An Automata Wing and a Prayer
Been a stretch since the last entry. A little spring cleaning, a little balcony railing replacement, a lot of gardening to get the railway ready for visitors this spring, and even a big clean up in the shop; well maybe a medium one anyway.
So with the last project done it's time to move on. On the prototype for Who Slew the Chicken, I had built the conveyor, worked out turning the chicken, but did not have the chicken point at the bad guy - until today. Below is a photo of the chicken cut open to show the lever that with raise it's wing.
The headless chicken has its left wing up pointing into what will be the lineup. The little ramp just under the chicken's breast on the right pushes up a metal link that raises the arm. This can be seen more clearly in the next photo.
So life is good on the "Who Slew the Chicken" scene. The chicken prototype works fine, the drawing of the lineup room area is done, and I have started carving the first suspect, a catholic nun. More design of the mechanism is still needed.
Automata Dentist's Office is Done!
Things seem to drag on at the end, as they always do, and I just finished the Denitst's Office automata today. So now I am sitting outside on a nice afternoon updating my blog, coffee in hand.
The number of characters from the original concept has increased. Surprise, surprise. We have Abby Cess, Phil Mc Cavity, Iva Losecapp, and Phil McCracken, all waiting to get in to see the dentist. We also have Abby's little girl on the floor playing with the wire and bead toy, which is a staple in North American doctor's and dentist's waiting rooms.
New to the game is three baby teeth frolicking in the lower mechanism, two on a toothbrush teeter totter and one with a gimbal raised over there head.She is likely a future customer!
Here is a photo of the piece. I likely won't get a video up on the website or Youtube till next week.
New Automata Video on Youtube!
I have just posted a new on Youtube. It is a quick view of "The Dentist's Office" mechanism before final assembly. It is familiar to one of the most frequently viewed videos on my channel which showed the working mechanism of the "Urban Terrorists". In the foreground you can see a little teeter-totter I have built yesterday for under the main story platform.
The video can be seen by following the following link.
Putting it All Together
Thiis shot is from a few days ago. The gearbox has been tested and the cams are slid into place on the main shaft temporarily. Since then the pedestals and followers have been installed and the top plate has been drilled. Now it is time to place the top works and test the linkages for motion. Of course after that it's a dismantle to go back and fasten the cams in place!
The little block in the foreground is the bottom of the bead game shown in a previous blog.
You can see a printout from the CAD drawing on the base. I punch through it with an awl to locate the corners of the pedestals accurately, remove the template and glue the pedestals in place.
When have you been in a waiting room and not seen one of these bead games for little children to play? My Dentist's Ofiice project had to have one. If things work out like I plan the red beads will slide up and down while a baby tooth plays with them!
Giving Automata the Brush
It's been a little while since an entry, but I've been quietly beavering away on the Dentist's Office project. Here is the handle for the piece.
Meanwhile the assembly is proceeding. Here is a photo of the gearbox. This time I put a few cutouts in the partition wall so the gearbox can be seen more easily. Back at it today.
Amongst other jobs I managed to complete the CAD rendering of "The Dental Office" so I have been printing templates for cutting tomorrow in the shop.
This time I drew the gearbox as solids. Next time I might move up to solids for the rest. The challenge is the closure accuracy of the CAD file! It can be frustrating! Anyway what I did as solid looks cool. I have to add centre lines to facilitate drilling on patterns though. Oh well!
I recently acquired a book titled "Figures in the Fourth Dimension - Mechanical Movement for Puppets and Automata" by Ellen S. Rixford. It is a lovely collection of the work of numerous artists of the craft. Check it out on her website or at http://www.figuresinthefourthdimension.com. I was draw by an untitled piece made by Paul Spooner in 1983 which was described as " ...a kind of mechanical cupboard in the form of an armless woman.... ". I was mesmerized and decided I had to design something that utilized a mechanism like the one in the lower section. This its the root of one of the two automata projects I am currently working on.
So while I did paint some teeth this weekend I spent some more time working on a prototype for "The Lineup". As shown below it will use a wooden chain conveyor that will lead characters past a police lineup to identify the guilty party. It's been interesting figuring out how to make things work smoothly, but I think I'm getting there.
Below is a quick video piece to show the prototype in operation. There is a lot to be added and most of the mechanism will be hidden by other stuff in weeks to come. A "guinea pig" automata chicken rides the circuit to test it out. Now back to working on the "Dental Office" for a few days.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.