Dale Dougherty, CEO of MAKE


Cool Tools Show 072: Dale Dougherty

Our guest this week is Dale Dougherty. Dale is the founder and CEO of MAKE, which produces MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire, in addition to books and kits for makers young and old. He lives in Sebastopol, California.

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Show notes:

O.M.R.A. Mini Home Electric Tomato Milling Machine ($346)
“[This] is a way to process tomatoes. I grow a lot of tomatoes particularly like Roma and San Marzano … It’s just a mill. It’s got a screw thing that drives the pulp and squeezes out the juice and other stuff goes out the other end. Then you boil that for a bit and just reduce it before canning it. I like to make both tomato soup and tomato sauce for canning. … There’s hand cranked versions that I’d used. All of them usually have like a hopper where you put the tomatoes in and it goes down the chute, and so you’re cranking by hand. This is a motorized version of that. I know actually a little bit from our Maker Faire in Rome. Italians not only make a lot of food but they make a lot of food machinery, and they are just pretty good quality.”

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Cider Press ($1065-$1800)
“There was a guy that makes them in Oregon, and I bought mine. It’s made out of cedar wood from Oregon, and it’s also motorized. Again similar thing, you’re taking apples and putting them into a hopper, and what the motor is doing is running as a block that has blades on it, and it’s just chopping them up into smaller bits that fall below, and that goes into a basket, and then you slide it over and you have a screw press that you use to extract most of the juice from the apples, and then what’s left over becomes pomace. But that’s how you make apple cider which is really fresh. Fresh juice usually oxidizes and turns brown, but then you can take that, if you want to make hard cider, and it’s almost the same process as beer. You’re adding yeast to it although you could naturally ferment it, and let it set. It will convert the sweet sugars in the juice into alcohol.”

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Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine ($685)
“One of the things that I liked about it was it just seems to be well built. Mine broke maybe a year ago or so, and I was able to go online and figure out what had gone wrong. I was able to open it up, get a new part from somewhere and replace it. That made it an especially favorite tool, the fact that we didn’t have to replace it.”

Free to Make: How the Maker Movement is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and Our Minds ($15)
“In some ways ‘making’ is not new, it’s something we’ve always done. But to some degree I felt it had been marginalized a bit in consumer culture. We look to buy things, and we maybe have lost a little bit of the sense of what the satisfaction of making something and creating something, not necessarily because it’s cheaper or easier or better, it’s a process that helps you understand things and that thing becomes your own. Again, I don’t necessarily need to can tomatoes, but I find it satisfying to be engaged in that process, take the stuff from the garden and save it for winter. And I feel like when I’m using that in the middle of winter, I’m kind of connecting to the garden I had in the summer. … One of the points I tried to make in the book, that I think culturally we kind of celebrate the professional a lot more than the amateur, and I think the amateur can take risks and do experiments that sometimes a professional just will never do”

Additional recommendation:

Make: Tools: How They Work and How to Use Them ($13)