It has been far too long between posts and a lot has been going on. The biggest change has been I have moved. My shop is now at “Flat Rat Studios”, which I have founded with 7 other artists. We got the name after the flat rat we saw at the space when we first went to look at it. We have just moved in and there is a lot of work to be done, shelving, racks, un-packing, walls, roofs, we have a huge list of things to get done to make us comfortable at our new space.
Moving for me was not easy, after 11 years I had acquired a lot of stuff, tools and materials. Some of the steel that was valuable to me at the time i was given it, I had out grown. It no longer was worth it to grind off powder coating for a piece of tube. So about a 1/3 of what I had was recycled, which amounted to over 10,000lbs!
The milling machine weighs over 4,000lbs, a friend with a boom truck (crane) was able to move it for me. Thanks Urban Timber. http://www.urbantimberworks.com/
We also moved the shed in the back yard.
After the last trip I did a quick video tour of the chaos of the move, I was in a hurry to get my stuff out of the house in Beaverton so that I could be listed. Not much time was spent on setting up the shop as things came over. So this is what the space looks like just after the last load.
Enjoy the video tour and I hope to share with you the same tour in a month with everything in order.
We spent a bit of time making a nice display; we brought the ship steering wheel with all the gears and two hydraulic rams to demonstrate how the ship turns.
We sold a lot of Baby Tripods and a few of the bigger ones. We got to interact with a lot of people.
Setting up the Booth (notice the glass box around the gears, we don’t want to crush any fingers)
I think the highlight of the trip was these four girls explaining to each other how the gears moved the hydraulic ram and how the oil pushed into the other ram to make it move. These girls need a workshop right away.
We got everyone in Fiesta Hall to sing Claire happy Birthday, (Thanks Tyler).
We got to see a lot of cool art work and other people’s projects and see a lot of friends that honestly we don’t get to see enough.
We are looking forward to Maker Faire 2013 and we hope to bring the ship next time.
The Mast of the Pirate ship is an Art Piece on its own. One thing we would like to do is make a stand alone base that would allow us to bring the mast to smaller events.
We’ve been developing software to control the fire effects with a Microsoft Kinect. Last week we were able to do some testing with a smaller fire effect. We will be able to control all the fire effects with the kinect.
The theme to Burning Man this year was “Rites of Passage” which makes me think of a test of the human character. The theme lived up to its name.
The ship ran great in Portland. We actually drove it most of the way onto the trailer. We hooked the trailer onto our 1960’s Deuce-and-a-half and on Friday morning we set out for Black Rock City.
Our Tow vehicle, the Deuce belongs to a friend who loaned us the truck after he put over $10,000 into upgrades: new brakes, a new clutch, etc… We picked up the truck from the shop two days before leaving and it was about 2 miles from my house that the clutch went out.
There we were on the side of the freeway without a way to get the ship to Burning Man. One of our crew put up the money and we rented an F-450 from uHaul. This was $2000 we were not planning on spending but we had made it too far to stop now. (again, the donations and the shopping on the Store page help us a lot)
With the new truck it was 26 hours later when we landed on the Playa with the ship. We had made it.
We got the ship off the trailer, the new engine started up fine but the hydraulics didn’t move us forward. This became the week long mystery. The ship drove onto the trailer fine but now it won’t go. We worked on it from Saturday until Friday with no idea what was wrong with it. We swapped and isolated all the control valves with no luck, we tested each motor and they all worked fine. We moved pressure gages all over, we were getting good pressure to the system, and it just wasn’t moving.
On Tuesday I put out a request on BMIR for help from a hydraulics expert. Over the next three days a few very qualified people came by including an Aviation-Hydraulics design engineer with 30 years experience. He spent a few hours going over everything then said the system was “simple and elegant” but he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. That made me feel a bit better, because the system is simple and I was feeling dumb for not being able to figure out what was wrong with it.
We had come all the way out here and we still had a beautiful Ship. I talked with the DMV and we were able to get the ship a tow and get her registered. We were still going to have the Fire Sails on the Playa.
We got the sexiest car on the Playa to give us a tow to the DMV, Christian Ristow hauled us out there with the Scoutch. This meant a whole lot to me because the Scoutch is one of my favorite vehicles on the Playa.
We got our Day, Night and Fire effects passes at the DMV on Friday Night. We spent some time in front of the DMV playing with the Fire for the First Time. The Fire was Awesome. I loved watching people press the Fire Sail buttons, their smiles, their little happy dances, it made it all worth it.
Chili from the DPW heavy lifters gave us a Tow out to the Flaming Lotus Girls big show. Even though we were being towed it felt good to be up on the deck on a moving ship.
Each year at Burning Man I try to recognize a few moments as they happen that make everything worth it, worth the work, the stress, the strain of a big project. This year I was actually able to capture one of those moments.
I was standing on the railing when I took this photo of old friends and new friends, the Fire sails were working and we had a great view of the fire. Seeing all these smiles made it all worth it.
We had some other mysterious mechanical problems later in the week but I had my moment that made it worth it and that was all I needed.
I am sorry we weren’t under our own power and weren’t able to give people rides. I know a lot of you made major contributions to see a running art car. I am sorry that I let you down. A crew member did point out that it takes car companies hundreds of people to design a new car that looks just like last years model, the fact that in such a short time we were able to design a new locomotion system, do all the mechanical engineering and get as far as we did was incredible, but I still wish you could have seen her driving.
Now that we are back we’ll get the rest of the KickStarter awards out. We need to do some major clean up of both the ship and the house/shop. Pay off some huge credit card bills. We’ll see what happens from there….
Thank you for your support, few people are as lucky to be able to work on a project like this. Thank you for allowing us to make this ship, thank you for your support.
As I mention in the video we had some huge additional cost and a few of us put some large purchases on our credit cards. If you like this project, if it is something you would like to support we can really use your donations.
Welcome to the Construction Blog of the Pirate Ship. I plan to have it done for Burning Man 2010 as time and material present themselves. I am trying to use as much recycled and reused material as possible. Some things I will have to buy, for that we are making and selling Tripod-Sentinels. Please Visit the main page to lean more.