Date   
This concept tickles my automata fancy

 

I've been wanting to create an automata that remembers COVID-19.  I spotted this article this morning and I cannot get the idea out of my mind in terms of building an automata that demonstrates this idea.  Don't know if I'll ever do it...my time is precious...but thought I would share anyway.  Perhaps one of you will think this is just what you were looking for?  In my vision, I see the tubes hanging from suspenders.  Imagine the world with everyone dressed this way!
Cheers from San Diego
Jim Coffee

Re: Marble Run video

BANOFALK
 

Impressive Biped Jim!
I got lucky with the balance. The amount I cut out to receive the marble was just right. I thought it would really struggle... trial and error. Sometimes it works... sometimes it doesn’t!
Regards 
Barry




On 9 May 2020, at 03:31, Jim Coffee <jim@...> wrote:


Good evening Barry...
Thanks for sharing this.  You do nice work.  Was it difficult obtaining the correct balance on the release mechanism?
Stay healthy.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
San Diego

On Thu, 7 May 2020 at 09:22, BANOFALK <banofalk@...> wrote:
I have put a video on YouTube
Regards
Barry

What's on my bench: Product Spinner #1 is complete

 

Product Spinner #1 is completed:  5-1/2 pounds, 17" high, 12" diameter (approximately).
I'm pleased with the way that it turned out.  Unfortunately, the motor that I initially installed is not up to the task (a 3-watt gear motor) so I've got a 6 watt on order.  The 6-watt gear motor is what I normally use.  Coming to me from China...so it will take a while.
This automata was sort of complicated and sort of easy.  Most everything that I created I've created before in some form or another.  In addition to the biped pedaling there are two rotating platforms that will hold display item(s), and one that flies a pennant. 
As I watch this automata perform I'm pleased with all of the different speeds.  That's one of the hard things about creating these things...what speeds should things be.  
In the design phase I get out a stopwatch and open my mind and sort of imagine things...then I create the pulley diameters to accomplish my vision.  It worked out this time.  Sometimes it does not.
IMG_20200507_134429-1000.jpg
The biped is basswood, with an Apoxy head.  Apoxy is a two-part sculpting medium.  You get 2-4 hours to work the material, then it cures and hardens.  You can apply additional layers if desired.
The biped is painted with acrylic paints and then finger waxed with paste furniture polish...and then buffed.  The wood strips that you see are African Mahogany...a very pretty wood.  I attached them with superglue at the ends and Titebond running in between the two superglued ends.  This allowed me to attach and briefly hold each strip in place and then after the superglue had set I could move on to the next strip.  The Titebond takes about 1/2 hour to accept it's fate.  
Because this automata has been designed to work in a commercial environment it does not include a hand crank.

I look forward to seeing what is on your bench!

Stay healthy.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
San Diego, CA


Re: Marble Run video

 

Good evening Barry...
Thanks for sharing this.  You do nice work.  Was it difficult obtaining the correct balance on the release mechanism?
Stay healthy.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
San Diego

On Thu, 7 May 2020 at 09:22, BANOFALK <banofalk@...> wrote:
I have put a video on YouTube
Regards
Barry

Re: " A Moment by the Seaside"

 

Hi Gus...
Regarding your next piece...the Head.  I would be very interested in seeing images on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  I would love to see how you automate all of those features.  I suspect others would like to see also.
Thanks for the tip on the head.  I'll be posting a bit later tonight an image of the finished automata.  I have not created the head from wood, but rather from Apoxy.  Apoxy is a two part sculpting medium.  You can work with it for about 2-4 hours...then it becomes firm and cured.
Thanks for participating in the forum.
Stay healthy
Cheers
-Jim Coffee
San Diego, CA

On Fri, 24 Apr 2020 at 17:08, Gus <klekner@...> wrote:
Hi Jim,
Thanks for your comment. Timekeeping is a relic left over from my previous life, cabinetmaking,  time was important for pricing. I have found that looking over the time sheets is a reminder, what not to do next time, what was done, and its outcome. Recording everything, including fails, of which, there are many, is very instructive, and takes little time to do.  I lose track of time too, this work started in Feb 2019, of which 336 hours is the actual "at the tools" time. I don't count the creative, thinking time, which is constant.

