Friday. The last full day of Tinkering School. Hey, why not start something new? At Thursday night's dinner Gever announced that the Friday project would be two-wheeled vehicles, four teams, and a timed race. Yay! But first, everything that we have built will have to be taken apart...
After deconstruction, we have a quick pow-wow to refine the rules and parameters for the race and the construction process. Everyone gets four eight foot 1x4's, two wheels of mixed dimension, and five tokens (hand made by Elijah and Kevin). The tokens can be exchanged for limited amounts of additional materials, or to pay for "big advice", or to buy down their race time (five seconds per token) on Saturday morning. Inter-team bartering and trade is fully supported, and everyone immediately starts trading wheels around.
Followed by a frenzy of design and planning.
Followed by much prototyping.
Portrait of a Young Tinkerer: Elijah
And then some commitments to key design decisions. The Nooi (consisting of Kevin, Mica, and Rhody) have decided to use a eucalyptus pole as their steering shaft.
Listening in to the conversations in various teams, Gever picks up on a common thread of steering-related consternation and decides to do a 90-second mechanical engineering intervention.
Gever's talk gives some teams confidence to move forward with their plans, and some decide to adopt a new idea.
Kip takes a meditation break as he strips the bark off of a good, solid, eucalyptus stick.
Every cut is precious since the wood is so scarce. Measure once and cut twice suddenly makes perfect contextual sense.
Gabriel and Serena lock their rear wheel into their chassis.
Unwilling to commit to a specific height for their steering column, the Nooi decide to leave it full length for the time being.
The Panda team (Gil, Glynn, and Kip) has a very unique design.
Serena (helping with the blog tonight) thinks that this picture makes it look like she's using her in-progress front wheel mount as a manicure stand.
"Hey Gil?" "Yes, Gever?" "Is that really how you are going to drive?" "Uh, maybe?"
Gever has developed a very fashionable solution to the slit pant-leg problem.
Serena and Gabriel (members of the Kablooi) get their chassis board connected to their first steering solution.
Mica and Rhody toiling away in abject despair back in the bat-infested corner of the barn.
Glynn handles the business end of the drilling operation.
And Kip helps at the other end.
Gabriel at the chopsaw - just one moment of many-hour frenzy of activity in the barn.
The Piki (Althea, Elijah, Sam, and Kate) vehicle is coming together nicely.
Meanwhile, down in the nursery.
Glynn encodes secret messages in the Panda paint job.
Kip connects with his inner Avenger.
And then, somewhat suddenly, there is actual vehicle testing going on. Gil takes the USS Pandaprise out for a spin.
With fewer than 30 minutes to tools-down, Althea and Elijah work hard to finish the Harley-style steering on their vehicle.
And the Nooi get within one eye-bolt of being done.
Then the Piki vehicle comes out of the barn for a test drive.
Feet up, headed down hill - but wait, you forgot your helmet!
Gil picks up speed.
"Hey, Althea! Are those your yellow shorts?" "No Gil, that's my shirt."
Looking like a cross between a Vespa and a poodle, the Kablooi vehicle turns out to be the most maneuverable.
Portrait of a Young Tinkerer, Elijah with a Helmet.
Go Kate, go!
Gil keeps up the Tinkering School tradition by riding down to the conference center on the outside of the vehicle.