IL PPE Set-Up at Spacelab

Ready to get sewing masks? In the Lockport area? Reach out to me and I’ll get you hooked in with our new sewing machine setup at Lockport City Hall.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Illinois PPE Network Town Hall

Join us today (Friday), and every Friday, for our Town Hall. We’ll talk about what happened in the past week, what’s coming up, and answer any questions that you might have!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

CANCER: Please Step Back

A few days ago my pal Jeff Solin (also an organizer at Illinois PPE) reached out about an idea that his friend Nicole had for a mask for cancer patients that encouraged people to be courteous and keep their distance. I took Nicole’s design idea, and along with my wife Sarah, cut out a design on a few of the new masks that we received through IL PPE. The result is the picture below.

Some preliminary outreach says that more folks might want these. If you’re in need, or know someone who is, of one of these masks let us know by reaching out at [email protected] and we’ll get them to you free of charge.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Friday Reads

Smart-adjacent – Seth Godin

“Instead of the quack doctor who goes on TV in a craven attempt to be famous at any cost, they’re willing to be the patient, thoughtful doctor who reads the research and shares useful information, even if the ratings aren’t as high. This is the long-term influencer who earns the trust of a small circle of people. Mostly, it’s people who care enough to model the behavior they’d like to see from those around them.”

Forest Accumulator – Geoff Manaugh

“And it’s not even a modern idea, as the New York Times points out. For all its apparent, 21st-century sci-fi, the idea of harvesting metal from plants is at least half a millennium old…”

Here’s How Time Works Now – Eli Grober

“Now, I bet you’re wondering what a year is. Well, I hate to say it, but we’re all wondering what a year is. The guy who was in charge of re-adjusting a year just quit, and he won’t talk to any of us, so your guess is as good as mine. But I think it’s gonna be a pretty long time.”

University Leaders Are Failing – Francois Furstenberg

“We now learn that the university was operating on the thinnest of margins, its finances exquisitely vulnerable to disruptions at the hospital.”

Machine Sewing Basics – Pam Daniels

Great video by Illinois PPE organizer pam Daniels on how to get started on your sewing machines. We’re making masks over at Illinois PPE, so this is particularly relevant.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Dying Power Structures

Old power structures are dying. They are trying to hold on, glom on, keep on in any way possible, but they are irrelevant. Look at the “leaders” who existed only a handful of months ago. Look at the leaders now. Two different groups.

Thing is they were never leaders. Just brokers. People practicing in power arbitrage. Real stress exposed this.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Making Masks at Spacelab

We’re ramping up production for the Illinois PPE Network‘s south suburban node. Yesterday, I visited Spacelab to drop off 11 sewing machines, six 3D printers, and a bunch of additional materials and tools. Now recruiting local folks who can sew and help fabricate to join us. Everything will be set up for safe social distancing, and we will be following every precaution to ensure that we keep ourselves, and our communities, healthy and safe.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Dremel Partnership at DePaul

Thanks to Bosch USA for partnering up with us, and to Robert Wildeman for working with me to forge this relationship between Bosch and DePaul University. To date, and with Bosch’s help, the Illinois PPE Network (originally started at DePaul) has produced over 100,000 face shields and counting, and now we’re making masks! This is all to keep the people doing the harder work healthy and safe.

“Bosch Power Tools North America (PTNA) has volunteered to produce protective face shields with 3D printers for healthcare workers to reduce the number of new coronavirus infections. With support from a cross-functional team, 150 Dremel DigiLab 3D printers, three Dremel laser cutters, and a CNC machine were accumulated into the merchandising room and model shop. Headed-up by Dremel VP of Engineering, Mike Beruscha, and partnered with DePaul University in Chicago, the team of advanced engineers from Mount Prospect, Illinois, has reacted to the call for face shields, in short supply in hospitals. While PTNA associates are handling the manufacturing of the face shields, the DePaul staff is managing their distribution. The PTNA team now produces nearly 1,000 shields a day and has completed over 17,000 face shields that were distributed to more than 36 hospitals and long term care centers in the Chicago area.”

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Interview over at Tastytrade

I did an interview covering our work at Illinois PPE and what we view as next steps for Tastytrade’s Bootstrapping in America. Video of it is over here:

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Getting stuff to people who sew

If you can sew and are in the southwest suburbs, fill out our form over at Illinois PPE. I’m currently handing out tools and materials to anyone in the area who can help us get face masks into the hands of people who need them. We currently have requests for thousands of masks from hospitals and correctional facilities.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Illinois PPE Update 5/8

Sent out to node leaders this week:


We are moving into the next phase at Illinois PPE which is less urgent, but still important. In other words, people should take a breather.Here’s what some of us are already doing in our nodes:

  1. Fabricating jigs to help people who sew and make masks. I’ve been reaching out to local sewing organizations and letting them know that my node has jigs that they can pick up for free. Some of us have even purchased fabric, etc, to keep the sewers going. For instance, check out these two resources we put together that show what you can make to help sewers(sewists?):
  1. Fabricating this GE face mask frame:

TL;DR: there are still things that people with 3D printers can do, but we can (and should) take it a little bit easier, and do some high leverage things with our printers now like make tools to help other people make things.

This is a marathon.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for all your help and hard work.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus