When I make automata I often make them so that the top works, or action platform, can be removed from the mechanism once the links have been removed. I do this for two reasons. The first is I find them easier to assemble and the second is the automata can be easily disassembled if ever need be in the future for repair. I try to design with enough care that this should never happen, but having been in refinery maintenance for many years has taught me to always be prepared for the unexpected!
Normally I use corner posts, often 3/4" dowels, to hold the operating platform in a stable position above the mechanism. In this project I decided to further enhance the skeleton subject by using wooden bones as these support structures. Because of their final irregular shape it was important to square the ends and plan for locating pins in the ends before shaping the bone shaped pillars. The pillars will be glued to the underside of the top plate aligned with locating pins. The photo below shops the process steps.
On the far right is a 5-1/2" tall blank, 1-1/4" square. It has a 1/4" hole in the centre of the top and bottom surface for locating pins. The top and bottom surfaces are parallel. The blank next to it shows the cutout lines sketched onto the side of the blank, and the next shows what it looks like after it was cutout. The last one, far left, shows a completed post after shaping and sanding, including a knuckle relief on each side of each end.
The pillars will be painted and attached to the base from below with a screw run up through the locating pin into the post material.
I have been busy with other things but have been slipping into the shop to optimize the design details on my CAD drawings and fabricate pieces for my tubing skeleton. The photo below shows the cutouts for two pedestals, one on each end, that hold the eight follower ends that give the tube and the skeleton the bouncing motion. They still have the paper templates on them that I use to cut them accurately.
I saw how flat looking they were going to look and thought I should try to add something. In the past I have put thematic cutouts in for interest but nothing came to mind. What did come to mind was a portal to the lost souls that wait on the banks of the River Styx. I sketched the circles for sizing and made a little relief carving based on something I saw in a souvenir shop on the weekend. Below is the prototype relief I made stuffed into the pedestal on the right side of the photo above.
I was distracted goofing around with the proper colour for the skeleton's tube. Lots of tubes are what I consider too colourful for this project. I'm afraid that bright colours might be too visually distracting from the skeleton itself. Also I image the portals to hell should likely be more subdued not neon! It is unusual for me to do this but I pulled out some coloured pencils to check out some possibilities. I settled on this one in the end.
Here is the start of another project. What started out as a boy tubing at the cottage has turned into a skeleton tubing on the River Styx of Greek mythology. He is riding "Bone Crusher", a popular tube make of the underworld. There isn't much do do while waiting for a new soul, so some waiting choose this unusual form of entertainment.
Hopefully when done he will bounce around quite vigorously. Time will tell.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.