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.
After spending some time putting the details on the CAD placement of parts of my latest project, I decided that although the CAD work is not completed it is time for a little shop therapy! I headed out to the shop today to start cutting parts. Here are the gears for the gearbox.
Honey the harpist now has paint and ready to play. The newest and maybe the last addition is another violinist. This one, Vivian, is actually playing the violin running the bow back and forth across the strings. I think that my workspace for the scene maybe be full enough now. I wanted the orchestra to look crowded; they usually do! With adding chairs and music stands it will certainly start to look very busy.
I also have to consider the space requirements for the mechanism below. I will now have to start designing the moving bits below and try to fit them into the space I have chosen for the scene. This can be an iterative process until I land on something I'm comfortable with.
I chose rats for the symphony because many people have a common perception that they are about as far away from the classy and sophisticated image of a symphony orchestra. They are not the most attractive members of the animal kingdom and give the "willies" to many, all the more reason to have them in this scenario.
Anyway it's the old "back to the drawing board" for a little design work, and a break to vacuum the shop.
Some travelling today, some unpacking the Waterloo display back into the shop, a visit with the boys at the carving club and finally back into the shop to build a harp for the Rat Philharmonic. Tomorrow should yield a new rat to play it.
The harp needs a little more work yet, some filler to hide the channel the wires are strung in on the top, some sanding and shaping of the bottom, and of course some paint. The strings are teflon coated stainless steel wire. It is what crafters use to string necklaces and bracelets. I buy it from Micheal's. Very strong of course and will not rust or discolour especially with a Teflon coating.
Haven't got a name for the harpist yet, maybe I'll get inspired tomorrow.
Off this past weekend to Waterloo for the National Wildfowl Carving Championship, Owls Nest competition, and Grand Valley Carvers show, a great place to see a wide variety of carvings. As usual nothing entered from Conquergood Creative but lots of enjoyment showing, promoting and talking automata. As always, I am trying to encourage a few more talented woodworkers to take the plunge!
Here is my meagre display this year including a couple of polystyrene seagulls from my Christmas parade float. Thanks to all those who stopped by and my better half for helping out yet again.
Another day in the shop, another Rat for the philharmonic. This time it's a tuba player. Not the marching band Sousaphone type but an orchestral tuba. It's still big and cumbersome for this little rat though. Her name is Melody, an irony in that as a tuba player she never gets to play one.
She will rock forward and back as she belts out big notes.
The next member of the Rat Philharmonic is a trumpet player. Here he or she is, whichever you like. There is one photo painted and one photo before painting but after burning. This rat will twist back and forth as he plays and tap his foot in time to the music.
Well, months later I have finally posted the video I assembled that highlights the 2018 Fenelon Falls Santa Day parade Float called "Driving Home for Christmas". You never want to rush these things, right? anyway it is not posted on Youtube on my channel but only available on my website. If you would like to see something different for a change give it a look.
Here is a shortcut. The Driving Home For Christmas Float Video
Another member of the Rat Harmonic automata has appeared. This is Fergie the Flutist. She moves her head up and down while playing soft melodies. Her favourite piece to play is Ode to a Cheese Lock in A Minor by Ludwig van Rodent.
Despite the face it was -18 degrees Celsius overnight again, it is the start of the spring show season. This Saturday March 9th I will be attending the Brooklin Carving Club's competition and show at the Brooklin Community Centre, 49 Cassels Rd. E. in Brooklin. I will be displaying only a small amount of work. I will be hanging out at the Bobcaygeon Carving Club table. Drop by and say hello and chat about automata! The show is open to the public at 10:00 am.
Next weekend, March 16 and 17, I will be at the National Wildfowl Carving Competition at the RIM recreation Centre in Waterloo. If you are in the area drop in there too. Always some beautiful work on display.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.