Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Maker Space - Teen Spirit Free of Charge

This page was scanned from the 1954 edition of "Science for Here and Now".  The student information inside indicates it was a second grade textbook in the Kansas City, Kansas schools.  It is a Good JuJu find from a couple of months ago.

Behold our new slate top work bench!  It should be impervious to solder, fire, many fine chemicals and Lego NXT pieces.  Metal bits can scratch slate, so we'll be careful with typewriter repairs and robot builds.

The real challenge is keeping a house full of book, crossword, pen, typewriter and electronics loving nerds from filling up this luscious horizontal space.  We will do our best and try to keep the major builds out by the drill press on the junk art bench.
Here is the new multipurpose maker space.  This was before addition of 200 watts of halogen lighting above.  This beast is all oak and the slate is 1 1/4" thick.  Yes, it as heavy as it looks.

I finally have a place to set up a proper soldering station.  This is our trial run with a new Radio Shack digital unit I picked up during one of their many sales.  It heats up quick.  Now we just need to improve our soldering skills.  I found the magnifier stand at a local thrift shop.
First Project:  I'm working with Claire on a kit we picked up at the Kansas City Maker Faire.  One of the local hacker spaces put together a pre programmed TV Be Gone.  It will be housed in a mini Altoids tin.  These things are the only way to stay sane in airports and waiting rooms.  I use my TV Be Gone selectively when it is obvious that no one is paying attention.  I've never noticed anyone even look up when the random, blaring TV suddenly goes dark.  Southwest terminals were horrible in 2010 and through the middle of this year.  I've noticed many of them have muted the screens except for football games.

This is what decades worth of teen spirit looks like.  There are few random gouges in the slate as well, but none profane.  Some of the graffiti looks pretty recent.  There is a Springfield, Missouri school district property tag on the bottom that can't be more than  20 years old.
This is somewhat benign teen spirit spoor.  Shelf liner covers up the worst of it.  Not that we or our middle schoolers have never seen four letter words.  Mild refinishing will have to wait for spring.
Well, my boring gray Royal Futura 800 looks like it grew out of the slate.  If I'm not careful, the color scheme may actually grow on me.


  1. What a great find! So full of history and fairly oozing with character. As James likes to say:

    "Patina. People pay extra for that!"

    Horizontal space begs to be filled. Best of luck keeping it clear between your Mad Science projects!

  2. Cameron stole the words right off my keyboard: Great find!
    Those are a perfect addition to a work space. Weird, I had just mentioned to my wife how I wanted to look for one of those old lab tables over this past Thanksgiving. You found it! Congratulations!

  3. I wanted to write the same as Cameron and Bill apparently did; that's a piece of furniture with history! Myself, I got a similiar, but possibly smaller desk over the holidays and replaced one artificial-looking desk from IKEA I've had for several years now. I'd say it's pretty old and I know it's already been used as a kitchen table in the 70s.
    Typewriters look great on old desks!

  4. I'll say it again, the two-tone, heather-gray Royal Futura 800 is anything but boring. For me, it has that awesome mid-century mod appeal. You're lucky to have it!

  5. Great table. Usually I have to beat a table silly with chains and rods to get that look...when people see a "nice" table they want to pay less than one that looks like it been through hell.


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