I painted the background. Came across an interesting method to add realistic water shine. Two part high gloss resin is applied thick, over the acrylic. Its surface tension creates an uneven film, which pools  splash like, as it dries. I confess to wanting a smooth, flaw free result, but the material decided otherwise. I often get lucky.....

The progress of the piece was to be a series of articles for the magazine, but didn't eventuate. There are many photos/videos  of the mechanics of this work, I can post some of those if it is of interest.
The next piece I have in mind is a head, which has operable eyes, eyebrows, eyelids, mouth, head tilting, turning. It could be, as that progresses, similar to all previous works, additions/subtractions may come into play. Unlike the previous works, it will not tell a story, just a learning exercise, so may not be interesting to  forum members.

I read of your entry into the world of carving, a courageous decision which has major effects on works. If I may pass on something learned during this build - carve a head separately to the body, attach nose and ears as blocks,  carve on face, attach head.

Regards,
Gus

Marble Run video

BANOFALK
 

I have put a video on YouTube
Regards
Barry

Marble Run

BANOFALK
 

Hello ALL
 
Hope you are all well and managing to keep sane.
 
I was watching a 1985 film Witness, and it showed and interesting Marble Run Toy... see photo. I thought I would make a version.
I haven’t bothered with the spinning wheels, though might add them later.
It is made from 8.25mm coloured MDF (Valchromat).
 
Regards
 
Barry
 

Re: What's on my bench: A Product Spinner

 

Hi John...
Thanks for your comments.  I'll let the group know how the 'rental' scheme works.  If successful others may wish to give it a try.
Cheers
-Jim-

On Sat, 2 May 2020 at 11:17, John M Riese <oldguyz@...> wrote:

That’s a great idea you have about renting out your automata to stores. I think it would generate a lot of “word of mouth” traffic for the merchants. I hope you have success in your marketing.

 

Your creations are very well done and different. Thanks for posting on the forum to give the rest of us inspiration.

 

John in Prescott, AZ

Re: What's on my bench: A Product Spinner

John M Riese
 

That’s a great idea you have about renting out your automata to stores. I think it would generate a lot of “word of mouth” traffic for the merchants. I hope you have success in your marketing.

 

Your creations are very well done and different. Thanks for posting on the forum to give the rest of us inspiration.

 

John in Prescott, AZ

What's on my bench: A Product Spinner

 

Greetings from San Diego...
I've been funding my automata studio by performing in public with my street organ (an organ that I created).  
As you can guess I'm not permitted to play in public at the moment...so I've taken the opportunity to attempt to diversify my automata income stream.

For many decades I've considered building small countertop automations that 'work' in a store.  As I've played my street organ in public occasionally I've taken a powered automata with me.  I've been able to observe how a variety of people react to these interesting little constructs.  I notice that many people are very fascinated with them...they become sort of mesmerized and many times become more talkative.

So I decided to use the COVID-19 stay at home downtime to construct one of my long dreamed of countertop automata. 
IMG_20200501_182528-1000.jpg
Here it is...almost finished.  It features:
  • a biped that is both pedaling and pulling levers, which appear to power the automata.
  • two rotating product tables.  You see the larger one at hip height and the smaller one at shoulder height.
    • these two tables rotate at different rpm's and in opposing directions.,
  • a rotating shaft at the back/top that at the moment is flying some blue painters tape.
  • at the base inside the 'doweled' area, is the motor, the electrics, the cams, etc.
As you can see I still need to create the head, and I need to paint.  The head will be created from Apoxy, a two-part modeling putty that hardens in about 4 hours.

When completed I will attempt to find a retail establishment that will rent this automata from me.  I envision it would fit well in a jewelry store, a candy shop, a bakery, a pot shop, a dentist's office, at a Farmers Market...I could go on and on.  Time will tell whether or not this is a good idea.  I've had fun creating it.  And I've begun 'whittling' details on the biped.  For example, this particular biped is wearing a shirt and pants (that I've carved into the basswood).

COVID-19 has been good for me...it's given me a lot more time in my studio.

What's on your bench??

