Tinkering School

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Day Three - There's Always More to Do

2012 Session 3 - Juniorsgever1 Comment

We live to build. This is the way of Tinkering School. We play to enervate our building, we eat to fuel our bodies and minds for more working. Truly. Over breakfast this morning, there was no talk of how tired we were from the long day yesterday, instead, we talked about what we would do as soon as we got back to the barn. IMG 1894 Every job should start with a walk through the woods, past the chickens, the llama, and the goats. Good morning all you peculiar and charming beasts, let us see what the day brings today, shall we?IMG 3461 Kami brought discarded skateboard decks from her brother's shop. Whee!

IMG 3468 Brigid sets up the scroll saw and gets right to work.

IMG 3469 The Piki are considering building a three-level sleeping car. The challenge is that there not enough milled lumber to build with - luckily Lauren is an alumni from two years ago and knows how to lash poles together.

IMG 1903 So they head out to the yard to sort through the poles and sticks we harvested from the woods yesterday.

IMG 3479 Zada and Amelia trim the branches to clean up the poles and get them ready for lashing.

IMG 1906 The engine car is being built by Theo and Hanna - starting from the mast, evidently.

IMG 3480 James and the Kablooi have a notion to make a bench out of one of the skateboard decks.

IMG 3481 As the days progress, the tinkerers get more comfortable with the tools (always with supervision). Bryn at the controls.

IMG 3482 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Bryn admires a fresh cut on the chop-saw.

IMG 3491 Your daily goat.

IMG 3501 g Adam is mastering the techniques necessary to drive the long screws through the wet eucalyptus.

IMG 3505 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Josh at the Drill.

P1960001 Brigid and the Nooi are pretty much done with their car for now, so they start volunteering on the other teams to help get everyone caught up.

P1960004 Zada works with Anita to make a detailed check list of everything left to do on the Kablooi car to get the removable roof mounted.

IMG 1911 Gever agrees to be the test pilot when Lauren wants a real test of the strength of her fresh lashing work.

P1960037 It would appear that Gever is feeling a lot better today (have we seen the last of that hideous flu?) because he is moving between the teams consulting and offering new perspectives on all kinds of sticky problems.

IMG 3537 Lauren has good company as she works methodically to finish the lashings so her team can bolt the bunk-bed frame into place.

IMG 1918 Zada puts her new plan into action and starts measuring and marking all the parts she has to cut.

P1960077 Done for now? Nope. Bryn and Josh collaborate to make a base for their new pedestal table on the Nooi car.

P1960084 At the other end of the barn, Brigid smooths the rough edges off the new tabletop for the pedestal table.

IMG 1928 Too bad the tinkerers don't get along better with their collaborators. It's terrible to see so much strife on the Nooi team.

IMG 1931 The diagrams from the conversation about hanging things with rope continue to be a reference for projects today. Notes and embellishments accrue.

P1960117 It's such a nice day, that everyone lingers around the Ranch House after lunch.

P1960154 They play in the trees. (Lauren)

P1960146 They run and yell. (Saya)

IMG 3560 Amelia raises the newly minted Nooi flag, and basks in the glory.

IMG 3565 James and Jonah have successfully lobbied Gever for permission to build grape shooters and mount them on the Kablooie caboose - you know, to protect the train from robbers.

P1960284 Brigid thinks of "one more thing" that the Nooi car really needs - cup holders!

P1960295 Jonah sets to cutting more pieces for the grape shooters (some variation on a cross-bow).

IMG 1942 The Nooi flag inspires the Piki to make a flag as well and Adam sets about cutting one from a scrap of paraglider (just a little bigger than the Nooi flag, we notice).

IMG 1951 Jonah is pretty excited about the big grape shooter that will be mounted on the real deck - to absorb the recoil.

P1960326 Jonah and James consult with Gever on a tricky "order of operation" conundrum that has them somewhat paralyzed. He points out a couple of tricks of the trade that they can use with only simple modifications to their design, and they are off and running again.

P1960341 Lauren's lashing work comes back inside and suddenly the Piki bunk-bed frame leaps off of their car deck.

IMG 1956 Meanwhile, out in front of the barn, the Engine Car takes shape and we can finally see the size of the thing. This sail is going to be massive.

P1960373 As the day winds down, Amelia, Jane, and Brigid, enjoy a moment in the Nooi lounge car.

P1960386 With the deck screwed down, the Kablooi caboose suddenly comes together. It helps that while they were blocked on the order of operation problem, they just kept building the things that they thought they needed. Now it's just a matter of connecting them to the deck.

P1960422 Sometimes, at the end of the day, the collaborators get a little bit loopy.

P1960435 So it's a good thing the tinkerers stay focussed and on task. Lauren takes command of the sewing machine.

IMG 3576 Tonight we're having tacos, and after a quick check to make sure we have everything ready, we all settle into the rhythms of dinner. I continue to be amazed at how the "picky" eaters seem to forget their particular preferences and dig in to whatever we make.

It was good to be back, operating at something close to full mental capacity today, and getting into the thick of the building operations. Sometimes the best teaching moments come after you've been struggling together with a couple of tinkerers, exhausting all of your easy answers and recipes. That's when you start to co-invent something new, something synthesized from all the things you collectively know or think. It's the things we figure out together that really help us learn as individuals - tinkerers and collaborators alike.

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