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.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.