[Lab] Open Question: What are you working on?

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Thu May 2 11:14:51 EDT 2013

   I thought it might be interesting to pose a couple of open-ended
questions to the modlab group, to find out more about what people are
doing, and how we can help eachother.

   - What are your current projects?
   - What is a project you would like to do, but lack a skill, tool, or a

   I'll go first. :) I usually have a long list of projects on the go, but
one of my new year's resolutions was to try to stay focused on just a few
things to get them done. My shortlist right now is:

   - An Alexander Graham Bell-inspired tetrahedral kite.
      Before the fixed wing airplane 'took off', AGB believed if you built
a kite big enough and rigid enough, you could put an engine on it and fly
away. I saw a model of his super-kite, the "frost king" at the aviation
museum and decided I had to build one. :) I'm making it out of dollar-store
kebab skewers and tissue paper, so so far I've got about 6 feet of it
built. Hoping to put a camera on it and launch it this month. (where I
expect it to spectacularly disassemble itself in mid-air)

   - Fireproof stamps
      I spend time at a glassblowing studio, wondering how to bring new
creative ideas into the very very old tradition of glasswork. I'm currently
caught up in the notion of making textured stamps I can use to push into
the bottom or side of a drinking glass - but 2300C glass tends to make
easily-carve-able stuff burst into cinders. I'm experimenting with carved
graphite, water-soaked wood, and ceramics.

   Projects I'm stuck on:
   I'd like to build a bicycle or wind-powered generator, and I have an
alternator, battery, and some big electrical motors out of an old car to
build it with, but high-voltage electricity is not my area of expertise and
I'm stumped on the inverter wiring. Anyone done this before?
   There's a couple of great books at the library that I thought I'd check
out, but I haven't had the motivation to borrow them yet. Maybe in the fall?

   -Jason Cobill
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