Stay healthy!!
-Jim Coffee-



Re: " A Moment by the Seaside"

Gus
 

Hi Jim,
Thanks for your comment. Timekeeping is a relic left over from my previous life, cabinetmaking,  time was important for pricing. I have found that looking over the time sheets is a reminder, what not to do next time, what was done, and its outcome. Recording everything, including fails, of which, there are many, is very instructive, and takes little time to do.  I lose track of time too, this work started in Feb 2019, of which 336 hours is the actual "at the tools" time. I don't count the creative, thinking time, which is constant.

I painted the background. Came across an interesting method to add realistic water shine. Two part high gloss resin is applied thick, over the acrylic. Its surface tension creates an uneven film, which pools  splash like, as it dries. I confess to wanting a smooth, flaw free result, but the material decided otherwise. I often get lucky.....

The progress of the piece was to be a series of articles for the magazine, but didn't eventuate. There are many photos/videos  of the mechanics of this work, I can post some of those if it is of interest.
The next piece I have in mind is a head, which has operable eyes, eyebrows, eyelids, mouth, head tilting, turning. It could be, as that progresses, similar to all previous works, additions/subtractions may come into play. Unlike the previous works, it will not tell a story, just a learning exercise, so may not be interesting to  forum members.

I read of your entry into the world of carving, a courageous decision which has major effects on works. If I may pass on something learned during this build - carve a head separately to the body, attach nose and ears as blocks,  carve on face, attach head.

Regards,
Gus

Re: " A Moment by the Seaside"

 

Hi Gus...
This looks like a beauty.  Thanks for sharing.  I'm looking forward to seeing the video.  I'm impressed that you are able to keep track of your hours.  I lose track of my hours.
It looks like you have incorporated an actual photo in the background?  Good idea.
The next one that you build consider some 'under construction' sharing.  Would love to see more of your work.  Great job.
Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-


On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 17:38, Gus <klekner@...> wrote:
A family is walking by a beach, when they spot a swimmer in difficulties in the water......
Completed after some 330 hours, it tells the story of  mobile phone compulsion now evident everywhere. The video will follow shortly.

Thanks for looking,

Regards,   be safe !

Gus

" A Moment by the Seaside"

Gus
 

A family is walking by a beach, when they spot a swimmer in difficulties in the water......
Completed after some 330 hours, it tells the story of  mobile phone compulsion now evident everywhere. The video will follow shortly.

Thanks for looking,

Regards,   be safe !

Gus

Re: What's on my bench: Carving

veeracer@...
 

I've been watching him for a while now, very straight forward and easy to follow.

BillB

What's on my bench: 15 April 2020, Marbles, pedals

 

Greetings...
I've had several things on my bench since my last post:
  1. I've created a new biped.  Using 'whittling techniques' that I've learned recently I've managed to shape the basswood body so that it's more acceptable to me.
  2. I've experimented with a 'marble train'.  My goal is to have a ring that moves and that causes a 5 marble train to travel around it.  I've managed to create a test stand that works just fine...except the train will not start itself.  The current test unit has three suspension points.  I think that I will need to move to four suspension points to get the device to self start the train.  The ring is 10" diameter.
    IMG_20200410_174531-1000.jpg
  3. I'm creating an automata that will be 'pedal-powered'.  The biped will be pedaling.  I've been testing configurations of pedals.  The one pictured is made entirely of wood  The squares are 1/4" and the rounds are 3/16".  The red marks show the sections that were to be removed after the glue set up.  All in all, this proved to be very strong...surprisingly strong.  I'm in the process of creating another test pedal, this time using stainless steel shafting and wood squares.  I want to use the stainless shafting so that there will be less wear and so that I can use ball bearings.
    IMG_20200414_105244-1000.jpg
    IMG_20200414_124012-1000.jpg
    IMG_20200415_130742-1000.jpg
    This particular biped has leather for hip and knee joints.
What is on your bench??

