Tinkering School

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Day Three - From Swift Progress to Tricky Details

2013 Session 2 - MiddlesJoshua RothhaasComment

A quick note from last night. When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. When you're a trained circus performer, everywhere's a stage. Zada on the rope P1016086

Althea on the rope P1016090

For Sophia, Frannie, Addison and Josh the day started with a change of plans. Assumptions of structural integrity, supply constraints and a few pieces cut a little to short dramatically changed the shape of their camper.

Frannie and Addison change the orientation of the cross beams P1016097

Across groups today was a day of re-dos and delicate finagling. Where yesterday and even this morning held huge surges of noticeable change, the majority of today was incremental iterations on complex and hard to see problems. From big boxes and chop saw cuts to toe screws, bolt locking and wheel mounting.

Althea and Blake work to secure the base of their pyramidal door to their bike-camper P1016100

Jonah finagles a bolt trying to strike a balance between tight enough to hold and but loose enough to allow for pivoting. P1016105

Groups begin the precision work of mounting their wheels, deciding how to connect to their bikes, and how to allow for intuitive steering. Given the nature of the work it becomes time to take out the drill press. One of the most dangerous but understated tools in the shop. With torque that would put a chop saw to shame and RPMs on par with any other tool, it's a tool to be respected. In fact, we operate it with two hands; one on the lever arm and one on the off switch. It's amazing power is to cut perfectly straight holes through nearly anything. This is absolutely essential for the precise work of mounting an axel and creating a wheel box.

Josh does his drill press demonstration P1016108

Ben uses the drill press P1016144

Sophia uses the drill press IMG 7873

Wheel mounting involves making sure everything is perfectly parallel as any source of friction will be our enemy when we try to pull our campers for 4 miles. Then we have to consider leverage. This is literally where the rubber meets and road. It is where every lbs of weight in our structure ultimately gets supported; only shared by the other wheels. Every step matters.

Elizabeth starts mounting their front wheel P1016109

Anya works with her team to lock their wheel box in place photo

Sejal cuts a hole for her wheel box P1016116

Neil secures a connection P1016122

Katia keeps her eye on the action-end of her driver P1016132

Celebrations are in order when the wheels hold the weight of the team P1016154

Blake works on accessorizing his team's camper with a motorized flad and a small cabinet P1016158

Jonah's initial test P1016162

Addison and Frannie build a saw horse so they can use it to jig-saw their ply IMG 7881

Blake has become a more knowledgeable of our inventory of odds and ends than anyone on staff. He uses this knowledge for good; helping other campers and creating some spectacular gadgets. IMG 7888 IMG 7905

Things are taking shape IMG 7889

Portrait of a Goat IMG 7897

Evan falls pray to the focusing power of fire IMG 7912

Addison and Sophia secure the new floor of their camper IMG 7935

Katia works on skinning their camper with a tarp IMG 7958

At tinkering school each kid takes care of their own dishes. After every time we eat they clean them themselves and hang them to dry for the next meal.

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Trials begin in the world of connecting to bikes and pulling. They started rough and have gotten sophisticated fast.

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An attempt at a trailer hitch IMG 7983

Sophia ran with an idea and invented something strange but effective IMG 8013

We ended our day by hanging out with the animals, eating a delicious meal and running ourself silly playing infinity tag (also know as banana tag, chaos tag and everybody is it tag).

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We lure a gopher out of its hole with grapes IMG 8007

Herb cooks us some steak and asparagus IMG 8012

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Everyone is it and the game works startlingly well IMG 8024

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