Tinkering School

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Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)

Final: Will we get lift off??? Mondays After School

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

So here's the plan... we have a lot of the parts we need already wrapped up or very close to being done. The question now is can we assemble it? Can we make it all work? WILL WE GET LIFT OFF???

Our rail system was laid out to get the rail-riders on for a test and then the rails were secured in place with cross-beams. 


We also finished the elevator carriage and readied it for the rails.

The last hurdle was raising the rigging for the elevator supports and getting them attached to the deck floor!

So did it work???

No. Our math was a little off as all the parts started coming together. 

Upper frame + rails + rail-riders = not enough space for the elevator carriage in the middle! Doh!

But does it hold? YES! Most of this project works and still meets the needs of what we were hoping to have as a shop elevator! Therefore we're going to keep tinkering and see if shop keepers will be able to make it work! 

This was an awesome, super ambitious project and we loved all the effort, brainpower, and ingenuity all the tinkerers brought to the project! You all were awesome! Thanks!!!





Get lifted - Monday Afterschool Wk 7

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

Our team divided into three teams this week to tackle all the work needing to be completed — the carriage, the rail/guidance system, and the top structure. Bobby worked on completing the carriage walls.

The top-structures got diagonal beams to complete the basic frame. Afterwards, we cut the beams that will make it 3D!

On the rail/guidance system, we kept drilling holes and completing our riders. 

Monday - Elevator time!

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

This photo (which is totally unstaged, 100% authentic, and depicts events of after school accurately) shows Eli cutting thread rod to size, before we realized he could use a super awesome tool: THE PORTABAND!

Much faster :-D

Plans are coming together for a big crane-like rig at the top of the elevator. This is going to take some REAL building skills! (woot!)

Simi works to make "super-beams" aka two 2x3s screwed together to be twice as strong. We'll need it for the crane-rig!

Bobby works on some pocket screws on the elevator carriage. So many screws!


Cole and Moss work on the pulley rig for testing listing weights!

First test! 

Cutting walls for the elevator on the band saw :-P Things are really coming together! 

Getting vertical - Monday After School Wk 4

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

Today got loud! We used the circular saw to cut out the door for our elevator carriage—filling the shop with tons of noise and saw dust. (It was awesome!)

Once we had the door to size, we sanded it down because we were tired of all the splinters eating away at our hands. 


It took a lot more tinkering to develop the rails that will guide the elevator carriage. After some planning we got to drilling and testing out some new rigs!

While that was happening others were tinkering with pulleys - trying to make the load lifting as easy as possible. 

And others were working on attaching vertical frame pieces to the elevator carriage. It took some fancy (angled) screwing to get it attached! 

Next week we may get some real testing done! woot!

Monday After School Day 3 - Mechanical Challenges

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Evan BarnesComment

We discovered today that building an elevator that runs up and down on rails is really hard. This project is full of mechanical challenges, so in order to improve our chances at solving some of them, we split into two groups. One group set to work on the elevator carriage, while the other began to figure out how to make the wheels and guide rails. 

The carriage team measured the space that the elevator will go in and began making a sturdy floor for the carriage that should hopefully support and lift our target weight of 100 pounds. The particular challenge of this aspect of the project will be making a carriage that is optimized to be lightweight yet strong, and the team is on the path toward meeting this goal!

Meanwhile, the rail team brainstormed and started to build small prototype guide rails. We immediately ran into problems when one of our first guide rail designs actually prevented the wheel from running along the rail at all. However, with some careful measurement and a detailed examination of the system, the problem was soon found to be an issue of guide spacing. The session ended before a second iteration of the prototype could be built, so now we've got our work cut out for us next time!

Get ready to ELEVATE! #IBT

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

As the oldest group of tinkerers of this session of Tinkering School, we're able to achieve awesome things together that can have a real impact at TS. In that vein, we decided to tackle a pressing need of the Tinkering School - to build an elevator to go from the shop floor (where we work) to the shop storage area. 


Does this photo of Evan look safe at all??? NOOOOOOOOOO! Really, just not safe at all. So to prevent us in the shop from carrying weird/heavy objects up and down a crazy ladder, we need an elevator! Preferably that fits in this nook.

To get started we brainstormed ideas - all sorts of them happened! Including we might need to play muzak!

We then got to tinkering!

Wheel/elevator track tinkering...

Elevator platform tinkering (with a ramp to load things on... maybe it will get a hinge!)

We noticed that there was an elevator in the building—so we decided to open it up and see how it works!! Surprisingly, our plan was very similar except that the lift raises and lowers on a giant screw-like, threaded post!

Also worth noting: we finished all the tool trainings and it was awesome!


Monday After School - Day 1

Get Lifted! (Spring 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

Week 1 of Tinkering School is all about getting the foundation laid for a good, super-productive, and safe session. All the skills training and community agreement building pays off as we move onto our projects in week 2! But at least everyone has the change to their first chop saw cut before the project begins!

Spending some time to learn the true name for the spinning numbers thing by the tip (torque limiter) and how those things actually work will help when we get started.

Next week we'll hit the ground running with project designs and building! woot!

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