More on the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh at the Craftsman Experience Store

More on the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh at the Craftsman Experience Store

The Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh was brought into the space in three pieces


Iron workers from the team at the Butler Street Foundry


John Lamonica sits on a semi-completed installation

Christina Pei, who’s been covering the building of the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh display at the Craftsman Experience Store in Chicago for MAKE, sent in this report today. —Gareth

Today, we brought the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh to the Craftsman Experience Store, where people walking by the window can see us still busy at work. The crew at Butler Street Foundry deconstructed the massive display into three pieces, and reassembled it on-site. While the sleigh was dwarfed by all the giant metal tools in the foundry, it looks pretty impressive in its showcase here.

Butler Street Foundry owner John Lamonica was featured live on Facebook by Craftsman’s camera crew. John walked us through the process of building the sleigh, the student work that went into it, even the pieces of his personal Craftsman tool collection that he mounted onto the body.

Then we went to work on special effects. Our special effects wizard RJ Hermanowicz dipped his hands into hundreds of wires, laid out buttons and switches, drills and glue. We started coating the first layers of paint onto the air cannon. And we soldered up even more LED lights. RJ has until Sunday to complete all lighting and sound, which will again be featured live on Facebook. I can’t wait to see the finished project, and finally shoot that air cannon!

To see Part Two of the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh live on Facebook:
Sunday, December 5th
6:30 – 7:30 PM Central Time

Or visit the Craftsman Experience Store in person to get your hands dirty:

Craftsman Experience Store
233 W. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Christina Pei is a Wall Street analyst turned math teacher turned pirate. She currently works for Paul Sally, the University of Chicago “math pirate” who’s been hacking math education for decades. Christina is always looking for innovative ways to improve inquiry-based, hands-on education, a practice that’s flailing in traditional schools but is still alive wherever people want to create. Someday she hopes to bring the DIY mentality back to school.

Craftsman and MAKE build the Ultimate Santa’s Sleigh

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn