This week we’re starting a new series where we ask some of our Dayton Maker Faire exhibitors the burning questions we all want to know! This week, we asked four of our local makers what tool they just can’t live without.  Have a question you want to ask a maker? Twitter, Facebook or Instagram us your question and we may feature it in a future blog post!

But without further ado, here are four local makers and the tools they love so much they can’t live without them!

Cara Kouse, Innovation and Makerspace Manager at Spark Place at the Greene County Library

Cara is a long time supporter of the Dayton Maker Faire.  Spark Place has done a booth every year at the Dayton Maker Faire, and even loaned us their 3D scanner for the Wright Bust project.

I love the laser cutter engraver. I enjoy that it can be used to custom cut wood or acrylic for bigger projects, but I really love that I can personalize a variety of things to create meaningful gifts.


Kevin Canfield, owner of Little Fox Engraving

Kevin is a returning competitor in this years Boneyard Build-Off.  You may remember Kevin’s Team Little Fox water balloon slinging trebuchet, “Purple Rain”, from last year’s Build-Off.

This is my shop drill press “Herbie.”  I bought it cheap from a guy who had it thrown in when he sold his VW Bug. Herbie is the elder statesman of the shop power tools and the heaviest by far, no plastic on this old workhorse.  A good strong drill press is important in any maker’s shop because of its versatility.  I can’t count how many projects have been made easier because of Herbie.  If you ever see an old drill press on Craigslist do yourself and pick it up (just bring a friend to help you lift it).


Christian Moistowner and founder of Autocross Digits

Christian and his team, the Constant Variables, are the reigning champ of the Boneyard Build-Off, winning both the 2016 and 2017 Build-Offs.  The Constant Variables will be back again this year to see if they can defend their title!

I use a number of tools to make, but it seems no project gets completed without spending some time in Adobe Illustrator. It’s not as exciting as a 3D printer, or CNC router, but definitely is a crucial aid to help solidify my plans. Building components to scale in Illustrator provides a more precise way to map out plans than pencil and paper, and is much faster for me than doing a full blown mockup in Sketchup or Fusion 360. Of course, the actual building of a project is much more interesting, but a good plan is imperative to the success of any project!


Josh Cory, co-founder of Make It Dayton and the Dayton Maker Faire

Josh (of recent PyCon 2018 fame) is the main coordinator for the Boneyard Build-Off and writes an awful lot of blog posts for this website.  When he’s not in full-blown Maker Faire planning mode, Josh likes to venture into a variety of different maker projects, like woodworking, building a home-brew 3D printer, code projects, leather working, and anything else he can do in his basement workshop.

I would say my must-have tool is my flathead screwdriver. It’s not super exciting, but I can’t think of the last time that it didn’t make an appearance in one of my projects (except maybe coding. Maybe.) It works great as a pry bar, alright as a chisel, surprisingly well as a hammer, and every so often, I’ll use it to turn screws. It’s important enough that it’s one of the few tools that I put in its proper location in the shop after I’ve finished.


So what is your favorite tool? What maker from the 2018 Makers & Exhibitors do you want to hear from next? What would you ask a maker? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!


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