Marble Run Wall at reDiscover Center

Now that summer Tinkering Camp has wound down, I can share some of what we’ve been up to! I will post about the camp experience in itself soon, but first I’d like to show you one of the newest additions to reDiscover Center. Take a gander at the marble run wall!

 

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I worked with Molly Allis to build an 8-foot-tall pegboard wall for one corner of the studio. The top 40% contains elements designed by myself and some other facilitators and kids, which are meant to stay in place for the most part. There is a spiraling cylinder pulled from a donated gum ball machine, and a pachinko machine that uses screws as pegs. Pulley systems are set up on both sides of the pegboard to allow kids to crank marbles to the top of the marble run and let them loose.

 

The rest of the pegboard is entirely for tinkering. Kids can make elements such as ramps and funnels to add and move around, using wood, power tools, and recycled materials. Every day includes playing with the marble run wall!

 

Take a look at the videos below showing the process of making this installation and some of the first elements.

 

Barb Makes Things: Scribble Bots

Scribble bots are something I’ve been doing for quite a while, they’re awesome as a project for kids, and you can actually see some of the bots made by my Art Machines tinkering class at reDiscover Center last Friday. So enjoy this week’s Barb Makes Things with scribble bots!

 

Barb Makes Things: December and January

A roundup of my videos on Barb Makes Things from the last month or so:

 

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Layered Wood Pendant Necklace

I’ve been making a fair amount of jewelry lately, and Rockler has tons of great, super thin veneer sheets. There are a few tutorials on instructables about making bent wood rings, I decided to go another direction… literally. I’ve now made several rings with many glued layers, and which I finish with tung oil and cyanoacrylate (super glue), and in this video, I make a necklace in a similar style.

 

3D Cookies

When I say 3D, I mean that in multiple ways: I 3D modeled and printed custom cookie cutters, and the resulting pieces slot together to make a shape that stands up. I only show the process of modeling the tree cookie cutters, but I also created ones for a moose, which you do see toward the end of the video. They were tasty, and an awful lot of fun to make.

 

Tiled Desk

This is actually footage from back when I was first setting up my desk, so it’s technically my first video. I used floor tiles and hot glued them to a piece of plywood that rests on two small bookshelves. I could have used a more permanent adhesive, or done a finishing coat over the whole thing, but I wanted the flexibility to peel up and replace individual tiles, should they get damaged. And a hot glue gun is an often underestimated tool; the tiles are all staying perfectly.

 

Wooden Camera Arm

I’ve done a number of tutorial videos in the past, and the tripod is simultaneously helpful, and a huge pain. Getting the camera in the right place for the right shot is one thing, but when you need to reach around it to try to make something, all the while paying extra attention to staying in the shot, well… I knew there had to be a better solution. My first attempt was a custom frame for my camera that would hang from four hooks in the ceiling. It worked for a while, but wasn’t entirely reliable, and wasn’t remotely adjustable. Hence, the custom camera arm. I love mechanisms, especially ones made from wood, and this extending arm does the trick.

 

Wooden Toy Car

My work at the reDiscover Center focuses mainly on reusing materials, so this video shows a project that someone might make there (actually, cars are a popular thing with the kids who come in). I also spend most of this video working at the kids’ makerspace, so you get to see some of the tools that we (and the kids!) use there.