Three faculty members who work with the Engineering and Tech Scholars, in an ongoing effort to continuously learn new or old things tech, toured the Kinetic Steam Works (KSW) facility in Oakland. Kinetic Steam Works is a group of enthusiasts of steam powered machines. They strive to keep the skills to perform early steam technology alive, by offering education, entertainment and demonstrations. The members of the KSW group, meet up to preserve, build and create various period technologies. They have an extra bonus because their facilities are located next to a scrap yard, where they can scavenge or preserve this technology as it goes on its way to the melting pot.
The faculty was introduced to the KSW’s cavernous facility in Oakland and were treated with a tour through their vast hall and a presentation of their amazing tool park that included very exotic lathes, gear cutters, printing presses and many other pre-computer metal shaping tools. The highlight of the visit was a demonstration of how to make a sand cast mold. The faulty melted aluminum out of scrap which comes from the production of Tesla pouring and casting an aluminum pulley. The faculty is hoping to bring some of these techniques back to Skyline College to show our science and engineering students how to create molds to produce metal parts. Something quite old is coming to our new Fab Lab.
Article by Nick Kapp | Photo by Tadashi Tsuchida