One project today was the tear down and rebuild of the Thai Chang bank. We were not happy with the failure of the trunk to deliver its payload of a coin. So, we took it apart.
Sure, a simple mechanism — how hard could it be?
Well… since there are two springs, they get sprung when released from tension. But they fit together in a fairly logical fashion, with one spring bent around the cast iron pin on the trunk, a loop around the trigger lever, a hole and a matching pin for the tail.
We figured out how it works with the plate off easily enough. Refer to your library’s copy of 507 Mechanical Movements. Of course — if your library’s MakerSpace bookshelf doesn’t have a copy yet, buy it now.
I was reminded of the adage “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” Somehow, even though all we had done was taken the bank apart and put it back together, it seemed the spring was absolutely strong enough. Wasn’t I brilliant?
With the help of a clamp and my young apprentice, we got the plate back on after a good fifteen minutes of fiddling, fumbling, and the like.
Oh yeah, that spring was strong. I must have put it together better than it had been. My apprentice put the final screw in and have it a test.
Whoah, Whoah, whoah! What have we here??
Weak. It seems that gravity is in effect and this cast iron trunk is too heavy for the spring. But, with the help of Hagrid and a hair tie for reins, the wise Chang can now deposit his change.
The lesson for Makers and for MakerSpaces, of course, should be obvious: “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.” It’s easy to read a number of articles about MakerSpaces and how easy they are to set up — but to keep them going requires a staff that isn’t afraid to take things apart, to figure out what does or does not work, and who are not afraid to make changes or modifications based on what they find inside.