This page is a directory of links to organizations that provide classes and workshops on how to make and repair products around your home. As a self-reliant person, it is beneficial to you to develop and maintain skills that make you less dependent on others:
How to “Make” something:
For those unfamiliar, I have listed some “Make” websites, which are DIY clubs for those that like to craft, build and tinker. Learn and connect with other do-it-yourselfers in order to develop the skills that will allow you to lead a more independent and self-sufficient lifestyle.
www.milwaukeemakerspace.org According to their website, they are “a club for people who like to build, invent and tinker.” Do you want to learn how to build something? These people can probably show you how.
http://makerfaire.com/map.html While this website is based for events in the Bay Area and NY, I’ve added this link for the map it provides. There are numerous “mini-maker faires” around the country which will provide you great contacts if you are interested in honing your crafting and tinkering skills.
http://makezine.com/groups/index.csp Comprehensive list of maker groups around the country from Make web magazine.
http://www.woodcraft.com/ national chain for woodworking tools and supplies which offers local classes for making various wood products.
http://www.woodworking-news.com/ A website with a national listing of woodworking classes.
http://www.wiscwoodworkersguild.org/ Local hobbyist guild. Their website did not have an updated calendar; however, their newsletter section was updated and listed not only their classes, but other places as well such as Rocklers.
http://www.rockler.com/ Great woodworking online and store retailer—for example, it has a Murphy bed conversion kit, as well as great drawer & cabinet storage organizers. Plus, they have classes as well.
For the Home:
http://fiberarts.org/ National directory of guilds and groups relating to the practice of fiber arts such as weaving, knitting and spinning. The directory is a state-by-state listing of groups.
http://www.quiltguilds.com/ National database for quilting clubs. Really hone your sewing skills by joining a local group.
http://www.asg.org/ National American Sewing Guild which has a database for local sewing groups and guilds. While I am not a member, I am an occasional sewer, so I can attest to this being a worthwhile skill to develop.
http://www.tillersinternational.org/ This website is for a farm located in Michigan. They teach you EVERYTHING, from Metalworking to Woodworking, from farming to cheesemaking.
http://www.youngfarmers.org/practical/farm-hack/ This is a great resource website for rural tinkering, and even some of you “urban farmers.” The website states that it “offers farmers new opportunities to work together on tools and innovations that will make our farms more sustainable and efficient. We also seek to collaborate with engineers, designers, architects and other non-farmer allies who want to help strengthen sustainable agriculture.” Politics aside, it seems to be a worthwhile endeavor and I recommend checking it out.
http://www.jmwillowwinds.com/index.shtml Have you ever wanted to learn how to tan a hide? Trap beaver? Make baskets? If so, head to Mikado, MI, and learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about basic survival skills. The classes seem reasonably priced, Michigan is beautiful and could really use our tourist dollars more than Disney World. Besides, you’ll never learn to make a birch bark container at EPCOT.