If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area and want to learn how to Laser Cut, Weld, Sew, or (soon) use a 3-D printer, you’ll be happy to know that TechShop Portland just opened up this past weekend in a spiffy 33,000 square food facility. Like the original location in Menlo Park, California TechShop is a membership facility that offers access to many different kinds of expensive equipment. (See this 2008 GeekDad story for more info on the Menlo Park facility.) You can take a class or just drop in to work on your own project.
For those of you with older kids, TechShop allows kids 12 and older to be on most of the equipment, see this FAQ for more details. Check out the class listing for Portland and also for Menlo Park and see if anything there catches your fancy. At $1,200 per year a membership isn’t inexpensive, but much of the equipment costs much, much more than that, and there are monthly options as well.