Father’s day at the Hamilton Mini Maker Faire

Last Sunday (the 21st, that is) we spent the afternoon in Hamilton at the Mini Maker Faire, hosted by the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology. The site is a former Victorian-era steam-powered plant for pumping municipal water from Lake Ontario (filtered only by a sand bed) into piping to replace all the local wells which were often sources of disease. The plant used two large (about 3 stories tall) walking beam steam engines to pump the water to an open reservoir on a hill. The engines and pumphouse have been restored, and one of the engines runs (alas, powered by an electric motor, not steam!).

One the same site, the Golden Horseshoe Live Steamers have several loops of small-gauge track and offered rides on three trains. The rails are 7¼″ and 4¾″ gauge so you ride the two-car trains by sitting astride the tops of the cars. The smaller train was powered by a tiny coal-fired steam engine and I was quite amazed that such a small engine could pull the train!

Loading a few more chips of coal into the firebox. The train in the foreground is powered by a hidden gasoline engine, perhaps stolen off a weed trimmer.

Loading a few more chips of coal into the firebox. The train in the foreground is powered by a hidden gasoline engine, perhaps stolen off a weed trimmer.

The Faire itself featured a large display from the Hamilton Model Engineering Club along with displays from various maker clubs (including our local KwartzLab), robotics clubs, 3D printer manufacturers, and sundry other crafters. Outside, there were robot competitions and air-powered foam rocket launching.

The weather was great, nice and sunny with a breeze blowing in off the lake to keep things comfortable. Although Lily was a bit bored by some of the displays, she loved the train rides and I think we all had a great time.

I was planning on stopping on the way there at the Cambridge Sail store to get more plastic cases for storing smaller quantities of display matrices that five full fonts. The boxes I buy are Plano 3448-60 six-compartment translucent boxes. These will hold one font of mats, which is useful for faces that include additional sizes (typically 12, 16, or an alternative 18#2 size), or for which I have a set of small caps (room for two sizes of these), fractions or alternative figures (room for six sizes), or swash alternates (depending how may there are in a font). They can also be used for storing non-font-related mats like symbols, arrows, etc. I had purchased these cases several times at this store, and this was the first time that I did not check stock ahead of time on their web site. As luck would have it they were all out! A very helpful clerk called the Burlington branch, which was also along our route, and verified that they indeed had some in stock, so when we got there I bought a dozen (then it was on to the Maker Faire).

 

Posted in KwartzLab, Personal, Us

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