Another Maker Faire Milwaukee has come to a close and our heads are still spinning from a crazy week. We figured that all things high-tech would be covered, so we went low-tech. Our booth, lovingly nicknamed "Hipster Homestead," focused on on the basics: Shelter, Food, and Warmth.
On Friday, we showed up with a pile of lumber with the intention of creating a stick-built (made from dimensional lumber) structure in order to teach basic construction concepts and to provide an opportunity to use some pretty heavy duty real world tools. Over the course of the project, participants were able to measure lumber, frame the structure using power drills and drivers, and apply roofing and siding with a battery powered brad nailer. Younger participants were able to help chalk cut lines, paint and decorate pieces of siding, and experiment with Strawbees to build their own structures.
With most of the shelter completed on Saturday, Sunday's focus turned to food and warmth. Bill showed off some of the impressive results from our first year of gardening on the balcony and demonstrated how to mix one of the world's oldest building materials: cob. Cob is a mixture of clay, straw, and sand. Participants were able to mix cob and build the base of what will become a cob pizza oven, an essential addition to the BAM balcony garden.