September 30, 2012 AT 11:56 pm

Repairing and Running the Bulls at @MakerFaire

minotaurbulls

In an effort to restore Mechanical Bull #2 to it’s spinning glory, my crewmates from The Madagascar Institute planned to repair the shattered shaft coupling in our Dueling Mechanical Bulls ride (with many Adafruit parts!) at Maker Faire New York 2012.

ridelater

Instead of machining a new coupling from scratch, we decided to weld the shaft directly to the spinning plate.

jimcollinbulls

But with amperage dropping over the length of the long extension cords feeding our area, we needed to move closer to the generator to empower our suitcase welder.

carryitacross

boneyardwelding

So we dismantled the bull and carried the parts and suitcase welder across the grounds and got on with it, using whatever we could find around to shim the parts into a “perfectly” perpendicular position. (Photo above and below by Colin Butgereit)

bullpanorama

marybethbounce

It rained briefly, but we quickly covered the bulls in plastic and didn’t mind the wet bouncy safety mat too much. Once the skies cleared and we checked nothing electrical was damaged or shorted out, the show went on. And my camera dried off and works fine.

In the end the bulls hosted many happy (and some terrified) riders, with intermittent fixes and battery cooldown periods. And we were awarded two blue ribbons, thanks Sherry and Kipp! (Above photo by gluetree on Flickr)

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