Put Your Safety Goggles On Before You Start Building Dreams – Emma Foster, Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications

Project-based learning has never been more hands-on! With Milestone #2 of construction plans behind us, Project Ventura is about to start construction of our airstream teachers lounge, but first we have to learn how to be safe using all these dangerous tools with sharp blades that rotate rapidly and make a lot of noise. To learn wood shop safety and tool techniques, we took a field trip to (the amazing) Pam Powell’s classroom at the ACC campus: a large wood shop.

There, we learned how to safely protect our eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands, feet, hair, back, and chest from previously mentioned dangerous tools. We also learned how to build a toolbox using all sorts of tools such as a band saw, table saw, and a jigsaw. We couldn’t cut the pieces of our own toolbox for liability reasons, so Pam and her fellow teacher Brad showed us how they cut each piece and we got to assemble them using wood glue, a hammer, and nails. We even got to sand them and take them home!

Brad showing us how to use a table saw

Brad showing us how to use a table saw

The whole class's finished toolboxes!

The whole class’s finished toolboxes!

In class, we’re doing some deep cleaning of the airstream. Armed with scrapers, a cleaning solution, and rags, to scraped the grease stains and general icky-ness from the airstream walls so that we could prime them to paint. I thought the walls were gray, but as it turns out they’re actually a light yellow. Who knew?

It's a group effort to clean out all the nastiness from the airstream!

It’s a group effort to clean out all the nastiness from the airstream!

While I was cleaning, a few of my classmates build sawhorses and a saw table so that we can begin weekend construction days. Look how spiffy they are!

Itzel is super excited about the sawhorses she helped build!

Itzel is super excited about the sawhorses she helped build!

Now, it’s on to Milestone #3. For this milestone, we will be decking out our inspiration board once again, but this time with interior design specs using green materials. Gus and I can finally use all of our Moroccan-inspired decor ideas! (Wanna see our inspiration? http://www.pinterest.com/erfma/project-ventura/) However, our interior design has to passively save energy in addition to looking nice. I found some useful tips online as to how to do this.

Michigan State University recommends that using light colors are used to reflect heat to another mass that will absorb the heat, like a brick wall. Warm colors should be used were the room is cooler or there isn’t direct sunlight at the north side of a building, and cooler colors on the western or southern side of the building to better direct heat.

In exciting news, Moriah and Matt from Comet Camper are visiting Project Ventura! Moriah is an entrepreneur who lives totally off grid in a tiny camper she renovated, which I think is super cool. I will post more on them later when they visit, but here’s a resource they recommended that I like: Tiny Revolution. It focuses on tiny houses and trailers, and has a lot of tips and tricks for tiny house design and construction, just like the one we’re building! They even have a podcast that interviews people with tiny houses. Some design tips they gave were to use brighter colors to make a tiny place seem more spacious, use an eggshell finish on paint for durability and cleanliness, and use vertical storage when possible.

I hope you’re as excited as I am to see this teacher’s lounge in completion! Until then, we have to get back to building. Come back soon for more developments in the airstream-renovation saga!

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