Wow, some great posts.
This is doubly apropos to the thread and where the conversation led. This guy was interested in machining as a hobby, so he went to/joined " University of Akron, as part of the Formula SAE program (lots of fun!), and loved it. Since I discovered and joined TechShop I suddenly have access to things like vertical mills and lathes again, meaning I need to knock the rust off my skills.
Cool little project; http://www.instructables.com/id/An-A...zzle/?ALLSTEPS
This is cool and just adding to above posts; http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Hackerspaces