Date   

Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Automata Magazine
 

Hi Jurgen,

Thanks very much for your supportive note and kind sentiments. I sincerely appreciate you writing. I have hopes of someone coming forward to take up the reins, so stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.

All best wishes,
Marc


On Sep 19, 2020, at 12:27 PM, Jurgen Bullaert <bullaert@...> wrote:

Hello Marc, 

Many thanks for all the time and effort you spend on making the automata magazine. For me, a newbie on building automata, it was a great source on the techniques Of making an automata. I wish you all the best and i hope you will fully recover from your back injuries. 

Met vriendelijke groet,

Jurgen Bullaert

Op 19 sep. 2020 om 16:59 heeft Automata Magazine <automatamag@...> het volgende geschreven:

Hi Bill,

Thanks very much for your supportive note and kind sentiments. I sincerely appreciate you writing. I have hopes of someone coming forward to take up the reins, so stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.

All best wishes,
Marc


On Sep 17, 2020, at 7:12 AM, veeracer@... wrote:

I would also like to jump in and say what an asset this magazine has been to me and do hope it will somehow carry on, but taking care of yourself is job number one and I am wishing you the best for a speedy and painless recovery !

BillB



Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Jurgen Bullaert
 

Hello Marc, 

Many thanks for all the time and effort you spend on making the automata magazine. For me, a newbie on building automata, it was a great source on the techniques Of making an automata. I wish you all the best and i hope you will fully recover from your back injuries. 

Met vriendelijke groet,

Jurgen Bullaert

Op 19 sep. 2020 om 16:59 heeft Automata Magazine <automatamag@...> het volgende geschreven:

Hi Bill,

Thanks very much for your supportive note and kind sentiments. I sincerely appreciate you writing. I have hopes of someone coming forward to take up the reins, so stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.

All best wishes,
Marc


On Sep 17, 2020, at 7:12 AM, veeracer@... wrote:

I would also like to jump in and say what an asset this magazine has been to me and do hope it will somehow carry on, but taking care of yourself is job number one and I am wishing you the best for a speedy and painless recovery !

BillB


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Automata Magazine
 

Hi Bill,

Thanks very much for your supportive note and kind sentiments. I sincerely appreciate you writing. I have hopes of someone coming forward to take up the reins, so stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.

All best wishes,
Marc


On Sep 17, 2020, at 7:12 AM, veeracer@... wrote:

I would also like to jump in and say what an asset this magazine has been to me and do hope it will somehow carry on, but taking care of yourself is job number one and I am wishing you the best for a speedy and painless recovery !

BillB


Re: Check In

veeracer@...
 

Still kicking here, but life is far from normal right now. Surprisingly covid is the least of the problems.

BillB


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

veeracer@...
 

I would also like to jump in and say what an asset this magazine has been to me and do hope it will somehow carry on, but taking care of yourself is job number one and I am wishing you the best for a speedy and painless recovery !

BillB


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Automata Magazine
 

Hi Ron. Many thanks for your kind words — much appreciated.  Best wishes, Marc


On Sep 15, 2020, at 8:10 PM, Ron K via groups.io <peter.pilot@...> wrote:

Hard to write with out simply repeating what others have said. But I do wish you a very speedy recovery. A public thanks for tracking down my misplaced Tinplate Girl purchase. Just another example of what a fine generous person Marc is to run that down for me out of simple kindness. Yes, the magazine will truly be missed. But not as much as the joy you shared with us.

Ron


What's on my bench: A completed Bottle Spinner

 

These past couple of weeks has gone by quickly.  Painting takes focus, and then there is the drying time, which is both important and frustrating.

After I reassembled, the drive mechanism proved unreliable.  The drive belt was storing energy and releasing it when one of the couplings passed around one of the pulleys.  I have replaced the drive belt with a plastic drive chain and all is well.  I’ve not used a plastic drive chain in this kind of situation but I think that it will be fine…the chain will be doing very little work…just a tiny amount.

As I’ve been creating this automata  I have on order a Prusa Mini 3D printer.  It will arrive here in the first couple of weeks of October.  So I’ve been looking at what I’m doing and what I need in anticipation of being able to create some of the components with the 3D printer.

I’ve concluded that I’ll be able to build to tighter tolerances with the 3D printer.  For example, the ratchet mechanism that I created from wood (in this automata) would be better 3D printed, I think.  It would be more uniform and more perfect.  Also, the pulleys will be able to be 3D printed, and the motor mounts, and etc.  I’m excited to get the printer.  The filaments that I’ll be working with initially will be PETG and PLA with carbon fiber.  There are many filaments available. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to learning this new tool

Here are a couple of images:

This shows the three primary modules that make-up this automata.  The base, the drive frame, the electrics module.  Not shown is the biped (well, the rest of it).  Nor is the display platform in this picture.

