"Automaton" #4: Staging & Mechanics

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Blog entry by mpounders posted 01-14-2012 05:33 PM 5785 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Arms and hands Part 4 of "Automaton" series Part 5: Big Dog »

I’ve been working on the mechanical parts of the toy this week. I built a 10” x 10” box with mitered corners out of oak. The back drop and other pieces are out of poplar and the stage is 1/4” birch. I used 3/4” birch plywood for the gears and collars and cams with dowels for the different rods and pistons.

The back drop will be doweled and glued in place, and I am trying to decide if I want to put the title up there or down on the oak. All the other pieces will have screws or pins, so that it can be disassembled for adjustments or repairs. It is necessary to shim and adjust things a bit, in order to get him to dance properly. The boots have to hit the pkatform just right to get him to kick his feet out.

The piston is just a dowel rounded on the bottom and running through a hole drilled in the cross bar. The tooths/cogs on the wheel push it up and down, transferring that motion to the lever supporting the figure. I’ll sand and pretty things up a bit when i have it tweaked a bit more. I am working on a second figure, a dog, that will be sitting by the first and will be moved by some arrangement or another. It’ll have feet of some type to raise it up for the crank to clear. Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

5 comments so far

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4074 days

#1 posted 01-14-2012 06:10 PM

Very Cool! Can’t wait to see him dance!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 01-14-2012 07:03 PM

Mike that is awesome! He is so full of character and looks poised to trip the light fantastic. What a fabulous toy.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2800 days

#3 posted 01-15-2012 12:08 AM

git dem cowboy boots kickin it.. he’s ready to jam

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3979 days

#4 posted 01-15-2012 03:36 AM

sweet .. I’m hooked on this story now … cool blog BUD

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View CavRecon's profile


4 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 01-15-2012 11:04 PM

Walt Disney lives!

-- Andy ["Do what you can with what you have, where you are.", Teddy Roosevelt]

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