It seems the wet may never leave us this spring. I’ve been working on my corn machinery but have paused to figure out how to best make a niblet pump. While I thought about the pump possibilities I moved on to make a skid of flour for the pasta section.
My current project has a little section where corn cobs are sent through a production line and the niblets are stripped off the cobs and fall deeper into the bowels of a factory for mixing. It consists of a conveyor with the cobs hanging as they move through the niblet stripping process, showing them before and after. The conveyor moves intermittently. The the conveyor pauses the cobs are stripped. One the of factory chefs manually operates the stripping machine from above the conveyor.
The is Chef Andre Cobb, a renowned niblet preparation specialist know around the plant as "The Niblet Ripper". He is just over 2" tall and turns the crank of the machinery that strips the cobs.
Below is Chef Andre Cobb lying down on the job, resting before painting, so you can see his pinned components. Apparently he sleeps with his eyes open. He looks like he could be dreaming about bench pressing at the gym.
Well now, about 12 hours of work later I have the required seven cobs of corn I need for my new project. Still a bit of a maybe, but l’m trudging on! I still don’t have clear vision yet but what the heck, it isn’t always about the destination, sometime it’s about the voyage.
I am currently working on prototype bits for a new conceptual automata. It will be made of several separate mechanisms integrated together. This first piece is a miniature cob of corn. It is made from a piece of 3/16" dowel, about 130 2mm yellow glass beads, a bunch of CA glue, a few drops of yellow paint to fill any gaps, and a bout 1-1/2 hours of time! Normally I would make this from wood alone but the significance of using the glass beads will be revealed in the future. For now it is my little mystery.
The latest automata project, "A Sewer Rat Symphony" is now posted on the Conquergood Creative YouTube channel and also has web pages on the website. On the website there is a video, a story about the piece, individual profile of the musical characters. I hope you enjoy. Thanks to all of you who suggested names for the piece.
Here is a direct link to the webpage "Sewer Rat Symphony"
I think that this is the last building bits for the Rat Philharmonic - ten music stands. I felt that these extra components would give the orchestra the crowded look that they seem to have in real life. Here they are with a quarter thrown in for scale.
The lower mechanism is now completed and has been run in. The rats have had their tails added, a step I put off to last to prevent damage to these small parts. all the chairs have been fabricated. The only structural left is to complete and mount the music stands for the musicians.
The last job is to connect the mechanism to the rats with brass links and glue the rats into final position. This should be done in the next few days. I expect the rats will make their first public appearance this coming weekend at the Quinte Carving show in Belleville Ontario.
An interesting wrinkle is that the arm of one of the violinists ended up being left behind, some 2 hours away from the location of the current assembly. So this adds a little stress to working to a completion deadline a sizeable logistics issue has arisen!
This CAD screen capture, which looks like a big black blob, is in fact he CAD drawing of the mechanical bits of the current Rat Philharmonic piece with out the handle shown. A lot of hours are spent fussing to get things lined up correctly with a project with as much component density as this. The rats are not shown in this view as I do not tend to draw them with CAD but rather use hand drawings and carve from there. The chair bases on top are just placeholders for where to drill the holes in the top plate for the chair legs.
There are always a few "fit in field" elements to work out once building starts. In this case the hole locations for the foot linkages in the top late will be checked before drilling even though they are shown in the drawing.
I expect to be back in the shop tomorrow afternoon making sawdust and hopefully useable components to start the final assembly. I am trying to complete this piece for the upcoming Belleville show.
Oh yes if you are wondering it is done in TurboCad for Mac!
Things are moving along now as you can see below. All the gearbox components are dry fit in place. 16 of the 18 cam followers are cut waiting fitting, and 2/3 of the cams are cut. Just a few checks on a couple of the missing cams and they can be cut. Next step is to configure the pedestal mounts for the followers and shaft supports and cut them out, then fit it together. I’ve got some other commitments for a few days so there will be a slight pause in production!
The rats are patiently watching backstage.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.