Thermite Casting at YuKonstruct!

YuKonstruct has had a few Don’t Try This At Home workshops and this week’s topic was Thermite Casting!

Thermite is a combination of metal powders that create an exothermic reaction at an extremely high heat. What remains after the reaction, is metal “slag” and solid iron. We attempted to make iron paperweights during the workshop using this process.

We each created our own mold using casting sand and little plastic toys inside wooden frames. We then took the two metal powders and mixed them together in a container. We filled a clay planting pot with the powder, lit an igniter, and stood back a safe distance with a welding mask to watch the reaction.

The product of the reaction pooled into the mold and gave us the paperweight. Some worked better than others. Regardless of the final product, the goal of this workshop was the learn about thermite and safely experiment with lighting it up- and we did that!

YuKonstruct has more workshops from the Don’t Try This At Home series so stay tuned on our events page!


All-ages Valentine’s Day Fun

Thank you to everyone who came out to our All-Ages Craft Night!

We had lots of fun making Valentine’s Day themed crafts. We had several kits available including little robot love bugs, stuffed monsters and valentine cards.

Makers of all ages enjoyed learning about simple electronics by trying one of the two love bug kits. One love bug kit made light up blinkybugs inspired by obeyken’s instructable. The other kit included a small vibrating motor so participants could design their own little vibrobots.

We also brought back some of our favourite kits from past craft nights, including LED flowers, make your own felt monster kits and glovetopus kits.


New workshop series for would-be mad scientists

Danger! Danger! YuKonstruct has created a new workshop series to bring out the mad scientist in you.

The workshops in the Don’t Try This At Home series will allow participants the chance to safely learn about dangerous materials and forces, under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Logan Sherk, YuKonstruct’s Facilities Manager and Acting Executive Director, is a licensed pyrothenics technician. According to Logan, “This is what makes makerspaces great! These workshops are an opportunity to try the fun stuff you can’t do at home. Who doesn’t love fire and electric sparks!?”

Topics in the February and March courses include high voltage, thermite casting and creating flame effects.

High Voltage
Thursday Feb. 18, 7pm-9pm

Tesla coils! Jacob’s ladders! Make your own wood burning to bring home.

Thermite Casting
Thursday Feb. 25, 6pm-9pm

Pyrotechnic exothermic reactions! Cast your own iron paperweight.

Flame Effects for Artists
Thursday Mar. 3, 6pm-9pm

Fire! Learn how to add fuel-based flames to your artwork.