Given a little hole, sometimes you just have to fill it! I decided to add another leviathan under the dock of the current automata construction. This time I chose to add a catfish. He will not move in an out like the other fish I have made, but will lurk under the dock opening and closing his mouth.
He is about 4 " long, 3/4" tall in the body and 1-1/4" wide. I started with a piece of basswood and cut, carved, and sanded the shape as shown below. The smaller piece in the photo is the lower jaw.
In order to actuate the lower jaw I am using a 1/16" brass rod running up from behind inside the catfish. I placed a 1/8" hollow tube so it would slide easily. In the photo below you can see through the fish's mouth into a 1/4" hole and eventually into the tube. The 1/4" hole is to allow some freedom of movement for the brass rod. The mouth of the fish was hollowed out with a carbide bit on a Dremel tool.
Whiskers were added using 3/32" brass rod. In these photos they have not been cut to finished length. Fins have been added but I have yet to use my wood burner to add detail to them.
I wanted the catfish to look a little "scary" when I designed him, but somehow he ended up looking a little like a Grouper in serious need of a shave. The good thing about automata is that you can always say that this fish was meant to be whimsical in the first place.
He is mounted on a block which will secure him to the automata case.
A new feature of my web provider is that I can now add short video segments into the blog, so I added 6 seconds of video showing the catfish in operation to try it out.
Till next time. I still have some followup to the head construction to come.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.