Sweatshop Saturday

Taoex Sweatshop Saturday Session June 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017 we ran a sweatshop session to prepare the next batch of Taoex tiles. I am not sure just how many Jay, Lorne and I did but, it would have been between 1500 to 1700.

About a month ago I poured and set those same fifteen to seventeen hundred tiles. After more than sufficient drying time it was time to sand our second batch of game pieces, fifty at a time.

The day started out to be nice and sunny but before long some clouds rolled in and we opted to set up a tent so that we could finish preparing this batch, get them ready to apply the labels. The labels themselves take about an hour to apply them to make a set. But that is for another time.

Our process for the day had Lorne sitting at the table loading 50 Taoex tiles into these little picture frames I found that allowed for 50 tiles to be sanded flat and level, at a time.

The blue recycling pail on the table holds about 800 of the things and Lorne would spill a bunch out and then turn them logo side down before setting them in the improvised jigs.

Once he has filled a jig I would then put spacers along 1 or 2 sides to hold the tiles tight inside for sanding. I would then take the jig outside and drop it off with Jay so he could then run a belt sander over them.

Our timing was such that by the time I brought out a completed jig for sanding I could bring the finished jigs back inside to be refilled.

For the sanding station I took my old Ikea microwave/cutting board cart, which is of a decent height and thus reduces back strain, and drilled 8 holes in the top to accommodate shelving pegs. The pegs are used to hold the jig in place so the jig doesn’t move under the power of the belt sander.

With the jig firmly in place we still had to secure the Ikea microwave/cutting board cart as the power of the belt sander would also send the cart sailing out from under the operator. The two wheels of the cart sure don’t help either. Solution, why gripping two of the cart legs with the operator’s feet.

We may not be well equipped or sophisticated but we are resourceful and manage to get the job done.

The original plan was to hand make 100 copies of the game and this, our second session, represents about 1/5ths of all of the required 7800 tiles to be made. Good news for us is that the last 3 sets to be made will no longer require any sanding.

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