The bird in my current automata project (a North American Sleptin), is fairly heavy with many moving bits. Some of the movement with be rapid, likely causing a fair bit of jostling and force. I need the legs to be strong enough to handle all of this. I often use hardwood, like maple, to make strong legs, but I figured I needed something a little more.
I'm going to use 3/16" brass rods so I can securely fasten the legs to the base for strength, and a strong pivot for the bird. The rod isn't very realistic, or even pretty, so I'm going to clad the rod with maple to make bird looking legs. The rods will extend below the feet so I can fasten them into the top of the mechanism chamber. I made each leg in two pieces since it can be tricky drilling long straight holes in hardwood. I will hide the joint in the knee joint of the bird. It is important that the rods be tight in the holes so that they act as one piece. On final assembly I will add glue into the hole with the rod to fill any voids.
The completed one is on the left and the work in progress is on the right. In the photo the rod is not shown protruding below the foot. That is for later.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.