IMG_20200907_113234-1000.jpg
Here is a close-up of the head.  His eye sockets have been filled with epoxy which gives a sort of gleam in the eye.
PXL_20200916_010451643-1000.jpg
And here is a close-up of the drive belt
PXL_20200916_010441314-1000.jpg
And here is the complete automata.
PXL_20200916_005902922-1000.jpg
In the next few weeks I'll be putting together the videos for these three product spinners, and the other marketing materials that I'll need.  And then I need to hit the road and get one or two rented for the Christmas season.  To me...that's the hard part.
Anyway...I'd love to see what's on your bench.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
creating automata near San Diego, California.


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Ron K
 

Hard to write with out simply repeating what others have said. But I do wish you a very speedy recovery. A public thanks for tracking down my misplaced Tinplate Girl purchase. Just another example of what a fine generous person Marc is to run that down for me out of simple kindness. Yes, the magazine will truly be missed. But not as much as the joy you shared with us.

Ron


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Automata Magazine
 

Hi Federico,

Thank you for your words of support. It was great working with you and I’m glad we were able to feature your little automata. I’m hoping someone will take on the magazine. Stay tuned. —Marc

On Sep 15, 2020, at 5:08 PM, federico <ffederico@...> wrote:

I throughly enjoyed the magazine and all the correspondence while writing the one article I did. Really Marc, thank you so much for 
your patience and for putting it together. 2020 has been tough for everyone in many ways. Sad to see the magazine go but I'm glad
you are dedicating time and energy into recovering, that's often hard to do. Wishing you the best. :)

Federico


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

federico
 

I throughly enjoyed the magazine and all the correspondence while writing the one article I did. Really Marc, thank you so much for 
your patience and for putting it together. 2020 has been tough for everyone in many ways. Sad to see the magazine go but I'm glad
you are dedicating time and energy into recovering, that's often hard to do. Wishing you the best. :)

Federico


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Automata Magazine
 

Thank you Jim and everyone for your supportive note and kind sentiments. I have hopes of someone coming forward to take up the reins, so stay tuned. We’ll see what happens.

And I want to thank Jim Coffee very much for suggesting this forum and then making it happen. It has been a great asset to Automata Magazine and to the automata community at large.

All best wishes,
Marc

On Sep 14, 2020, at 8:06 PM, Jim Coffee <jim@...> wrote:

I would like to publicly thank Marc for the 12 (and soon to be 13) issues of Automata Magazine.  I have benefitted greatly from many of the articles.  I'm a better person and automatist because of the magazine.  Thanks, Marc.  Wishing you the best.
-Jim Coffee-


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

myrontupa@...
 

Wild fires, hurricanes, global warming and now this : >(.   Marc, I will miss your beautiful labor of love and wish you all the best in healing and other projects.  You drew newbies like me as well as the best of the best in automata under one wonderful umbrella, AUTOMATA MAGAZINE, Thank you.  I'm sorry I didn't get my article written for the magazine.
Myron Tupa


Re: Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

Jim Larson
 

Couldn't agree more! Although I'm new to automata, the magazine was wonderful. I delighted in each issue. Thanks, Marc, and hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.

               -jim

On 9/14/2020 7:06 PM, Jim Coffee wrote:
I would like to publicly thank Marc for the 12 (and soon to be 13) issues of Automata Magazine.  I have benefitted greatly from many of the articles  I'm a better person and automatist because of the magazine.  Thanks, Marc.  Wishing you the best.
-Jim Coffee-

Virus-free. www.avast.com


Many thanks to Marc for an excellent magazine

 

I would like to publicly thank Marc for the 12 (and soon to be 13) issues of Automata Magazine.  I have benefitted greatly from many of the articles.  I'm a better person and automatist because of the magazine.  Thanks, Marc.  Wishing you the best.
-Jim Coffee-


Re: Natural wood finishes

 

Hi Federico...
Good question.

Here is a cut and paste from a 3 November 2019 post of mine:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Good evening...
When I started this thread about "painting or not" one of the things that I was looking for were comments about how to finish wood without painting it.
In the most recent Automata Magazine (Nov-Dec 2019) there is an outstanding article about Probost's Mechanical Christmas Crib.  The article starts on page five.  On page seven in the More Information and Videos section is a link to a 20 minute video that shows this automata, including it's restoration.  An excellent video I might add.  Anyone who builds or enjoys automata should view it.
And to get to the point...in the restoration section of the video it describes how they disassembled and cleaned all the of components, and then how they refinished them.  What I derived is:
  1. After cleaning, color was applied to the wood.  It looks like some sort of stain to me.
  2. Then the piece is sealed with shellac. 
  3. And then a final coat is applied: beeswax with some carnauba wax added.  It looks like this is applied warm...brushed on.

