LumberJocks

Caterpillar Automata

  • Advertise with us
Project by ToyMakingDad posted 12-28-2016 03:34 PM 1557 views 15 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are a couple of moving caterpillar automata I recently made as gifts.
Pretty easy to build if you have a drill press, a miter saw and some patience.
The body segments are mostly 1 1/4” dowels cut on a miter saw to just short of 1/2” thick and then painted with craft store acrylic and finished with spray acrylic.
The cams are 1 1/4” dowel cut to exactly 1/2” thick except for the the cam that moves the head and locks the shaft in place.
The base is 1×3 pine (3/4” x 2 1/2”) finished with beeswax and mineral oil.
Followers and shaft are 1/4” oak dowels.

Took some time to noodle out the measurements but after the initial work, the second one went together much faster and easier. It is a real pleasant motion on the toy and will hopefully be sturdy enough to last quite awhile.

Details about the build are on my blog:
http://toymakingdad.blogspot.com/2016/12/making-toy-caterpillar-automata.html

Here is a video of him in action.

Thanks for looking.

-- Toy Making Dad, Northern Virginia, http://toymakingdad.blogspot.com





8 comments so far

View xwingace's profile

xwingace

228 posts in 2403 days


#1 posted 12-28-2016 04:59 PM

So cute!

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View RTV's profile

RTV

104 posts in 329 days


#2 posted 12-28-2016 05:25 PM

Looks like a fun project.

-- Ray Vanderpool

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5624 posts in 2961 days


#3 posted 12-28-2016 11:27 PM

That’s a pretty cool caterpillar project—fun to see in action!

You know, if you rigged up something like John Hutchinson’s Dynamo Men to operate him, you could just sit back and enjoy the show!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View htl's profile

htl

3058 posts in 974 days


#4 posted 12-29-2016 03:27 PM

Cute! Cute! cute!
Would be a ball to make and fun to play with me thinks.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View dddddmorgan's profile

dddddmorgan

87 posts in 942 days


#5 posted 12-29-2016 04:13 PM

I like it!

So the “cam lobes” are fixed to the “crankshaft” but is the caterpillar fixed or loose or is there even a dowel running through him?

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

View ToyMakingDad's profile

ToyMakingDad

72 posts in 1826 days


#6 posted 12-29-2016 05:13 PM

dddddmorgan,

Great question. None of the body segments are connected to each other except for the very end of his tail which is glued to the piece in front of it.
Otherwise, each segment is loose and has a 1/4 oak dowel follower that ends in a block of pine that actually rides on the cam.
Looking down the length of the toy from his head, those blocks are 1” wide (left to right) 1/2” tall (up and down) and 7/16” deep (front to back.) That way they get better contact with the cams and when the caterpillar gets turned upside down, his pieces don’t fall out.

Hope that helps and thanks for looking.

Dan

-- Toy Making Dad, Northern Virginia, http://toymakingdad.blogspot.com

View htl's profile

htl

3058 posts in 974 days


#7 posted 12-29-2016 10:37 PM

Couldn’t stand it any longer and got started on one today. LOL
I’m to the point it’s time to get it all lined up and acting proper, you know what I mean.
Great how to, all the info you need to make it your own.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View crowie's profile

crowie

1991 posts in 1765 days


#8 posted 05-27-2017 07:29 AM

Some how missed this beaut toy… great fun for some little ones..

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com