Pulling ideas and experiences together to make something new

This is a story of how Advay (my 7 year old) pulled together random experiences from scrubbing coconut shells, to dismantling an old washing machine, to discovering a motor to making an electric coconut scrubber.

Part #1: Coconut Shells

Murali Krishna is a friend of mine who is known for creating new and unique things from everyday waste. For a few years now he has been polishing coconut shells to create new and interesting utility items. For instance, Murali made this at his home.

Advay would go and learn this from Murali, come back and attempt to make something similar. Ofcourse Murali would initially do a lot of hand-holding, but Advay would learn.

Almost 18 months ago, my friend Murali had come to Aarohi and conducted a session on polishing coconut shells to create utility items. During that time Murali taught a group of learners at Aarohi his approach to cleaning a coconut shell and using sand-paper to scrub-polish the surface and make something. Aditi has written a whole blog post about this: https://www.aarohilife.org/home/blog/coconut-and-carpentary and https://www.aarohilife.org/home/blog/carpentry-murali

Part #2: The Washing Machine

Our washing machine broke sometime in May 2018. We tried getting it repaired, but simply couldn’t get it fixed. So we bought a new washing machine. Which meant that the old one was available to us for all sorts of curiosity projects. Advay and I spent several days ripping it apart. Initially I would open a few screws and nuts, but he began to insist on doing all of that by himself. So, he disassembled most of the washing machine. I helped him only in cases where something was heavy or tightly fit.

As we disassembled the washing machine, we tried to make up our own logic about how washing machines work. We observed the motor, the belt, the wheel, the drum, the water pipes and how they all are interconnected to wash clothes. We thought of attaching his old cycle wheel to the drum and making a cycle-washing machine (something that kids from ever have been interested in doing). But for some reason the idea got shelved aside and as did the stuff we got by disassembling the machine.

Few days later, we found this interesting little motor in the machine. It was a small motor. We felt that we could attach something to it and get it to do something…

For whatever reason, we simply couldnt get the motor to do anything worthwhile.

And then, all of the washing machine parts got dumped into our store room. And we never saw of it for many months, until this morning!
[NOTE: This happened on 29th Dec 2018, although I published the blog only today (Feb 17, 2019).]

Part #3: Carpentry

Carpentry is almost omnipresent in the Aarohi campus. Advay would indulge in carpentry every once in a while in the campus and also at home. Over the past few months, everytime he went to his grandfather’s house in Shimoga he would observe with interest the work of the carpenters at their construction site. He would take note of the various tools they would use. He noticed how the carpenters made use of a machine that would scrub a wooden surface smooth. It looked something like this, although it is not the exact machine.

Yesterday, the bottom disk of the machine broke and the carpenter threw it away. Advay went and picked it up. He asked the carpenter if he could take it home. The carpenter said yes.

Part #4: “Invention” of Electric Coconut Scrubber

The moments after that happened, several of his past experiences started to mash up together. He came home and pasted a sand paper to one side of the disk.

He then used a saw-blade and cut open a + sign on the other side.

He then force fit that into the motor from the washing machine.

Now his coconut shell polishing electric tool was ready.

It was time to test it out. And boy does it work! 

It would be interesting to see what all he makes from it, going forward. Including, discarding his whole “invention” completely and moving on to something else.