Tinkering School

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Session G: Day 2 - Seats, Swings, and Sunscreen

2015 Session G - MiddlesSerena G-H1 Comment

The morning starts with a wonderful breakfast, and evolves into card game and board game time in the dining hall. 

In preparation for a warm, sunny day, spontaneous sunscreen application has begun. 

And then it's time for the real beginning of Tinkering School - Tool Training! We each get to rotate through all three of the tool training stations....

Clamps! These oft-underestimated tools can be our best friends, giving us a hand when we are building large structures and helping to keep our joints tight. 

Chopsaw! The longtime Tinkering School favorite, and the way we'll cut most of our wood this week. Jenny explains. 

And Nathan takes a go. Everyone has the chance to try. 

Drills! The most-used tool in any given Tinkering School week. 

Tool Training gives us some of the basic skills, but more so the confidence to try out new and different tools throughout the week. As we progress with the project, there's lots of time to practice and get better. 

A view from the amphitheater - Josh announces the first project, benches. Speaking up on stage is awkward, and think how nice it would be to have a nice circle of benches outside where we could  have meetings. 

Questions fly as tinkerers begin to think about the challenge — what exactly makes a bench, anyway?

We split into groups to brainstorm. 

And come up with some crazy, cool, and cozy ideas. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Stephanie marks a board for a cut. 

By mid-morning, we see things that look like benches appearing. 

Portrait of a Drill: what's the pre-drill bit doing in the impact driver? 

After lunch, we have "siesta" time, a chance to take a nap, have calm time in the yurt, or hang out. Nathan and David play a game of cards.  

It's fun to make faces at the camera when you catch the photographer nearby. 

And then it's back outside to work — these look like they could make good seats. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Max, using the Japanese Pull Saw. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Andrew, incredibly focused. 

By late afternoon, structures are emerging. 

This group is building a series of reclining chairs with  seats made out of parachord. 

Lots have groups have gone for the "porch swing" idea, and A-frames have emerged as a result. 

Portrait of a Collaborator: Sayer, thinking. 

The enthusiasm for the benches carries into after dinner free-build time, and we work even as the sun sets. 

Hugo is enthusiastic. 

Your Daily Josh. (And a Katie too.) 

The sunset is beautiful, and we're determined to work until last light. 

A parachord seat coming together. Emily has her weaving technique down. 

By night fall, we're beginning to see some benches. Testing them is fun. 

At the end of our first day, we're tired, but we feel accomplished — benches are closer than ever to being finished, we've gotten our hands on the tools, and we've bonded and found a groove as a group. 

I'll leave you with this message, a piece of collective wisdom written down — drink water, wear sunscreen, and it'll lead to a great day a Tinkering School. 

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