Sunday, May 31, 2009

A main dish of Maker Faire and a dessert of MY OWN PROJECTS!

Another beautiful weekend out here in the SF Bay Area and an awesome MAKER FAIRE!  Jen and I started the weekend by attending a pilot program at Coyote Point Museum.  It was an urban astronomy presentation hosted by the museum on Friday night.  It was actually really cool.  From the grassy knoll behind the museum we saw the international space station, craters on the moon, Saturn's rings, and one of its moons, and lots of constellations.

On Saturday Jen and I attended Maker Faire.  It was really great.  The first thing I saw was the steampunk area.  This Case steam tractor was near the steampunk folks.

The tractor was being run by a couple steam hotties from Kinetic Steam Works:

The Eepy Bird guys gave a Bellagio shaming live show of their now famous viral video starring Diet Coke and Mentos.

Giant pointy, rusty, flame throwing, radio controlled, robot bulldozers Killing a pink Barbie Jeep:

One of the kinetic sculptures:

There is always so much at Maker Faire that I am on a full on stimulus overload.  I alwas feel drawn in so many directions.  I must go wearing many hats, (no, not literally-- though that wouldn't be out of place) I am there as an exhibit builder, I am there as a steampunker, I am there as a fan of alternative vehicles and bicycles, I am there as a sculptor, etc.  By the end of the day I didn't even have time to go into some of the buildings, and I had a headache from dehydration, but it was totally worth it.  There are more images here.  No captions yet in the gallery but I'll add them later.

There is no better way to unwind from maker Faire than settling into one of your own personal "Make" projects-- so that's what I did today.  I ran over to the Coyote Point Fabrication shop and ran some aluminum through the saw.  To catch people up on my latest project, I am building a 1:14 scale Mercedes Benz military truck.  Right now the model is in a working cab/chassis state.

The rig also has a working hydraulic crane and winch mounted in the front bumper.

I cut some parts for the bed on the table saw using the non ferrous metal blade:

As you can see I have a habit of writing notes directly on my projects in Sharpie.  This is all the basic parts for the bed which will have hinged sides and a tailgate.  The deck of the bed is cut from 1/4" thick aluminum plate.  This should give the model some serious heft.  I suspect the truck may weigh up to 20 pounds when it's all said and done.

That's it for now!  Look for a new toy of the week tomorrow and I will post something on the exhibit I am fabricating  later this week.  All I can say about the exhibit is that it involves LOTS of gears, pulleys, belts, cranks, drive shafts and other mechanical goodies.

Keep your steam up at 80 psi!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, May 25, 2009

God bless the Japanese.  Only in Japan can you walk into a convenience store and buy a refreshing bottle of Pokari Sweat or a delicious package of Chocolate Colon, and right next to these fine products you can buy a surprise boxed toy.  Imagine my surprise when the box contained a detailed plastic model of one of the worlds most mysterious paranormal phenomena; a cattle mutilation scene.  "Mom can I have this toy mutilated cow?"  "Yes dear, if you are a good boy."

Visit the Dioramas Gallery in the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities to see the more pictures and descriptions.

Full steam ahead,

First post!

Welcome to "Grabiron" (  Of course I have huge delusions of grandeur regarding all that I can accomplish on this blog but at the very least I hope to add occasional updates regarding my exhibit projects at Coyote Point Museum, personal projects, and entrepreneurial ventures.  I will also post about a new online project I am working on known as The Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.  This will be an ever evolving virtual museum of my expansive collection of toys and artifacts.  I am committing to a weekly update on the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.  I will title these updates in the blog as "The Toy of the Week", so watch for that starting soon.  Right now I am laying the infrastructure for the museum.

Thanks for visiting.  Full steam ahead!