Building an illuminated Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

We wanted to make some illuminated signs for our forthcoming Bowie tribute night and called upon our friends in the South London Makerspace to help us – and they did a magnificent job!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The South London Makerspace is a non-profit, social community workshop,  owned, run and maintained by its members.

For a monthly fee, members get access to the facilities at the large workshop located in a railway arch at Herne Hill. It’s a fabulous resource for anyone interested in making things, or just tinkering about with materials and electronics.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The workshop is very well equipped, with facilities  for 3D printing, electronics, laser cutting, screen printing, textiles, wood work and more.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

For our Bowie sign, we used old offcuts of wood and perspex to make the letters, which were cut into shape with the workshop’s amazing laser cutter.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Watching this thing in action was like looking into the future, with the laser cutting through plastic and wood as if it were the thinnest paper.

The speed the thing moved was amazing too, with each letter – and the light holes – being created in under a minute.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The letters were cut to shape with holes to accommodate the £12 set of fairy lights we bought in WH Smith. This was going to be lighting on a budget!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The lights were pushed through the holes.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The cables were then resoldered back together.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Blocks of wood were added to the letters so they could be mounted.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The final touches.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

And the sign is switched on and looks bloody great!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

We also created a second illuminated piece, based on the Blackstar graphics.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Update: Bowie sign installed at the Prince Albert for our charity night!

Update: Bowie sign above the DJ booth.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

While we were at the workshop, we took a look around.

The place was busy with people working on different projects, and it was great to see the way people collaborated and helped each other out when needed.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

One guy built his own 3D printer!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

This device played a guitar through software and motors.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

In the wood cutting room.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Laser offcuts.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Electronic bits.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Cutting perspex.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

3D printer in action.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

A finished printed item.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Loads of reference manuals are on site.

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

Loved this DIY toilet holder!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

The Makerspace is but one arch away from the wonderful Canopy Beer Co’s Tap Room. Very handy indeed!

Building a Bowie sign at the South London Makerspace, Herne Hill, London

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Makerspace for their kind help in creating these Bowie graphics, and in particular would like to thank Tom Newsom for his amazing work.

Without him we’d be looking at a rubbish cardboard creation! Thanks again, Tom.

South London Makerspace

South London Makerspace is a non-profit social community workshop.

If you want to make something, we’ve got the space. All members have a say in how the space is run and get full access to the space and its facilities.

Arch 1129
41 Norwood Road
SE24 9AJ