Wednesday 2 November 2011

It's about to get real

So the grand opening is coming up quick, and we’re getting ready in a big way. For those of you that missed this weekend’s activities, we were (once again) giving the space a facelift. Our dedicated hackers put in a full weekend worth of work, with some of them (the dedicatedest?) staying a full 21 hours. We’re now well on our way to having an almost full-sized kitchen, an almost perfectly rectangular classroom, and insulation against the almost hole-free brick walls. Sometimes it just pays to put in sweatshop hours.

The reno day started off with a small army of people converging on an amazing vegan-friendly breakfast, including some incredible buckwheat and coconut waffles. Be sorry you missed it. No, really. Shortly afterwards we managed to take down the three defunct heaters that were crowding the lounge area and create a human assembly line for hauling lumber. The heater thing sounds easy, but considering we didn’t have the luxury of using a lift it was a marvel of low-tech engineering. We had to get Egyptian in order to remove the steel behemoths, so we rigged up a clever system of ropes, ramps, carts and sheer manpower.

Afterwards we took down the wall separating the kitchen from the classroom, with the intention of moving it back a few feet so that it sits against the large concrete support beam. This setup lets use the space much more efficiently and just makes more sense in general.

Once that wall was down it was time to pull all the nails out of the lumber, salvage what we could and put the pieces back together. We used most of the scraps to build a wall that will insulate the classroom from the harsh weather ahead.

When I left it was already getting dark out, but it was impressive to look at how much we’d accomplished over the course of just a few hours. It was a learning experience for almost everyone involved. Most everyone had used a tool they weren’t familiar with beforehand (Ron made friends with the sawzall), and those who weren’t familiar with building things on this scale got to see how it was done.

As with other hackerspace get-togethers, there was the usual smattering of tech-talk ranging from microprocessors to hacking, coding and even the use of epoxies. Some tinkering got done on various projects in between the reno work, and to top it all off the space was nice enough to get pizza for everyone who pitched in!
See you all at the grand opening, I know I’m gonna be looking forward to seeing how that work turned out!