Tuesday, February 2, 2010

$$$, axels, my week at Trailer Camp after Beam Camp: August 2009

So by August I found myself in possession of a tandem axle set in bad need of refurbishment, gifted to me from one of the cooks at The Waffle House, and wrested from the ant mounds in his back yard (he had salvaged them from a construction office trailer years ago), four double paned metal framed windows and a three sectioned double paned glass door from Habitat for Humanity. I had successfully talked the manager of the bank into loaning me $500 to get started, and with that money I had also bought the leaf springs and shackles that provide the suspension for the chassis to interface with the axles and wheels. Then, I set off for BEAM camp, to teach soft electronic fabric circuitry to the campers in the woods of Stafford, New Hampshire. I had a really great week there working with a really sharp group, and I was amazed and inspired by the campers and counselors alike. When I returned to Georgia I went to Cartersville for my first week of work, my own camp in a way, where I learned to weld, blacksmith, learned the way the brake mechanism worked, learned what you can do with an air compressor, used a drill press, drill punch and disk grinder for the first time, and refurbished my axle set. One of the most gratifying accomplishments of the week was in making a new U-bolt plate (pictured as my "breast" plates) from a piece of 1/4" stock, drilling the holes, cutting it into shape, heating it in the forge to bend it into form, and then painting the whole shibang silver! I returned to Athens to resume working at The Waffle House, by this time I had a major falling out with my family, and was living in my two man tent in the fields of an abandoned chicken farm.

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