TSAS Seniors: Major Library Progress

Our oldest crew made major progress on the Tinkering School Library today.

Ethan works out a miter while Trent mates the face frame to the cladding on top. Both features will be highly visible to users.

Ethan works out a miter while Trent mates the face frame to the cladding on top. Both features will be highly visible to users.

Asa focused on welding brackets for our live edge shelves, then grinding down the welds.

Asa grinds!

Asa grinds!

Transient

Trent, Ethan and Dexter started the demanding, precise work of cladding the bookshelf carcass in thin, random-width strips of cladding.

It looks like furniture!

It looks like furniture!

Between the live-edge shelves and the clad cabinet, we should have a nice, rustic-looking Library soon!

TSAS Middles: Building Gutters for a Boat Race

After extensive prototyping, we started in on production of the full-size gutters for our boat race.

"Yes, Josh, but what if we did it this way..."

"Yes, Josh, but what if we did it this way..."

It was a lean crew, our ranks decimated by spring break trips. The tiny crew had a great vibe and workflow, and were able to cheer one another through tough problems and moments of wandering focus.

Travis and Gio tried three different styles of leg assembly before settling on the one that was sufficiently strong and easy to produce.

Travis and Gio tried three different styles of leg assembly before settling on the one that was sufficiently strong and easy to produce.

Elijah double checks the plywood that will actually hold the water.

Elijah double checks the plywood that will actually hold the water.

With Bella cranking out precise pieces for the gutters' stilts and Gio, Travis and Elijah on assembly, we produce a stable, standing 8' length of "boat racetrack"!

When making standard parts, quality control is crucial.

When making standard parts, quality control is crucial.

Stay tuned!

Gio and Elijah start to assemble a gutter.

Gio and Elijah start to assemble a gutter.

TSAS Juniors: Beginnings of a Tiny House

Our youngest crew started construction on a house today.

Scarlett and Dash fasten a stud to a bottom plate.

Scarlett and Dash fasten a stud to a bottom plate.

We began by planning the size of the house. We all stood in a blob, and measured the size of a rectangle that could contain our blob to find the area of the house. (It was about 6'x8'). Then we determined the height, based on the height of our tallest builder (not counting Josh and Sean), and decided to place our roof around 50".

Sketching in life-size, with wood. The full crew determines the footprint of the house.

Sketching in life-size, with wood. The full crew determines the footprint of the house.

With just those three dimensions, we were able to start framing.

Dash cuts a stud.

Dash cuts a stud.

Stay tuned as progress continues!

Evan, Dash and Scarlett clamp two walls together.

Evan, Dash and Scarlett clamp two walls together.

Go Franklin! Tighten that clamp buddy!

Go Franklin! Tighten that clamp buddy!

Jameson, Maite and Owen vacuum the chop saw room after a dusty day.

Jameson, Maite and Owen vacuum the chop saw room after a dusty day.

TSAS Seniors: Making Boards from a Log, Finishing a Case Carcass

We got to use loads of fun tools as we built our library today.

Panu re-saws a redwood. (Don't worry, the log is on a sled!)

Panu re-saws a redwood. (Don't worry, the log is on a sled!)

Ethan and Dexter busted out the pipe clamps to complete the carcass of their bookcase. The carcass is made only from off-the-shelf fraing studs, but thanks to their care and precision, it came out extremely square. (Sorry, we were all too busy to snap a photo!) Next week we'll clad the carcass in strips of softwood, matching the rustic feel of our shop.

With the log now square on two sides (S2S), Trent can re-saw sans-sled.

With the log now square on two sides (S2S), Trent can re-saw sans-sled.

Sam and Asa used the portable bandsaw and MIG to weld some sleek brackets for wall-mount shelves, while Panu and Trent used the bandsaw, planer, and random orbital sander to make boards from a redwood log over 14" diameter!

...then we plane...

...then we plane...

...then we sand.

...then we sand.

TSAS Juniors: Instruments Learned, We Begin to Write Songs

Last session, we presented our youngest builders with DC motors, batteries, wire, common school supplies...and very little instruction our direction. It was kind of like giving kids a musical instrument they'd never seen before, and just encouraging them to explore the possibilities.

Franklin and Maite set up the "robot zoo" where their creations will skitter, doodle, waddle, roll, tumble...

Franklin and Maite set up the "robot zoo" where their creations will skitter, doodle, waddle, roll, tumble...

This session, our builders came in with a working knowledge of the materials, and clear understanding of what they might build--they had learned their instruments, and were ready to write songs.

Scarlett tests a two-cork doodling waddler.

Scarlett tests a two-cork doodling waddler.

Franklin loads a bit into a chuck (as opposed to a quick release) for the very first time!

Franklin loads a bit into a chuck (as opposed to a quick release) for the very first time!

It was really satisfying to see the full shift from struggle to mastery, and to see kids catch on to the idea that sharing and copying of ideas can be a very good thing!

Tests under way, robots under production...great creativity and flow among our group!

Tests under way, robots under production...great creativity and flow among our group!

Transient


BowlerCoaster Day 4: Closing the Gap

We began today with a working loop-the-loop, portions of a post-loop segment and some solid concepts for the lift that would take the bowling ball to the top of the coaster.

We also had huge gaps. With only two days left to work, we focused ourselves entirely on closing the Northern Gap and the Southern Gap and creating a full circuit before we disassemble our Bowler Coaster on Friday.

Oscar makes a repair with the pull saw.

Oscar makes a repair with the pull saw.

Mack is stoked after a successful test of the post-loop dip. Ernesto is about to remark on a wobble in the opening turn.

Mack is stoked after a successful test of the post-loop dip. Ernesto is about to remark on a wobble in the opening turn.

V.T. and Ernesto test a lift prototype.

V.T. and Ernesto test a lift prototype.

It's hard to get across how much work our team of 10+ year-olds accomplished today. They built over seventy feet of track, made of hundreds of pieces of wood, connected with thousands of screws. 

Trent assembles a lift prototype.

Trent assembles a lift prototype.

Aidan explores a cloth saddle for the lift.

Aidan explores a cloth saddle for the lift.

As of this writing, we have closed the Southern Gap and have one working lift. Tomorrow we'll go for the complete circuit and two working lifts. 

Jake and Oscar, our skunkworks team, spent diligent hours tweaking the pulleys for the lift.

Jake and Oscar, our skunkworks team, spent diligent hours tweaking the pulleys for the lift.

But how will it tip the ball out?

But how will it tip the ball out?

V.T. and Ernesto test the lift on its final incline.

V.T. and Ernesto test the lift on its final incline.

Stay tuned.

The Bowler Coaster is getting huge. Even at the most conservative estimate, we're over 100 feet of track!

The Bowler Coaster is getting huge. Even at the most conservative estimate, we're over 100 feet of track!