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MIT student blogger Cristen C. '10

Welcome to the Woodshop by Cristen C. '10

Don't forget close-toed shoes and please WEAR GOGGLES.

Laura did a pretty great job covering the variety of machine shops around campus in her epic Machine Shops entry. But she missed my place… ;)

Where architecture comes to life with wood and more.

Two afternoons each week, I work as a monitor at the N51 Woodshop. In Building N51, next to the MIT Museum way up on the tippy-top of campus (where top = North), I make sure everyone working in the shop knows what they’re doing, uses the tools correctly, and ties up their hair in proper fashion.


We’re not against hippies, really.
Every Architecture student at MIT gets introduced to this place at least once. Most other people don’t know about this place, because it is specifically targeted at students within the Department of Architecture. It’s a standard spacious woodshop with all the usual tools along with a decent supply of various materials (mostly wood, naturally, but also foam and plastics) which we can use for our class projects.

Personal projects are encouraged as well. For example, my friend Victoria ’08, also an architecture student, designed her own loft and cut, sanded and finished the pieces in this woodshop. It’s really the most beautiful loft I’ve ever seen, and it still lives in East Campus today in all its smooth, shiny, easily-disassembled glory.

Detail, beauty, structure.

More stuff:

Can *you* curve a chunk of wood like this?

Here is a CNC Router. This one can cut aluminum, foam, and wood. Using it requires special supervision.

Let the machine take care of the large-scale model for you!

The 1st floor of N51 has a few other goodies for our projects too:

1. A lasercutter! The newest one on campus is across the hall, and it is one of three lasercutters on campus for use by us Architecture students.

2. A metal shop! Adjacent to the woodshop and full of machinery for your metalworking needs.

Because you know you’re going to build something crazy someday.

3. I know this photo looks dingy but no one was around! This is a space for those Visual Arts students to make their projects. Cast plaster! Melt wax! Sew your dreams! Make anything!

And store your projects as well..

So, that rounds up some of the amenities Architecture students get at MIT. Because you know what? Here at MIT, we were not just thinkers, but we’re also creators!

13 responses to “Welcome to the Woodshop”

  1. mika (14?) says:

    that’s a really nice-looking loft… interesting post!

  2. Lurker says:

    So you really do get to play! I love the way MIT doesn’t undermine the old technologies when they add the new. Cheers-

  3. Justin says:

    I notice spam on the MITblogs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    that is so awesome! simply amazing. i would really want to just stay in the machine shops and make random stuff all day.

  5. Anonymous says:

    laser cutter?! wow!

  6. Suryansh says:

    The pics were gr8. Thanks for the tour.

  7. adcom says:

    I am applying to MIT just because of this laser cutter.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I can see course 6’ers *attempting* to make the laser cutter ‘intelligent’ and ‘automatic’. But also, I can see blood, limbs and malfunctioning machinery.

  9. sepideh says:

    as an architecture student won’t you consider writing an entry about your study abroad programs?

  10. Wow, this place looks amazing! I know a friend who would love this. Well I love this too but I don’t study Architecture. Anyway thanks for the tour Cristen!

  11. '12 says:

    Are students from outside architecture allowed to use that?

  12. Jess says:

    Ohhh, nice – taking 4.301 this term and just learned about the woodshop and the metal shop smile

  13. VAL ('14?) says:

    I do believe that I just drooled over that shop…

    Ps. That loft looks like the one I made over the summer- minus the nifty sunbeam supports. smile