Well the little leviathan got a some colour this morning. He now looks more like a fish should. His eyes were left "bug eyed" show that their movement would be more evident. His jaw pin was installed and plugs put in and sanded prior to painting. They were still visible in the last photo.
My intention with a component like this is to look somewhat real, perhaps a whimsical, and portioned to facilitate the planned movement. Tail fin to nose he is 4-3/4" long.
The current automata project has a large Bass lurking under the dock where a boy is fishing. He will periodically poke out his head and as he does his mouth will close and eyes will roll. Large is relative of course, he is just over 4" long.
The little block on his chin is to limit how far his mouth falls open and has been cut down substantially so it is not noticeable. There are two cables that operate the eyes and mouth. One of them (for the eyes) can be seen in the photo near the bottom rear.
The actuator for the eyes had to be assembled in the fish as it was made. As shown below the blank was sliced in half horizontally and a brass lever, weighted with solder was installed. The eyes are drilled out dowels slipped onto brass pins and were shaped into eyes after reassembly of the body and final carving. There are small brass tubes through the rear of the fish so the cables operate smoothly.
Three fins are made from 1/16" ply and added later. The two dorsal fins can be easily seen above. There are still two pectoral fins to be added when the above photo was taken. I'll repost after he is painted.
Been busy in the shop this week, doing lots of little bits on a new piece. At lot of redesign as I go on this piece to fit all the components I want in without interference.
I just finished roughing in a dog that is part of the piece; maybe mongrel, maybe Golden Labrador. His role is to enthusiastically peer over the side of a dock looking into the water. His head scans back and forth while his tail vigorously wags back and forth. Here are a couple of views.
View from below showing the internal lever arms.
A view showing him as he will sit on the finished piece. The next task is to use a wood burning tool to depict his fur.
Lastly here is a view from below showing his face. Its a bit of a shame that he continuously looks down, so viewers with have to crane their necks to she the details on his face. The pencil lines are to assist in the alignment of the fur.
What's a dock without a seagull? The answer. Not so realistic. So having designed a gull this week I am off to see if I can make it all come together in the shop this weekend. The challenge is that the seagulls, yes multiples, will only be 2" tall and seeing that it is an automata they must move. (Al's rule... if it's gonna be a part, impart some motion!).
I have settled for a fairly simple turn of the head, but I want to hide the mechanism from sight. Therefore the design has the activation rod coming up inside one of the legs. I will use a 1/16" rod through a hollow brass tube acting as a leg, at least that is the plan. His legs might be a bit chunky, but things are allowed to be whimsical. I will cut and hollow out the body for the linkages and glue it together before final finishing.
Who knows if I can make my fat fingers do this, I might try a moving beak! (That was typed with unbridled optimism. I may have to eat crow, or maybe even gull on that one.)
If it doesn't work... well, at least I will know my limit. I'll take some photos along the way for posting!
Well what a difference a day makes! After finishing my compound pulley block highlighted in the previous post. I began finalizing the fit and action prior to the glue up. I wasn't happy with the action of the excavator bucket. Lots of head scratching and trial fitting lead be to a more elegant design which rendered the pulley block obsolete! Oh well, I'll save it in the spare parts drawer. It will get used someday!
So here's a view with some paint on. I am hoping for completion over the next week.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.