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-

What's on my bench: Carving

 

Greetings from San Diego...
As I have been working with my automata I have difficulty with what I call the biped.  The person.  The figure.  
I've evolved to the point of using basswood.  Of shaping the basswood on a bandsaw. And then of using mostly sandpaper to come to "a" final shape.  
I realize that I need to be able to better control the shape of my wood bipeds.
So...I started browsing YouTube looking at woodcarvers.  I've found one that I really like.  He seems to be wise and to have common sense...and I like the way that he presents himself and his carvings.
I've watched about a dozen of his videos so far and have taken away the following:
  1. He uses the same knife (1-3/4" blade) 99.9% of the time.
  2. He NEVER uses a sharpening stone or machine to sharpen his tools.  He ALWAYS strops.
  3. 99.9% of the time he carves Basswood.
Three simple things.  
I have some basswood on hand.  And a pocket knife.  I started doing a tiny bit of carving and decided that the knife was not sharp enough.  I need to strop it.  So I built a strop and have sticks of polishing compound on order.
As I was building the strop I found a sheath knife (see image below) that I've had since the '70s.  Never used it.  So I decided to modify it to make a 1-3/4" carving knife (see image below).  The process was not difficult but it did take me about 6 hours.  I'm still not satisfied with the blade and am looking forward to stroping it into final shape.
The steps I took to modify this knife were:
  • Because the blade is hardened I could not file it or cut it.  Using a bench grinder I ground it to rough shape.  I needed to be careful to not overheat the metal...I did not want it to lose it's hardened characteristics.
  • Then to my benchtop disc sander for some more shaping.
  • Then using a lot of time and progressively 150, 220, 400, 600, 800, and finally 1000 grit paper I worked the blade.
  • Then I started stropping the blade.  Yes, the leather does cut the metal...not a lot...but some.  And it further polishes.  Ideally, I would have had a polishing compound on the strop but the compound has not yet arrived.
And then right after I completed that I had a small Swiss Army Knife fail (see image below)...the plastic cover came off of one side.  So I disassembled the Swiss Army Knife and used the blade and a piece of Myrtlewood to create a "detail" carving knife (see image below) with a blade about 1-1/4" long.

At this time I'm sitting with two carving knives that I've created, a strop that I've created, and polishing compound and more basswood coming in the mail.  I feel much better equipped to deal with future bipeds.  I'm excited, actually.  This morning I spent a couple of hours carving a small hand (3/4" X 5/8").  I did use both of the carving knives and also a scalpel.

So that's what has been on my bench the last couple of days.
What's on your bench???

Jim Coffee
San Diego, CA

IMG_20200406_131818-1000.jpg
Gerber-1000.jpg
IMG_20200404_090542-1000.jpg
IMG_20200406_094108-1000.jpg

Re: What's on your bench: Surfer completed

Mario Núñez
 

Excellent work!

Mario

What's on your bench: Surfer completed

 

Greetings...
I've finished my 14-day challenge on time.  The Surfer weighs 3-1/2 pounds, is 20" tall, 17" wide, and 7" deep.  
Hand-cranked.  11 ball bearing assemblies.  The only thing missing is its brass nameplate...which is on order. I enjoy watching it move.  I'll post a video within the next few days.

What's on your bench???

Cheers from San Diego.
-Jim Coffee-
IMG_20200401_170952-1000.jpg


Re: COVID-19 Automata

Automata Magazine
 

I, too, have been thinking of a COVID-19 automaton. All I’ll say at the moment is that I have an idea. If I can clear the decks somewhat, I may give it a go. Stay tuned. —Marc


On Mar 29, 2020, at 7:59 PM, Jim Coffee <jim@...> wrote:

Greetings...
This COVID-19 situation is unlike anything I've ever experienced.  Fortunately for me, it has not (yet) been a bad experience.
As I ponder what my next automata project is to be I keep thinking that I need to build an automata that memorializes this COVID-19 experience.
Thus far I've identified a 'ventilator' as a possible subject.  Not sure.  I think it's still too early in the game to decide.

Do you have thoughts?  Have you been considering building a COVID-19 themed automata?
Would like to know what you are thinking.

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-

COVID-19 Automata

 

Greetings...
This COVID-19 situation is unlike anything I've ever experienced.  Fortunately for me, it has not (yet) been a bad experience.
As I ponder what my next automata project is to be I keep thinking that I need to build an automata that memorializes this COVID-19 experience.
Thus far I've identified a 'ventilator' as a possible subject.  Not sure.  I think it's still too early in the game to decide.

Do you have thoughts?  Have you been considering building a COVID-19 themed automata?
Would like to know what you are thinking.

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-