GeekSanta writeup

A surprisingly successful set of workshops were run over the last month, on soap-making, useless machines, and knitting decorations for christmas trees from chainmail. The useless machines workshop was run by Martin and was very successful. Those who missed out on buying a kit on the day may buy direct from him on his website.  For those who don’t know what a useless machine is, participant ntoll wrote it up, including a video.

The soap-making workshop started with some serious demonstrations of melt and pour soap and how to add dyes and pigments, but got very rapidly experimental.  Unfortunately there are no picture’s of Mat’s mustard-dyed “soap”, which is probably all for the better.

Pat ran the chainmail workshop, and taught how to make simple European 4-in-1 and European 6-in-1 with coloured rings to make trees.  This went well and the chainmail forest is shown below.

On the success of these workshops, we shall definitely organise more, although not quite so many together.  Any suggestions for workshops to be made via comments, Twitter, Facebook, the mailing list.  And roll on GeekSanta 2013!


A late chainmail writeup

This post is unfortunately almost two weeks late, but last Monday, Pat gave a chainmail workshop, similar to Martin’s at Nottinghack.  This covered the easier European and Japanese styles and also how to make rings from fencing wire or similar.  Many scraps of chainmail were produced, but nothing to rival Pat’s half-finished chainmail shirt!
Nick continued to resuscitate aging hardware in Linux and we discussed methods of supplying Internet to the NSME clubhouse.  Via a landline this would be expensive, wireless access of the nearby BT Openzone hotspot, or 3G personal hotspot appear to be the more affordable ways forward…
Next date for the space: Monday 17th October.

Busy busy

Very busy on Monday, we had:

  • Light painting with a strobe
  • Knitting
  • Conkers fights
  • CNC planning
  • Raspberry Pi tinkering
  • Kinect tinkering
  • Workshop planning.

I may have even forgot some things!  Most importantly, thanks to Nicholas for bringing the Raspberry Pi board for us to have a look at.  We couldn’t do too much with it as unfortunately the monitor used was having resolution issues on the HDMI interface, but it booted, and we were able to login and have a brief look around.  Connected to a network (it supports networking over USB  too) would allow more interesting things to happen.  This rather overshadowed the Kinect Nicholas also brought, and I think we’ll need an evening just for that.

The NSME has a rather large horse chestnut tree overshadowing the clubhouse, so knitting wool was graciously donated to the cause, and an in a textbook case of over-engineering, a pillar drill was used for turning conkers into implements of war, and soon geeks were hitting themselves very hard while missing target conkers.
Light painting with the strobe did not work so well, as it is not as bright as a camera flash, and outside it is not able to light up targets at any range.  Strobes are very good for inducing headaches and nausea though.  If nobody wants it, it will be thrown away at the end of the month, as it’s reasonably bulky and has no (useful) purpose at this time.
Due to renewed interest in chainmail, Pat will be running a chainmail workshop on the 3rd of October, from 8pm.  If you have rings or pliers, please bring them along, and let us know on the list, so we can ensure everyone has enough.