Saturday, November 25, 2006

and from the other end of the spectrum

On the same day that half the family was exploring antique lace, the other half was learning about ancient tools. Scott and Jesse headed off to the Bone Work workshop offered by the CT Museum of Natural History and Archaeology Center. Jesse was psyched to hook up with Jimmy for the day, as they are two young men with many similar interests. Well, the two of them hit it off beautifully on this day. They took their research seriously, asking many questions and remaining very interested in all the things they were shown.

They worked very hard to transform a chunk of bone into a fine and sharp arrowhead (shown at right in pic below), using only simple tools -- an awl and some files. Jesse's is destined for a spear for his atlatl; Jimmy's will be worn around his neck.
The day that began with primitive tools ended with some pretty cool engineering. This is one version of a Gatling gun that's been in the works here for a while.
The original idea came from Instructables, one of Jesse's new favorite websites, but we don't have a K'nex motor and didn't have all the pieces required to make the Gatling gun shown, so there has been much fiddling and remodeling and trial and error. It's 8 barrels, spinning with the power of a Lego RCX brick, projectiles launched via rubber band power. This one worked fairly well and even shot a distance of 26 feet (oh, yes, we have pages of data on this!), but it misfired a lot because of the way Jesse had it rigged up. He actually redesigned the whole thing recently and is in the process of refining that version before it's ready for video documentation and introduction to the world. We'll keep you posted. ;-) Posted by Picasa


Blogger Lorraine said...

So cool. Hockeyboy wandered in as I was reading and was impressed. Fascinating resources in your area. I am so jealous!

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How Wonderful - ALL of it!!! WHEN are you going to Rose Island??? We're out there (in Newport) once a year, and are dying to do the lighthouse thing!

11:13 PM  

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