(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Marking a move to a space that’s 10 times the size of its first spot on Central Avenue, The Foundery is set to officially open on June 14.
Soft-launch events are set to start popping up on the week of May 16, said cofounder Jason Hardebeck.
The plan is to be open seven days a week. Monthly memberships are slated to cost $150 per month, with $50 day passes available. Along with a staff of four, the space has “Makers in Residence” for specific instruction.
Part of running that gamut includes having tools in a lot of different areas.
As in Spinal Tap, the saying around the place is that everything goes to 11. The best example of this comes in the CNC, where there’s an entire wall called “Big Iron Alley” with a water jet, plasma cutter and big router. The biggest tools in that area will cost an extra fee to use.
There are tools that would help both motorcycles and bikes take shape. An entire area has tools for clothes and other fabric goods. Another section is dedicated to blacksmithing, and Maker in Residence Sam Salvati will provide guidance on that front.
While the expanded space and an initial investment are a result of The Foundery’s partnership with the Kevin Plank-backed Sagamore Ventures, Hardebeck said the for-profit is operating on a startup model where the focus at the end of the day is creating a sustainable business model. So in addition to showing off some cool stuff and providing big tools that won’t fit in your basement, Hardebeck said The Foundery is also looking to provide a space for new companies to form. It’s a model Technical.ly Philly has followed for years with NextFab.
Along with a person or group that needs the tools, it could also provide for an existing company that needs access to the tools. An early example of the latter is recently-signed City Garage tenant Bustin’ Boards, which is using The Foundery’s paint booth and CNC router. The Foundery team has also been making tabletops and frames for the space.
Another goal is to help bring new makers into the fold.
By providing access to the tools, someone looking for a pathway to a career has space to find an interest or take classes. A certification from area institutions would be required to go to a community college or another institution, but it’s one that The Foundery wants to encourage. The Foundery retained its nonprofit designation to help with outreach on that front.
“That’s really the goal,” Hardebeck said. “We can support anybody from someone who’s never touched a tool to someone who’s doing it on a daily basis.”