Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hole Day

Yesterday was hole day.

A new volunteer showed up to help at 3rd Ward while David and I were making the jigs for drilling the holes in both ends of all the struts. Her name is Margaret. She started right in to work and sanded the ends of each strut in the electric sander so no one will cut themselves on the ends when they are being assembled.

I went out back to scrounge some 2 x 4's out of the dumpster to make the jigs with. David cut a groove into the wood and drilled stop blocks on the ends.

We changed the drill bit holder,

and adjusted the drill press to accommodate our project

we had it propped up on a block of wood to make it level
Olivia showed up and started drilling.

I was the clamp monkey.

I borrowed David's goggles, Olivia was wearing mine.
I felt like I was at burningman. have you been to the burning man?
We used a vise grip clamp and an inverted scrap of the jig to hold each strut in place. We had to use alot of oil to keep the drill bit from going dull. We went through two drill bits for 70 struts, both ends. The oil stinks and it got really hot, so the drill bit was smokin'

Everything has a learning curve, so it improves each time we do something. For example, when Zach and I pressed the pipe ends, the first batch were the long ones and they were far less consistent then the second batch which were the shorties. Also, I realized when we were drilling them that the longer pipes were not only not consistent, but they were pressed at a slight angle because our jig was not perfectly level with the press. The longer struts are definitely more jenky than the shorties.

Then the 2 x 4 I got out of the dumpster turned out to be not true, and that was the jig for the longer struts, so the jenkyness continued in suit for the long struts. They are just not as well manufactured as the shorties. But then again, women are smarter than men in general and much better put together.

But I digress.

We came, we drilled, we conquered.

All 70 struts, shorties and longies drilled. Next step: angles.

I believe we will be assembling the first frame prototype on Friday. Anyone who wants to show up please email me at and I will tell you the location.

This is alot of work and it's just one dome. I really hope we get some funding and then maybe just have a manufacturer make the whole batch. If we did that, we could head to Haiti sooner. The rains have begun there now already.

The other idea of having high school students do the metal fabrication is also good. What about the mayors office, it could be a gesture of good will between the kids of NYC and the kids of Haiti.

We haven't even begun to work out the kinks in the dome cover design. Havent even begun. I am worried about finding skilled labor to help. People who have experience with a heat welder. Someone at 3rd Ward was telling me about a burning man project someone did last year there making an inflatable structure out of plastic and that they were using heat welders for it. I am going to post this blog on the burners without borders facebook page. Facebook is kind of gay but it's also a good tool. Speaking of gay, Guncle Aaron came to visit us yesterday to make sure we
were behaving.

What have I created???? This is a monster, consuming my life. I haven't even tried to call in for work, I dont have time! That is kind of effed up, because I need to make money. Also, I keep canceling chiropractic appointments because I have too much to do. I also am completely neglecting my art career, my website is down and I have done nothing to find a gallery to represent me. This is my art project. This is my job. This is my chiropractic adjustment.

I am feeling overwhelmed. I can't possibly do everything that needs to be done. Fundraising, grant writing, proposals, meetings, metal work, design work, vinyl melting. My brain is melting.
Not to mention the on the ground logistics.

Today I am going to meet with a possible fiscal sponsor. Wish me luck. I am going to get my back cracked too. Tomorrow i find out about the results of my surgery. Not looking forward to that.

One very important thing we need now is a shit ton of 3/8 " bolts, hex head with nuts and double flat washers. BIG? I need a full time scavenger. Anyone?

1 comment:

  1. OMG - I just did a google search for guncle aaron and look what I come across. Somehow I missed the fact that there is a Domes for Haiti blog.

    Hope you are well.

    Many Besos -

    Guncle Aaron