My first month and a half of school has truly been an adventure. There is a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, so we have been moving at a very fast pace. The first couple of weeks involved shop safety. This was an introduction to different types of tools such as grinders, compact miter saws, band saws, etc. and how to use them. We then began to get into electrical and that is when things really picked up.
I guess it’s only fair to mention that even though I have worked on vessels in the past my experience with building things is basically limited to bookshelves and desk that I brought from Wal-Mart, so let’s just say that I’m not exactly the best at building things. The first thing we had to build was a SIM (simulation) panel. This is basically a structure that will hold all the electrical components that we will put together later. First, we are given a schematic (a little bit like a blueprint) and then we start measuring, cutting, and then building. Believe it or not the thing I struggled with the most was drawing straight lines. I know, I know it’s sad but true, but once the drawing part was over the cutting and drilling was honestly not that bad.
Schematic for the SIM
I enjoyed making the SIM because it helped me become more comfortable using different tools. It’s also very exciting to see something go from just being a drawing on paper and then a few days later seeing the finished product. It was also very interesting to see how each group was building the same thing yet we all took slightly different approaches. So, it helped that you not only learn from your mistakes but also your classmates’ mistakes.