Get a Handle On It!
I selected a handle design and set in to build it today. The result is a muskellunge, Mishe-Nahma, whose name is taken from the song of Hiawatha. Here is the finished photo. Tomorrow it will get glued on to the input shaft and the Fishing automata will be virtually complete.
So Close Now!
Finally I am getting close to completion. I have a few jobs left, feet for the gulls, a little interference fitting to solve, the fishing line and bobber to complete, and a handle to design. Right now I am leaning toward a fish for the handle. I took a video of the mechanism working before I put the dock on top so I could describe how it works. I will post on my website when edited and I have completed the whole thing. Hopefully I'll get back into the shop and finish up this week.
Gull Darn It!
If you follow the blog you might remember that I posted a photo on February 16th of a seagull. It was one of the first components I build for the "Fishing" automata to see if I could build a small enough working mechanism to fit inside. Here it is two months later and the second gull is the last character I have made for the piece. Here is a short video clip of Gertrude and Heathcliff standing on the dock. I have yet to add feet.
Boy O' Boy
Hopefully I have put the last of the details on Billy the fishing boy. All the mechanical linkages have been test fitted for the upper characters. You may see the follower for the eye movement and shaft to turn Billy's head inside the glass on the right side. On the left is the follower to make his right arm rise and fall. His left arm is attached to the dock. It moves side to side.
There has been a lot more fitting of this piece than expected. In an effort to keep things compact in the piece I have not left much room for error, let alone fat fingers.
P.S. The shoes are Converse, like the ones I had as a kid.
Final Assembly of Fishing!
Getting around to the final assembly after cutting a new case for the automata. Unfortunately the new box was not quite an exact replica of the previous one so some adjustments were needed. There is likely a lesson learned here! As a result I have had to add a few 1/32" shims under a few of the pedestals to make the mechanism run freely. You can see one of them being fitted under the centre pedestal in the photo.
The face finally got some paint, so I am posting a shot of the head of my recent automata project so you can see the eye movement since the eyeballs are painted. I Made a simple mouth only because I felt more detail would not be in balance with the rest of the head details.
Trying to put a push on this week to finish!
Meanwhile on the Railroad...
It seems we are paying for a few mild winters with a late spring this year around here. As you can see the South Bay Railway is still buried under some ice and snow. I usually like to get out early and pick up some of the millions of cedar droppings that find their way onto the layout in the fall and winter before the ground completely thaws, but it is still too early. Still 10" of ice on the lake!
Cedar leaves/needles are tough to rake so believe it or not I use a vacuum to suck them up, being careful not to suck up ballast as I go. I have found a blower can be pretty destructive if not handled carefully!
Forecast ice pellets, snow and freezing rain for the next few days! Generally not weather conducive to garden railroading. Oh well one day soon...
Still at it!
No shop time this week, so there is not much new to show you. when I was last at work I was tuning up all the mechanism actions, adding counter weights and linkages in the prototype before I moved the guts into the final case. Its getting a little crowded in a couple of areas, in particular in the area where Bigmouth the bass resides. But I think things are getting worked out. I'll be back at it on Saturday!
A Few Days of Miscelleany
I've been spending a few days in the shop crunching away on the final prototype of the "Fishing" automata piece. Most of the time has been spent finishing the fisherman including the active components inside the body that make his arms move.
Here's a photo from the shop with the figure mostly completed. Perhaps a little more detail carving to go. He is not placed in hid final position in the photo.
The fishing rod is a product of the last few days. It is made partly from wood and partly from brass rod. The eyes for the line were made from soldering smaller brass wires bent in circles onto the rod pole. It is perhaps a little short for scale but I wanted to keep the weight down and have it not stick out to much.
The fingers of his right hand have a brass tube inserted so that the fishing line that passes through the hand will not cut into the basswood fingers. You can see the insert in the photo below.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.