Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Day Four - Whistle While You Work

2012 Session 1 - Juniorsgever1 Comment

A whole day working on one project - it's an interesting idea for an eight year-old to ponder, let alone undertake. We returned to the creek this morning, our biggest ideas not yet realized and the reality of the constraints and limitations beginning to set in. Plans will be re-jiggered, great ideas will be modified or discarded, and assumptions will be challenged. We have a tough day ahead, but the light at the end of the tunnel is a bonfire, barbecue, s'mores, and a mechanical fireworks project. IMG 1340 Part of working is schlepping. So we schlepp the pallets down to the creek, we schlepp the tools down from the barn, we schlepp and we schlepp.IMG 1346 Daniel helps Hayden master the basics of cutting with a handsaw.

IMG 1353 Alonzo screws down the deck on the Kablooi walkway.

IMG 1361 The Falling Water house is starting to take shape as the Piki start to lash together some heavy timber pieces.

IMG 1373 Lauren and Jared do their share of schlepping.

IMG 1379 Jared drops in the final pallet in the walkway.

IMG 1392 Gretchen enlists Daniel to help her build a ladder.

P1050530 Gever, Connor, and Hayden build legs for the Nooi house.

IMG 1403 In a quiet moment, Ana gets the grit out of her wet socks.

IMG 1409 The Piki are relentlessly industrious as they work towards their goal of sleeping in their house - maybe even by Thursday night!

IMG 1463 Connor puts himself to his task and makes short work of cutting a pole down to size.

IMG 1499 People always wonder what we eat for lunch - here's a grilled cheese sammy with avocado and tomato.

IMG 1508 And here's a ham facial for Hayden.

IMG 1512 Ana eats about 50% of her body weight in grapes per day.

P1050550 If every lunch break included some time with friendly goats, we might all have lower blood pressure. Gretchen, Hayden, Josie, and Lauren make a new friend.

P1050581 Lauren and Alonzo sitting with chickens.

P1050596 Lauren and Josie sitting with chickens.

IMG 1521 With the cross-bars up, the Piki use heavy line to create shear strength.

IMG 1524 Josie and Gretchen lean back to help tighten the ropes while Hayden offers useful advice.

IMG 1541 Aided by the experience of spending a summer on a Maylasian bridgeworking team working in Austria, Blake scurries out on the crossbar to check for slippage on the sistered crossbars.

IMG 1567 Jared, Lauren, and Alonzo test out their newly constructed load-bearing wall unit.

IMG 1573 Connor and Gever discuss various solutions to a tricky bit of bracing.

P1050516 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Connor contemplates his workmanship.

IMG 1586 Alonzo has built himself a mighty fine chair.

IMG 1600 There is, of course, more schlepping to do. Josie and Ana carry another piece of decking down the creek to the Piki house.

IMG 1621 With the deck complete and the walls tightened, the unfinished Piki house is open for tours.

IMG 1630 The low deck height gives easy access to the dam.

IMG 1647 Jared sets about plugging a major leak.

P1050506 Josie and Ana brace a pole.

P1050524 Connor locks in two more corner braces while Theo looks on in amazement.

P1050489 Portrait of Three Tinkerers: a ride back up to the barn with Alonzo, Blake, and Hayden.

IMG 1659 Connor, Jared, and Alonzo have been working on a secret go-cart project in the free-build time.

IMG 1662 While it has no steering, it does roll in a remarkably straight manner.

IMG 1678 The tinkerers are pretty excited when they discover that "mechanical fireworks" means a pocketful of LED's that they can attach to whatever they please.

IMG 1692 Yes, very excited.

IMG 1695 The LED-on-a-rope design turns out to be irresistible. Lauren attaches all eight of her lights to a single rope.

IMG 1711 Then, it's down to the picnic tables for barbecue. Ana explains her big idea to Gever, "I'm going to put all my lights in my hand and throw them up in the air like fireworks!"

Sophia's slingshot tube cannon is a big hit with everyone, and she delights in putting everything from LEDs to corn chips in the launch pocket.

IMG 1752 After barbecue we settle by the fire for s'mores.

IMG 1786 And some LED light-painting.

IMG 1791

IMG 1792

IMG 1793

Then, because it is Fourth of July, we bring out the sparklers.

IMG 1795


P1050698 2

Tinkering School is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.