It’s back to the workshop and I couldn’t be happier. Years ago right after retirement, I drew up plans for a workshop. It is 12 x 24 feet, attached to the house, and finished so that it matches complete with cement tiles and stucco siding. There are French doors on both ends—one set opens to the front yard and the other opens to the back yard. There are no windows. Instead there are two 3×4 foot skylights. Sitting next to the holes in the ceiling are two 4 bulb high pressure fluorescent light fixtures that provide lighting when the skylights can’t. A large number of wall sockets are scattered around the workspace 4 foot from the floor. Most important for a Tucson based workshop is the 220V AC/Heat unit mounted high on the wall.
What a wonderful place for a Maker with only 62 days left until Halloween!
My first new props for this year’s Halloween display are six black owls. They came from Amazon a few days ago—cheap and ugly. The eyes were not much more that glass tacks. The beaks were black and smashed against the face. Some of the feet were loose and uneven. This would never do, of course. I transformed one with a couple of LEDs, painting and remounting the beaks and feet. My first prototype took some effort and time. The second went quicker and I was ready to batch process the remaining four.
Halloween is a holiday for Makers. Nothing works right out of the box and even if it did, what fun would that be? With a foam cutter, soldering iron, and glue gun warming up on the bench, it is incredibly easy to forget about everything else. The most pressing problem for a while becomes how to attach the third hand device so that the other two hands can make a durable solder joint.
The precious building time isn’t free however. Without proper preparation, building time can be interrupted by trips for supplies if they are available locally. Sometimes getting necessary supplies can take days especially if they must be ordered. Preparation begins early in the year. General supplies like LEDs or other electronic components are usually bought in bulk and on-sale. Surplus houses often have a wide variety of useful stuff but you can’t guarantee that it will be always readily available. So FedEx, USPS, and UPS trucks often visit my house throughout the year and stuff starts to stack up. Regular readers of this blog know that I built a storage rack for Camp Quest. It sure came in handy for all the raw materials but it got full. So…I made a second one. Problem solved!
Finally, I was able to sit down and concentrate. The resulting owls may be part of a computerized display or they may be placed in random locations. I haven’t decided yet but they’re cool and I’m ready to move on to more challenging builds.