Tinkering School

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Tuesdays- Cyborgs- Major Progress Day!!!

Frannie DiBonaComment

We switched it up today and decided to leave our drill arm's finishing touches for later and move onto a new project with switched up groups! The backpack team made serious progress on the PVC joints and the frame and our new Screw Dispenser team started their build!

The backpack team works on the best way to support our vacuum.

The screw dispenser team measures their box sides before cutting them out

Noe double checks the measurements with precision

Time to cut! Don't forget the push stick

Everyone tries their hand at the bandsaw!

Over at the drill press, we use a clamp to get the PVC pieces apart!

The after math of discovery

We have a vacuum backpack coming along nicely! Our drill arm remains patiently in the background awaiting a screw dispenser. Three more weeks to go and our cyborg is coming along beautifully!

Friday Welding - Week 5

Amanda SimonsComment

We should rename this After School Friday Session. It's not really about welding at all!

The thing about welding is that the actual welding part is so short. Push the trigger. Boom. You're done. That's it. On to the next thing. 

It's the "on to the next thing" part that takes the time.

Before we can even weld anything together, we have all this safety equipment -- jackets and booties and helmets and googles and gloves. 

Before we can even weld anything together, we have to plan the design. We have to measure and cut and figure out where a weld is even going to go. 

Before we can even weld anything together, we have to arrange and hold down and carefully place all these (sometimes) tiny pieces. 

Before we actually have a project that looks like a thing, we spend week and weeks prepping to pull the trigger on that welder. It's a slow and methodical process that teaches the Tinkerers about patience and planning and even more patience. 

But there's good news. This week was Week 5!

And that means we have some pretty neat projects evolving. All that planning and patience has paid off and I can't wait to see what next week brings! 


Sage RyanComment

This week, the Tinkerers haven't been back at it for a whole two weeks!!  But boy did they make up for that time. Today was had a smooth beginning. Our first four sessions entailed a whole lot of designing and planning. But at the end of our last session, we had a moment where every thing sort of fell together. So when we came in today, everyone was ready to pick up exactly where we left off and go full steam ahead on our solid idea!!

What started off as an enormous nose has had the consensus to become the head/body...


the flow of today had one group securing the head and preparing it to bear the wait of all the body parts..


and another continuing to build those very parts! most of the day, this group spent time outlining ears on plywood.. and taking it to the band saw!


The body grouped finished their day off ALSO on the band saw.. cutting the panels to line the skeleton of a face we built..


while the ear group began designing a new nose!! (this was a wonderful period of focus and collaboration)!


During closing circle, both groups reconvened and spent a few minutes drawing on pieces of paper what they did today, and how they helped. 


The exercise helped the group reflect a little on the work they've been doing, how they've been working together, the friends they've made, the progress they've made, and how gosh darn cool the project AND the project actually are!!

Tuesdays - Cyborgs - Week 6

Lindsay JonesComment

Today the teams worked on fine tune, very specific and frustrating parts of their projects.

Noe unsticks a jammed connection.

Noe unsticks a jammed connection.

The Vacuum Arm team is finding that mass producing their flexible connections is pretty tricky.  Last week they carefully measured out where to cut channels to fit the slider screws in. Today we discovered that measuring doesn't always match up with how things fit in real life.  When we tried to fit the pipes with channels into the connectors with holes, they didn't match up and definitely weren't flexible! UGGGHHGGGHHH!

Jaro and Nolan hold the support in the right place, while Raj attaches it!

Jaro and Nolan hold the support in the right place, while Raj attaches it!

Drill Arm team had a drill support to attach in just the right place as well as control strings that needed to be attached so they would last and also be exactly the right length. Two things that required very exact alignment and was much easier with 2 or3 or 4 helping hands!

Festus rotates the inner pipe to mark where the channel should go.

Festus rotates the inner pipe to mark where the channel should go.

To solve the measuring theoretical placement vs real life placement the Vacuum Arm team returned to the way they marked the original test connection: sticking a pencil through the screw hole and rotating the inner pipe to draw a line around it where the screw needs to go.

Drill Arm team learned a new knot! The Figure 8! They decided to use this knot, because it doesn't loosen and untie itself easily.

After a brain curdling afternoon of aligning, attaching, un doing and realigning - here is the final drill rig! The group spent the rest of the afternoon investigating more cushy materials, to make the arm more comfortable.

Over at the Vacuum Arm, Munir was working on making the vacuum into a backpack, by attaching straps to our frame.  Drilling through fabric is ridiculously difficult, because it likes to move with the drill bit. Last week we had struggled with wrapping the straps around the drill when we attempted to attach them to the wood. This week Munir clamp the fabric down tight so that it stayed in place while he secured it. Worked like a charm!

At the end of the day we spent a few minutes reflecting on our day. We all drew a picture of what we were proud of and something that we felt we could work harder on next time.  Each tinkerer  spent several minutes illustrating and making notes for each prompt and were super thoughtful - even though some were afraid to share. Taking the time to remember the triumphs of the day along with realizing where we could do better felt really nice.


Sage RyanComment

We got goin' once more!!! Everyone's projects are turning into stuff that you know what it is, and it is AWESOME!! 

With folks journaling in their notebooks... 

We've got everything from grappling hooks....

and space ships....

to abstract geometrical creations!!!

'Can't believe that after only FIVE DAYS of workshopping, the tinkerers have gotten to be so safe, exited and apt at their new skill!! 



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