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Forum topic by johnhutchinson posted 08-20-2014 04:08 PM 877 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


08-20-2014 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: toy automaton

Okay, so maybe it’s not a “toy”. Automaton is probably a better word.

I want to keep going with my hand-cranked automatons with musical movements, and I just purchased a movement that plays If I Only Had A Brain. When I did an image search for “brain cartoons”, I found one that I liked as shown below.

So I’m thinking that a frowning head would open with no brain, the head would close, and then a smiling head would open with a brain. Repeat.

Mechanism ideas ??? I’m getting pretty good with the pulley/gear thing, but often I can’t see the forest for the trees.

There’s no such thing as a “dumb” sugggestion. Sometimes they turn out to be the best.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"


21 replies so far

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luv2learn

2464 posts in 1767 days


#1 posted 08-20-2014 06:02 PM

Paint the frowning face on the front side of the head, the smiling face on the back. Rotate the head 180 degrees to the smiling face and make the head open.

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

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mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#2 posted 08-20-2014 06:24 PM

A pivot can bring the brain inside the head and at the same time turn the “up” smile to a “down” frown??

-- earthartandfoods.com

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#3 posted 08-20-2014 06:37 PM

Thanks, Lee. It’s that “make the head open” part that has me stumped. :)

Maybe I’m overthinking (get it?) this one. I have an opportunity to do a book on this kind of musical automata, so this one might be entry-level.

I can just recycle my NOW WHAT ??? mechanism with the bottom half of a frowning head, and a question mark revolving above.

Here’s the video … https://vimeo.com/81968691

And a picture …

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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Beatnik

37 posts in 866 days


#4 posted 08-20-2014 07:00 PM

Seems you could do a lot with a cam type set up. The opening head on one double lobed cam and the brain on a single lobed. The frown could turn off the front of the same cam ???

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#5 posted 08-20-2014 07:01 PM



A pivot can bring the brain inside the head and at the same time turn the “up” smile to a “down” frown??

- mrjinx007

Small world. I sketched something like that.

The “lips” of the frown/smile would be at the center of a two-spoke disk.
A brain and a question mark would be mounted at the ends of the spokes with smile/brain and frown/question-mark orientations.
Or maybe instead of a question mark and a brain, it’s a question mark and a light bulb. EUREKA !!!

So the hinged head, which I really like, would be a fixed constant, and the frown/smile and the light-bulb/question-mark would be the revolving variables while the whole mess is playing If I Only Had A Brain.

Talking this through with others (as well as myself) is a GREAT help.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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TiggerWood

271 posts in 1071 days


#6 posted 08-20-2014 07:10 PM

Put the top of the head on a reversing half circle gear cycle. Have every cycle trigger a switch for the brain to pop up and the smile to switch.

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#7 posted 08-20-2014 07:15 PM



Seems you could do a lot with a cam type set up. The opening head on one double lobed cam and the brain on a single lobed. The frown could turn off the front of the same cam ???

- Beatnik

Thanks, Beatnik, but I’m really starting to like the ideal of a question-mark/light-bulb combination.
I could make the thing exactly as it’s shown in the cartoon, but save the brain for a painted cross section.
By putting the pivot point at the lips, the question mark (with the frown) would disappear before the light bulb (with the smile) appears.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#8 posted 08-20-2014 07:25 PM


Put the top of the head on a reversing half circle gear cycle. Have every cycle trigger a switch for the brain to pop up and the smile to switch.

- TiggerWood

I suppose, but I want to keep the book at a man-on-the-street level. The furthest I want to go is my Yellow Submarine. Yes, I found a hand-cranked musical movement that plays Yellow Submarine.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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mpounders

821 posts in 2360 days


#9 posted 08-20-2014 07:34 PM

Interesting. You might look at some of mine for ideas. Where do you get your musical movements?

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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Beatnik

37 posts in 866 days


#10 posted 08-20-2014 07:40 PM

Oh, getting all Rube Goldberg I see. Make his arm move up and down pulling a string that goes up and over to open the hinged head.

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#11 posted 08-20-2014 08:15 PM



Interesting. You might look at some of mine for ideas. Where do you get your musical movements?

- mpounders

I will.

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hand+crank+musical+movement&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahand+crank+musical+movement

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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REO

889 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 08-20-2014 08:18 PM

it may look and sound complicated but it isn’t:
make a box as you have and hinge one side: the back of the head
color the brain on half of a circle divided half: this mounts inside the box on an axle.
the other end of the axle sticks through the face of the box and attaches the mouth.
on the axle is a geneva drive that gives some dwell time while the hand wheel is still turning at a set rate of speed
main gear drives two gears one that drives the geneva and a second that has twice as many teeth
second gear has an offset axle with a link to the top of the box which opens it twice per full cycle once with the brain up and mouth smile and the second with the brain gone and the frown. the mouth will turn sideways and dwell twice but the top wont open on those operations.

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#13 posted 08-20-2014 08:27 PM

REO I’ll need a little time to digest all that, but I like the idea of a Geneva Stop.

I want it to tick, tick, tick, tick while the music plays continuously.

I am, however, stuck on the idea of combining a light bulb with a question mark. As I was sketching them, it dawned on me that they have the same basic geometric shape.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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GnarlyErik

255 posts in 1599 days


#14 posted 08-20-2014 09:29 PM

I bought a little book on ‘mechanical movements’ from Amazon a while back, which has all sorts of ideas from the nineteenth and very early twentieth centuries. The book is a reprint of “507 Mechanical Movements” (1908) ‘embracing . . . Dynamics, hydraulics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, steam engines, mill and other gearing, presses, horology, and miscellaneous machinery’! The book has clear illustrations and basic descriptions of all sorts or arcane mechanical solutions, all for less than six bucks. Highly recommended!

It is amazing how people from the ‘steampunk’ times worked out so many ‘mechanical’ ways to do things without electrical switches and such things.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1614275181/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-- Candy is dandy and rum sure is fun, but wood working is the best high for me!

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johnhutchinson

1195 posts in 1094 days


#15 posted 08-20-2014 09:57 PM

GE: I didn’t know I was doing ‘steampunk’ until someone told me I was doing ‘steampunk’. I guess I am. :)

Dug North (that’s right, it’s Dug) from the Automata Blog has suggested that book in the past, and now I’m gonna get it.

My personal hero for all things automata is Rob Ives. His site contains dozens of movements useful to a toymaker and they’re all animated.

I’m starting to understand more about your suggestion for a toy forum, and less about Cricket’s not-too-excited response. Threre IS a drop-down menu for forums, but there IS NOT a specific toy forum. How hard would it be to add one more tab since it seems to be a topic of great interest?

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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