Mad Science Lair – Setup and Watch Sweat Shop

Maddex and I started the process of converting the lower floor of the shed into our laboratory and work shop today. Before we got too far into the project we mounted a 4′ LED light on the ceiling for betting lighting. The two florescent bulbs are ok, but the big LED with natural light is brilliant. After the light we had to clear out and clean up the space to make room for Science. After clearing out the space we found some 2×4’s and metal brackets to mount all over the walls 30.5″ off of the floor. In the orange container we found a few 96″ x 24″ sheets of melamine we attached to the 2×4’s to build a desk / table / white flat work space to science on.

We ended up with an L shaped work space 96″ by 82″ 31″ high. After the desk was setup Maddex was too excited for the next project to setup tools and such.

Watch sweat shop

A few weeks ago Michelle bought 10# pounds of watches from an auction. She went through the watches and picked out the ones worth the most resell. A majority of them were not working. I told Maddex we would fix the watches once we setup the lab. After the table was built the watch project sparked and consumed all thought in Maddex’s mind. He was done with the lab setup and drug me to the house excited for watches. We loaded a box with watch tools, and magnifying glasses, and static mats I carried down. Maddex carried the valuable cargo, a tray of watches. We setup the magnifying glass arm and the static mat then we needed some chairs. While I was getting chairs momma came down to check it all out and helped Maddex unwrap all of the tools, and get ready for watches.

Maddex was super excited to get into the watch project. I was downright shocked, and filled with pride watching him work. Maddex impressed with how effective he was pulling the watches apart and replacing the batteries. Out of the 30 watches we fixed eight did not take the batteries we had on hand, two were dead / beyond our skillset to fix, five Maddex fixed 100% on his own from taking the back off to replacing the battery to putting the back back on, and the rest I took the backs off of, Maddex replaced the battery and we put the back on together. He was super patient and demonstrated excellent fine motor skills working with tiny tools and delicate devices. Trenton stopped by while we were in the middle of the project, and he was downright shocked at Maddex’s skills – color me an impressed proud papa.

I asked him to smile – this is what I got

Feeling some pride after fixing a couple watches. His skills improved with lighting speed.

Super impressed with the work Maddex did today

Windmill and solder

In the orange container we have a box or two of random science toys we’ve picked up over the years. While looking for my variable voltage DC power supply I peaked in the box and pulled out a project. Maddex was still super excited to work in the lab and I’m not one to get in the way of learning. He opened the windmill box, laid out the parts and rationalized how they went together. then we read the directions and he put it all together. One part of the project was attaching some wires to a motor. We busted out the soldering gun and taught Maddex how to solder. Looking forward to more soldering practice. We have another iron, wire, and more solder in route for later this week. Once it all arrives we’re going to practice soldering by making little wire people; Should be fun project.

After we finished with the watches I did a bit more office setup and found a windmill project we built before heading up for lunch.

What a great day working on projects with the kid. Tomorrow we’ll build the radio and do some more lab setup.

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