These were professional restorers working (wouldn't that be a wonderful job?!). 
And one more thing that I would like to point out is that they used beef tallow to lubricate all of the moving wood components.

I highly recommend that all of you watch the video...you will marvel at this automata. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, in summary, shellac and then a mixture of carnauba wax and beeswax is used.  And again I would say that the video mentioned above is very revealing in many dimensions.  worth watching. 

And then further comment:
At this time when I finish wood without coloring it, I prefer to use Minwax Wipe On Poly.  Sometimes I'll use one with a stain in it (Walnut or Oak).  And many times I will then apply a coat (or two or three) of paste wax.  I think important to the finishing process are the sanding steps.  I step through the grits from 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, and finally 220.  I don't always need to use all the steps.  Many times the lower grits (80, 100, 120) can be skipped.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 at 11:25, federico <ffederico@...> wrote:
I was just reading Cecilia Schiller's article on the making of "Il Mago" in the last issue (Sept-Oct 2020), which is awesome,  and she mentions using
Williamsburg Wax for finishing wooden mechanical parts. This made me wonder what other non-paint finishes that show the wood do you all use 
or recommend? Specially those that don’t interfere too much with the movement. Beeswax, oils, urethanes?

Something unusual I've used for wooden handles in particular is cyanoacrylate glue (aka superglue) as a finish, a trick I learned from wood turners, 
if you apply a hand rubbed (while wearing gloves) thin coat it can leave a nice, shiny, durable finish. 

I'd love to know what's your favorite wood finish and how do you apply it. :)


Natural wood finishes

federico
 

I was just reading Cecilia Schiller's article on the making of "Il Mago" in the last issue (Sept-Oct 2020), which is awesome,  and she mentions using
Williamsburg Wax for finishing wooden mechanical parts. This made me wonder what other non-paint finishes that show the wood do you all use 
or recommend? Specially those that don’t interfere too much with the movement. Beeswax, oils, urethanes?

Something unusual I've used for wooden handles in particular is cyanoacrylate glue (aka superglue) as a finish, a trick I learned from wood turners, 
if you apply a hand rubbed (while wearing gloves) thin coat it can leave a nice, shiny, durable finish. 

I'd love to know what's your favorite wood finish and how do you apply it. :)


What's on my Bench: Wet Paint

 

Greetings from San Diego...
I've created my stair-stepping bottle spinner.  At this stage of the process it has been tested and it works  It's hour meter reports approximately 15 hours of run time so far.  So I've now disassembled it and am in the process of painting all the different components.
Generally speaking:
  • I sand carefully.  Usually 120 then 150 then 180 grit.
  • I spray grey primer on most everything. 
  • I sand 220, sometimes spraying an additional coat of primer.
  • Then spray paint the larger items.  Being careful.  Masking carefully.  Perhaps 2 or 3 coats, sanding 220 between.
  • And hand paint the smaller components.  Acrylic, sometimes slightly watered down.  Many times 2 coats.
  • You also see in the image some vertical wood strips...these are finished with a wipe-on Poly.
  • Then 3 or 4 or 5 days to dry.  Drying time can never be too long.  I find drying time to be frustrating.
  • Then hand-applied paste wax and a buff with a horsehair shoe brush. Then re-assembly, with fingers crossed.  This re-assembly process is done carefully...double-checking everything.  Applying blue Loctite where appropriate.
IMG_20200903_180635-1000.jpg\
That's what is on my bench.  What's on yours?
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-


What's on my bench: First Light!

 

If I was building a telescope it would be "First Light" the first time light was allowed all the way through the telescope to the eyepiece or the sensor, or whatever.
I'm not building a telescope so my use of the term first light is not correct...but that's how I felt this afternoon when I finally turned Stair Stepping product spinner #1 on.  With a display of a 1.25 liter bottle of Crystal Geyer water, the little biped made it rotate.  Perfectly I might add.  I am pleased.
Here are a couple of images that show some of the detail:
This image shows the overall automata.  I know...it's hard to tell what's going on.  More details and a video later, perhaps.
IMG_20200826_182734-1000.jpg
The display platter rests on and is driven by an o-ring mounted on a hub (a tire).  By moving this hub to the right and the left I have a degree of control over the speed of rotation.  The mechanism is pleasantly quiet.  Many ball bearing assemblies are used.
IMG_20200826_181221-1000.jpg
So far this automata has been running in its "being created" state 14.5 hours.  I'll probably run it another 14 hours before I say 'done'.
IMG_20200826_184146-1000.jpg
Here is a bit of the 'stair stepper' detail.  The feet press down on the 'stairs', which pull the chains, which engage the ratchets, which pull the belt, which turns the staff, which turns the tire, which drives the display platform.
IMG_20200824_165112-1000.jpg
One of the challenges when creating automata is building in such a manner that servicing is possible.  This particular automata wanted to have its biped holding tightly to the 'handlebar', and yet needed to be able to be released from this position.  I chose to use magnets for this solution.  These particular magnets are neodymium, 3/16" diameter, 1/4" long.  They are extremely strong.  The little dowel pin is there to help with the rotation motion that allows me to cause the magnets to release.  Neodymium magnets are considered to be relatively permanent.  That said, if any of my automata reach 100 years old, perhaps these magnets will need to be drilled out and replaced.  I'll never know :-).  Pictured is the right shoulder joint.
IMG_20200824_163845-1000.jpg
So, that's what is on my bench at the moment.  Still more to do...like adding a head!  This is all done one step at a time, with (in my case) many of the steps being done twice (or more).

