Sunday, June 3, 2012

The First Cut is the Deepest

We did the first cuts of the go-cart last week, and it went well, mainly because A&N really want to be involved, and are really working hard on it. Plus, we had simply stellar weather. The plan was that I would do the cuts with the assorted saws, though they would have loved to have done them themselves if I let them, but I’m not going to let them. As I mentioned, they have been eager to start on this cart, from the get-go, and I started thinking that with the race on the horizon, it might not be a bad idea to set things in motion. I was hoping HH would lead the charge with all her experience and tools, but she and her kids, who are the other half of our team, have been conspicuously absent. I don’t think A&N mind, because it means they get to do more of the work, which they enjoy. It also means that it gets done their way.

The first order of business was to cut out the frame. JM gave us this beautiful piece of one inch plywood that was 2’X4’, and we ripped a 15” piece off on the table saw. I had the kids draw out the shape they wanted, and then we cut it to size using the miter saw and a rotary saw (I love using real-man tools). A&N then took over and did the sanding and cleaning.

We also shaped the front axle, which is a 2ft piece of 2”X4” hardwood. We could have left it as it is and it would have worked fine, but on the prototype, JM carved these beautiful curves which actually serve as footholds for steering. The kids were inspired by this and wanted to do something similar, so they drew their own design and we cut it out. I had to borrow JM’s jigsaw, which was a bit of an adventure, as well, because I had never used one before, and at first, the blade was too short to cut through the wood. This meant that we had to change the blade, which gave me pause because not only was I new to the tool, but it wasn’t mine. It’s funny because I’m always so pensive about these things being the fearful and cowardly adult that I am, but the kids are fearless. Their attitude is to just do it, worry about it later, and get on with our lives. There’s value to this approach, you get so much more done in life rather than avoiding new experiences out of fear. I had A&N guide me through the process with the owner’s manual, and we pulled it off, literally and figuratively.

Anyway, we cut the front axle into the shape they wanted, and it looked pretty cool. Granted, it wasn’t perfect, but that gave it the personality that we are looking for in a kid’s go-cart. We also managed to give the back axle, which is a 4”X4” short beam, a slight taper that makes it look cool, and cool is what we’re all about, or at least what the kids are all about. I’m just annoying and embarrassing.

We spent a couple of hours working on the parts, with one interruption to go to JM’s to get his jigsaw and to get another look at his prototype. The project definitely takes a little time, but I’m thrilled that A&N are thrilled about it. They really want to be in charge, and it’s great to see their enthusiasm. My role is pretty clear, just do the cuts and get out of the way. That’s just the way I like it.

The next step might be to do some painting, but I’ll let the kids decide. Until then, thanks for reading.

No comments: