Tinkering School

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Orchestra (Winter 2016)

Tinkerer's Orchestra! Weeks 6-7

Orchestra (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

Some notes from our last two weeks of tinkering!

Design time before building the bell box for our bell (resonating tube!):

Lining up the colored tubes before attaching to the ramp:

Getting some ideas for how to attach strings to our ramp:

We picked up the idea to simply string our cord through holes on our ramp. So we pulled out a 1/4 inch drill bit for the job!

Bell box construction:

Building legs for the Fern-o-phone! These cuts required some protractor measurements (based on the structure of our shop saw horses) and a little help from the compound miter saw!

Adding the final wooden blocks to the fern-o-phone!

Tinkerer's Orchestra! Week 5!

Orchestra (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

Tinkerer's Orchestra Update:

This week, the tinkerers began building a base for their Ramp-o-Harp.  A few even started designing a rolling car (which is eventually destined to ring a bell at the bottom of the ramp), as well as a track system to keep the car rolling in place!

Team Fern-o-Phone finished attaching the multi-length rainbow tubes to the spine of their instrument. 

Next, they plan to attach wooden 1x3 boards of different lengths to the other side of the spine!  

Tinkerers had the idea that more slender wooden boards might make a lighter/higher pitched sound. To test their theory, they put a new shop tool to work: the power planer!

Tinkerer's Orchestra! Week 4!

Orchestra (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

Progress continues and tinkerers tinker on!!!

This week we used a new tool and added bit-by-bit to the pieces of our orchestra. 

Team Ramp-o-harp realized that they would need to cut a length of plywood in half lengthwise to fit on top of our ramp's frame. The cut couldn't be made on the bandsaw, and so the tinkerer's had the opportunity to operate a new tool: the circular saw!

We were pretty excited to finally get the wood intact!

Team fern-xylophone chose a 4x4 piece of wood to be the backbone of their instrument, cut their  wooden xylophone pieces to length, and spaced out the multi-colored, multi-lengthed plastic tubes. 

And of course, a little music was made!

Tinkerer's Orchestra! Begin to Build

Orchestra (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

This week, we took our plans out of the realm of ideas and began to actualize some of the instrument designs we had brainstormed last session!

Our big group split into two, and one team set out to build the first ever Fern Xylophone!

Tinkerers decided to build with multi-length plastic tubes and pieces of wood to create the sound-making portions of the instrument. They met a special challenge when trying to secure in place round and wobbling plastic cylinders! In the end, it was nothing a few clamps, collaboration, and a little ingenuity couldn't figure out!

Meanwhile, Team 2 was intent on combining multiple ideas from the previous week's brainstorm. Their design includes a ramp, a moving car, a bell at the bottom, harp strings, and tinkling metal washers. 

They were pretty excited to create the frame for their ramp at the end of an afternoon of designing, consensus, cutting wood, measuring, drilling holes, and pushing screws!

Tinkerer's Orchestra! Design Day!

Orchestra (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

BOOM. BANG. CLINK. CLANK. ~~~~hummmm~~~~~~  

Wednesdays at the Tinkering School just got a little more bumpin.’ This week we learned we would be creating our very own, larger-than-life sound makers. We imagined making vibrations of all kinds, inspired by both the familiar instruments we know and love and by the crazy collection of materials in the shop.

Our session's theme is "Tinkerer’s Orchestra" and every week we’ll be building, tinkering, making music, and adding on to our collaborative soundscape. This blog will document the story of our work, and we'll upload even more photos to flickr for you to see the progress we're making.

 Every tinkerer had the chance to carefully investigate and experiment with different sound-making materials as we brainstormed for our final design. 

Every tinkerer had the chance to carefully investigate and experiment with different sound-making materials as we brainstormed for our final design. 

 Rubber bands can make cool sounds at different pitches when they're snapped!

Rubber bands can make cool sounds at different pitches when they're snapped!

 "Playing" the spokes of an old bicycle wheel.

"Playing" the spokes of an old bicycle wheel.

 The beginnings of a one-string base!

The beginnings of a one-string base!

 Assembling the first draft (prototype) of a giant wooden xylophone. Tinkerers experimented with clanking wooden boards of different lengths and found that the shorter boards made higher sounds! They were also pretty excited to use the power drills. 

Assembling the first draft (prototype) of a giant wooden xylophone. Tinkerers experimented with clanking wooden boards of different lengths and found that the shorter boards made higher sounds! They were also pretty excited to use the power drills. 

At the end of our hands-on brainstorming session, we shared what we had learned, captured our ideas on paper, and collected these plans on the Project Board. Next week, we'll have lots of ideas to work with as we start to build the first pieces of our Tinkerer's Orchestra!

 Collaborating and creating a design.

Collaborating and creating a design.

 Capturing our ideas at the end of an afternoon of tinkering.

Capturing our ideas at the end of an afternoon of tinkering.

 Our project board, end of week 2!

Our project board, end of week 2!

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