Timberkits Automata

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Project by Doe posted 01-04-2014 08:24 PM 3615 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have wanted to try automata since I saw Wanda Sowry’s projects. To learn about how to translate motion to linkages, I bought a bunch of Timberkits from the Treehouse. There’s a US supplier that I’m having trouble getting to today, but I chose the UK company because they have 20% discount if you spend 100 pounds. The kits are very well thought out and include glue, sandpaper, and wax so you don’t need anything else other than paint (if you want to take the time). They have trays for the parts and a printed sheet of the tray contents; extreme over packaging but very much appreciated. You tube has videos and tips on construction (gift cards are handy as spacers and for applying glue).

The first one was the fish. Very easy to do and came with two decals for the fish. I wish they could have been used on both sides but they had the same orientation.

The second was the rowboat which was more difficult, but had the printed sheets and part trays that made it easier to locate the parts.

The third was the skateboarder. I had a lot of problems with all the dowels. The instructions were specific about the size and length but they just didn’t match my ruler so I chose the closest size (incorrectly in some cases). The arms were difficult to glue up because there weren’t dowels in the design for it and I couldn’t clamp them. It took a long time to assemble and paint but we had the power out for more than a day so it was great to pass the time during the day. The last picture shows how the skateboarder works.

Although I had some problems, these kits are amazing and I’ll be doing a lot more (there’s an entire orchestra!). I also have a lot of ideas on what I’d like to make myself.

The bi-plane is next . .

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

8 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


2871 posts in 2500 days

#1 posted 01-04-2014 09:09 PM

It looks like a fun craft to learn and it appears you did a fine job on these three projects.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 01-04-2014 09:14 PM

That is neat.
I’ve got some plans for several automata pieces, but just haven’t took the time to get any of them done. Maybe one day.
You done a great job on them.
I’ll have to check out the links when I’m on my computer again.


View clieb91's profile


3521 posts in 4132 days

#3 posted 01-05-2014 02:09 AM

Doe, Those are certainly fun kits. They look they they turned out well. I have done a few of them. Really messed up the Row Boat not that long ago and basically just decided to trash it unfortunately. Really like the idea of the skate boarder.
Thanks for the links I have not seen them around much recently.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Doe's profile


1418 posts in 3027 days

#4 posted 01-05-2014 10:14 AM

Thanks for looking.

William, what kinds of plans do you have? Are they complicated? I’m looking for a source for plans so I can start building one from scratch.

This is the US source I had trouble with yesterday Mechanical Kits. Another place I’ve wasted far too much time on is Dug North’s blog.

Here are some more youtube links:
Matt Smith
FitchMonster Check out the Tantalus Mackerel, it’s really amazing
Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 01-05-2014 05:12 PM

Just sent you PM about the plans doe.
A few of the plans I have are available online free.
If any of you are interested, let me know and I’ll post links here when I’m back at my laptop.


View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3064 days

#6 posted 01-05-2014 05:28 PM

I like automata projects too. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View kiefer's profile


5621 posts in 2864 days

#7 posted 01-06-2014 02:28 PM

That is a fun collection and Thank you for posting it complete with the links .
I have enjoyed this very much .

-- Kiefer

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21712 posts in 3302 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 04:02 AM

Cool projects, Doreen!!.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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