What is on your workbench?

Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
creating automata near San Diego, California

ps: If you are interested in telescopes read "First Light", the story of the creation of the Palomar telescope.  A very interesting book!


What's on my workbench: Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner

 

Greetings...
This automata is the third in my "product spinner" series.  This is the smallest one...with a turntable that is small...for use with a can or bottle.
This first image shows the biped that has been carved to the basic shape.  The blue/red things are ratchets that convert linear motion to rotary.  The long sticks are the basis for the 'stairs' that the biped will be stepping on.  And the base is what everything is sitting on top of.
IMG_20200809_091109-1000.jpg
This image shows how things are modular.  You may notice that I've re-created the base.  The first one (above) was a bit too small.  The drive module (center-rear) contains the motor, cams, and above, the stair-stepping mechanism, and the biped.  To the left of the image sits the electrics module.  The hour meter is yet to be installed.
IMG_20200815_184618-1000.jpg
This is the face of the electrics module.  It is self-contained...with only a connector lead heading off to the motor.
IMG_20200818_072415-1000.jpg
And this last image shows the functioning assembly.  I'm in the process now of adding the biped and then the product turntable.  The leather straps that you see are the mechanism that rewinds the ratchets back to 'home' position.  Just as a point of interest...the wood sticks that are the base of the stair-stepping mechanism are pistachio wood.
IMG_20200818_181233-1000.jpg

I would enjoy seeing what is on your workbench.
Cheers
-Jim, in San Diego-


Re: WIP "The Politician"

 

Hi Gus...
Sorry that you are having trouble with your motor.
I use 6-watt motors in my automata, and am considering moving to 14-
watt.  The automata I build are much smaller than your Politician.  My bipeds stand 11" tall. I hope that the 16.3-watt motor will work for you (I've no reason to suspect that it won't).  The reason that I'm considering moving to 14 watts is for longevity.  The 14 watt motors are not that much larger, nor that much more expensive.  I figure that they'll simply be working less hard thus will last longer.
I've attached an image of the power panel on my under-construction automata.  You will note that it's got a power switch, an hour meter, a circuit breaker, and a power cord.  It's all one unit...it can be removed from the automata as it's own module. I've been on eBay recently exploring power cords.  There are some wonderful cloth covered cords for old antique things.  I'll probably purchase some of those.  I think that their designs will enhance my automata.  I install either hour meters or counters on all of my automata.  Having an hour meter reading available in 10 years will give me a better understanding of how my build quality is.  
Let us know how many watts are ultimately needed.  This is an example of the value of this forum...we can go back and forth and help and learn from each other.
Stay healthy...
-Jim Coffee-
creating automata in San Diego.
IMG_20200818_072415-1000.jpg

On Mon, 17 Aug 2020 at 15:08, Gus <klekner@...> wrote:
Hi Jim,
Thanks very much for your comments.
The motor seen in the photo is proving to be a bit underpowered. I mark and cut two cams at a time, either side of the centre support, reinstall, and run the shaft. As a pair is added, the load on the motor is increased, naturally. So far six cams are cut, and the motor sounds like it has reached its torque limit, judging by its sound, slowing considerably.  It is 3.8 W, brushless, its max  
torque is 12 kg.cm. No load sound is whiny, something I addressed by building a solid timber housing, to a lesser result than wanted. I am considering  replacing it with a 16.3 W, 75 kg.cm torque motor, also brushless. This is in line with my usual working mode, which is that if something doesn't do what it needs to,  go back to the beginning with that aspect and modify until it performs. Entirely new to motorising, zero electrical knowledge, makes this aspect very experimental, and engaging.

How is your work going ?

Cheers,
Gus

Keep safe !