Getting Down and Dirty… Literally- Bethany Salazar, Ever-Green Design Firm

Hello! Its been a while since we have posted a blog on to here but we are back… I hope you haven’t missed us too much. Coming back from spring break and having our Milestone 2 complete is a huge weight off of our shoulders. Its good to be back B)… but that does not mean we are done there, you know… I am going to let you in what we have been talking and doing in the past few days.
First I would like to tell you that we are starting the construction part of the project. Milestone 3 has 2 parts! O: This milestone will have a little of everything, our deadline is getting closer and its just hitting us that this project is really real. This is the time to get our hands dirty. We will work on interior design inspirations boards using green products and materials. This is going to be fun we are going to research green products we might want to use. The first day we returned from spring break we had to write a entry in our engineering journals about what we have done so far and a little reminder is that milestone 3 is due May 19th.
Second each group will write a chapter for our Project VENTURA E-book using iBook Author. This is so anyone who was interested in our project can know how to actually re-purpose and restore a trailer, its also for those who are interested in our school and what we have accomplished as a growing school and engineering pathway.

Pam Powel Presenting safety rules to class

Pam Powel Presenting safety rules to class

Third. We have a few important dates I would like to share with you all. One that already happened and was super fun was the ACC trip. This is where we went to the ACC woodworking shop to learn the types and tools we would need and to show us how a professional workshop actually looks like. I personally really liked this trip it really enlightened me on what we would have to get accomplished. Pam is such a nice person for making all of this possible, without her we would probably destroyed the whole trailer. Our class is really grateful to her, we hope that she can stay with us as long as possible. Talking about Pam she is also helping us in our building work days. We would be assigned a out of school time to go in and work on the trailer. This is to keep the deadline on check and so we can get a lot done. In the future we would also have a field trip to The Treehouse. I am not really sure where or what that is but it sounds cool. I was told its not really a huge treehouse and I was a little bummed but no matters, the point is that we are going on of these days to see what they have. Oh yes, and we will have special visitors coming to help us. Mariah and Matt from Comment Camper. What they have done is so cool. Living in a offgrid trailer is not something anyone can do, so having these amazing people there looking at what we are doing is a really big privilege. If you want to know more of what they do, Mariah has a blog that she updates herself. I really like this project in my opinion its just soooo cool.

Faith V. Carrying what pam said was "cement"... later revealed to be Styrofoam.

Faith V. Carrying what Pam said was “cement”… later revealed to be Styrofoam.

Last but not least guess whos coming to our presentation days… Apparently what we are doing is not so common and many important people are going, we have from parents, teachers, school staff to actual people from Google because of the grant they donated to us to have this project happen. Mrs. Joe also said that we will have actual engineers there. We are so lucky and so grateful for everything that this project has brought us. I can’t believe we have made it this far, we still have a lot to do but I just didn’t imagine anything like this.

The braces you see are for safety whenever students are on the roof of the houses.

The braces you see are for safety whenever students are on the roof of the houses.




OK, now I want to talk about what we have done so far, we took a small two week break on blog entries and its time to get back on schedule. There is so much to be said that I know I am forgetting a lot of it. So far we have gone to the ACC field trip, and started talking about using the power tools. Today in class we actually started building some horse saws to have more people cutting wood and templates to get more work done. We also had another group working on cleaning the interior and exterior of the airstream. I was one of those, it was pretty fun working all together, I am excited to do more.
Today for my outside of class research I just wanted to talk more about what you should have in a woodworking shop as we saw in ACC. This really interested me because of all of the compartments that the shop had. It was amazing, I personally really loved it, the smell of wood, the look of it, all the wood and tools, it was just so homy in a way. Here I am going to provide the top 10 wood shop accessories any woodworking shop should have. All of these the woodshop in ACC had. Mrs. Joe also said that it could be inspiration for making a woodshop here in our campus.

Pam telling us what we were going to do with the wood.

Pam telling us what we were going to do with the wood.

1. Woodworker’s Bench with Vise
Probably the most handy shop accessory in this list would be the woodworker’s bench, complete with a vise. The bench is a stable-based table with a thick, hardwood top. In the top are a series of holes that are designed to accommodate bench dogs, which are little more than pegs that can be moved from hole to hole as necessary. The end of the bench has the aforementioned vise that works in concert with the bench dogs to hold pieces steady for the woodworker.
2. Portable Shop Table
Probably the next most useful shop accessory is a large work table. Workers like to use a portable table that can be moved around the shop as needed. This particular table is lightweight yet sturdy and has retractable casters. When you want to move the table, simply lift each end and the casters lock into place to allow the table to roll. Once you get it into position, pull the cord on each end and the casters retract, so the table won’t move.
3. Saw Horses
Every carpenter or woodworker has needed a pair of sawhorses at some point. We will be using them for cutting the wood we have bought. One group has actually already build 2 sawhorses its very easy and inexpensive to build. Once you have a set, you’ll find hundreds of uses for them, not only in the wood shop, but around the house as well.
4. Tool Storage
Once you’ve begun to collect a number of both hand and power tools, you’ll need a place to store them when they’re not in use. Whether you decide to build a cabinet with cupboards and drawers or just a shelving system to store them out of the way, you’ll need to develop a system that works for your shop layout. Learn to keep your shop clean and organized by putting your tools away when they’re not needed. Not only will your shop be safer, but your tools will last much longer.
5. Fastener Organization & Storage
Another item of organization you’ll want to think through is how to store and keep fasteners organized. This is to have a system to keep any tool or nails separate.
6. Clamps
If a dog is man’s best friend, clamps are a woodworker’s best friend. Clamps (bar, pipe, vise, etc.) aren’t necessarily cheap (as much as $50 each), but if there’s one axiom of woodworking, its that you can NEVER have enough clamps. Try to add a couple to your stable regularly whenever you can afford it.A simple clamp storage solution is a 2×4 mounted horizontally high on a shop wall. Rest one end of each clamp on the board, and the other end dangles beneath, resting against the wall.
7. Dust Collection and Shop Vacuums
To keep your shop clean, invest in a large, well-built shop vacuum. Most machines and some power tools have ports for connecting a vacuum to help control dust in the shop. Additionally, you can use it as a standard wet/dry vacuum. As you progress in accessorizing your shop, you may want to consider a more sophisticated form of dust collection. Some manufacturers offer dust collection systems with ported ducts throughout the shop. These types of systems make breathing in the shop much easier.
8. Bench Grinder
Few people think of a bench grinder as a woodworking tool. Well, technically, they’re correct. However, a bench grinder can be invaluable for a number of tasks, particularly in keeping chisels and other tools sharp. They’re inexpensive (ironically, about the same price as a very good clamp) but they’re a useful addition to any wood shop.
9. Featherboards
A featherboard is designed to hold stock in place against a cutting head, be it a table sawblade or a bit on a router table, as it is fed through the tool. Featherboards are invaluable when performing intricate cuts such as a routing a bead edge on a board. Featherboards can be purchased commercially.
10. Jigs
Jigs are invaluable in the shop, and in most cases, you can create them yourself. Jigs are simply homemade tools to help you cut certain shapes. For instance, a panel cutting jig will ensure that a panel is cut square to the bottom edge of the board. A circle cutting jig will allow you to cut perfect circles out of stock. A tapering jig will let you cut tapered legs on a table saw. There are many other jigs you can build, and I’m sure you’ll keep each one you make for future use.


Well that is all from me today… Have a nice day!! 🙂


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