what you think of it! A few minor tweaks to go, so things will be a little fluid for a bit.

What better time to take your site down and redo it when everyone isn't looking due to the election?

Gamer-themed coffee table ideas

Design is an iterative process, where changes occur as the best solution presents itself from the back-and-forth between the client, the physical constraints, and our ideas. And so sometimes ideas we've come up with for a small part of a project no longer fit into the larger picture. These orphaned ideas are still cool, so we love to share the sketches for them with you!

Recently we were asked to produce a gamer-themed coffee table as part of a larger office remodel we're doing. The lounge it was slated for changed ideas, and a so overtly gamer themed custom coffee table didn't really work anymore.

The first idea we came up with was this Tetris-styled table, where the blocks are various shades of wood inlay into a maple top portraying an endless perfect game falling into place.

The next idea was for an 'ultimate battle' space invaders styled table, where the 'bad guys' get more and more modern as they ascend up the table. This one would be black resin inlay into a maple top.

Really loved the progression of characters on this one.

The last idea was for something a little more modern as games go, and it's for a portal-themed table. An LED-ringed mirror on either side of a nice maple butcher-block top makes it appear as if the top is endlessly passing between the two portals, one red and one blue!

Shame that these three rough sketches won't be made real for this project. Maybe next time!

BWC Business plan update

One thing about our company you might not know: we're an Open Business. We release almost all of our work under a Creative Commons licence. Even our Business Plan.

Which just got majorly updated! We've learned a lot since we posted it last time and feel it really reflects that. If you're either into business or looking to be, check it out.

We'd love to hear what you think about it!

Friday, October 5th, it's the Oakland Art Murmur and our Fall open house!

Fall is here and this Friday is First Fridays in Oakland (i.e. the 'Murmur'). So stop by and help us join in the fun!

We are opening our doors for Because We Can's fall open house.

We'll be starting early at 5PM and going until 8PM-ish.

All are invited, so come on by! We'd love to see you.

We'll be celebrating and showing off recent projects completed and underway. It's a great time to drop by and talk shop with us as well!

We'll have some snacks, some drinks, the now-almost-complete paint job on the '67 van to show off, and more. Lots check it out!

Kids welcome, but it is a shop and a party. Lots of sharp corners. And they might learn some interesting new words!

Friday, October 5th

5PM - 8PM

2500 Kirkham St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-8846

Click here for the Google Map.

Summer open house at Because We Can!

July is here and this holiday weekend is First Fridays in Oakland (i.e. the 'Murmur'). So stop by and help us join in the fun!

We are opening our doors for Because We Can's summer open house.

We'll be starting early at 5PM and going until 8PM-ish.

Come on by!

No roller disco this time.
Instead we will be enjoying our new enclosed fruit tree laden yard along with some BBQ and drinks (while supplies last).

Come meet and greet the designers of Because We Can, Jillian & Jeffrey, as we show off some of our recent projects, including the progress on the LongNow SF bar design, a Robinson Crusoe & HMS themed office space, lots of local residential work, and some big 3D carvings for Wikipedia.

We'll have some snacks, and some drinks, the paint job on the 67 van to show off, and we've reconfigured the Shop. Lots check it out!

Kids welcome, but it is a shop and a party. Lots of sharp corners. And they might learn some interesting new words.

Friday, July 6th

5PM - 8PM

2500 Kirkham St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-8846

Click here for the Google Map.

Meet us at the Maker Faire 2012!

See me at Maker Faire!

We're excited and proud to once again be included in this year's Maker Faire!

It's so great to have participated every year. This year is talk-a-riffic for us! First you'll find us on Saturday, at 2:30 PM on the Make: Demo Stage giving a repeat from last year: The Secrets of Secret Doors.

Later on Saturday, on the Innovation Stage at 4:00 PM we're on a panel with Jon & Kyrsten and other co-creators of the Serpent Twins. We'll be talking and showing off all about how we made them. We're really excited that the Serpent Twins project we helped with will be at the Faire! You'll probably see us helping unload them and taking a shift of babysitting them during the day.

Then on Sunday, again at 4:00 PM on the Innovation Stage we'll be giving a special 'Ask a Master Maker' panel with a nice selection of experienced Makers to answer your every question! Ask us about projects, going pro, how we did something, or anything else you can imagine!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Faire!

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