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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

BiLL B
 

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
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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-


What's on your bench: Surfter, Day 10 of 14

 

I'm 10 days into my self imposed two-week challenge.  The build is almost complete.  I still need to work on the head and I need to add a fin(s) to the surfboard.  After that, I need to disassemble and paint it.  I expect I will start the painting process Tuesday...need to be completed by Thursday.  For reference...it stands about 20" tall.
This has been a good challenge for me.  I'm considering if I am going to do another self-imposed challenge.  I think so.
I miss having a motor.  I would love to be able to simply turn this on and then sit back and watch it surf.  It's got a nice motion.  I'll post a video after it is completed.

What is on your bench??

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-
IMG_20200329_175652-1000.jpg



What's on my bench: Surfer #1

 

Well, in my last post I said that I would be beginning a self-imposed 'two-week automata build' challenge.  I've begun.
I spent about a week thinking about what I wanted to do...and settled on creating an automata that features a surfer on a surfboard.  Because it is a 'quick build' it will need to be simple.  There will be no motor.  I want the surfboard to move, and the surfer to move relative to the surfboard (but not a direct connect).
I began on March 18th...so am seven days into the build.  So far things are going well. 
IMG_20200325_175759-1000.jpg
IMG_20200321_172344-1000.jpg
IMG_20200324_185011-1000.jpg

The only things left for me to create are the cams and cam followers...which I will do tomorrow.  If time permits I will be re-carving the head.  Carving heads is difficult for me...a task that I dread.
I intend to spray paint everything in the drive frame camo color (a four-color palette).  And at this time I'm planning that both the surfer and the surfboard will be finished with a walnut Watco oil.  The surfer is primarily basswood and the surfboard is Myrtlewood.  

What is on your bench???  

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-


Re: On my bench

 

Hi Barry...
Yes, I see the lock in your first email.  Nice job.
Regarding your birdcage and your statement you don't know how you are going to make it.  I've been pondering this situation for the past 24 hours or so and have empathy for you.  I can see how the cage would be challenging.
And then about 30 minutes ago I was browsing automata on eBay (I have a daily search happening) and I see birds and birdcages (new, made in China).  So I see that one way forward may be to purchase a bird automata from China...keep the cage...throw away the bird (or repurpose for a different automata).  It makes me smile to write this...as in 'I'm joking'.  Good luck with your cage.  Whatever you do I'm sure that you will do it well and I look forward to seeing an image of it.
Stay healthy.
Cheers
-Jim in San Diego-

On Sat, 21 Mar 2020 at 02:00, BANOFALK <banofalk@...> wrote:
Hello Jim
No, the lock I made is shown on the Forum post. I used grey MDF – Valchromat.
I got the movement from a UK store called Hobby’s. Here is the link:
I had to buy the whole kit to get the movement, but it was only £22.95.
I difficult part for me is making the cage. At the moment I am not sure how I will do it.
Regards
Barry
 
 


Re: On my bench

BANOFALK
 

Hello Jim
No, the lock I made is shown on the Forum post. I used grey MDF – Valchromat.
I got the movement from a UK store called Hobby’s. Here is the link:
I had to buy the whole kit to get the movement, but it was only £22.95.
I difficult part for me is making the cage. At the moment I am not sure how I will do it.
Regards
Barry
 
 


Re: On my bench

 

Hi Barry...
Thanks for posting.
Yes...the response to the virus is interesting.  I live in California.  I just read that our Governor suspects that 56% of Californians will become ill...that's 22 million people.  Kind of astonishing.  I hope he is wrong.  My wife and I are blessed to be able to stay out of the mainstream.

Regarding the combination lock:  That looks like a fun project  Is the one in the pictures on Matthias's site your actual build?  Nice job...whoever did it.  I like Matthias's website.  Lots of practical stuff there...some of it sort of daring.

The bird project looks interesting.  I was able to follow the link...did not need to join.  When trying the link to the actual mechanism I found it dead...so Google'd singing bird mechanism...the result of which took me on a merry journey.  Apparently the bellows are in the mechanism?  I have created two sets of bellows for street organs. They are about 18" long. The ones for the singing bird mechanism are sure tiny...they look interesting.  Nice that the mechanism includes the lever that is timed to the chirps.  Your project looks like fun and it seems that you are doing a stellar job.

Try to enjoy your isolation.  Stay healthy.

-Jim in San Diego-

On Wed, 18 Mar 2020 at 05:22, BANOFALK <banofalk@...> wrote:

Hello ALL

 

Firstly, I hope you are all keeping well. Here in the UK, us over 70s have been told to not meet friends and family for 12 weeks. That is going to be really tough, but is essential for the good of all.

 

I know it’s nothing to do with automata but you may be interested in the wooden combination lock I have made (see photo). Details of the pattern can be found at:

https://woodgears.ca/combolock/

 

I am currently working on a singing bird designed and made by Keith Newstead. He provides details of its construction on this web site (you may have to join the group):

 

https://www.instructables.com/id/Steam-punk-Singing-bird/

 

I am coming up with my own version but the basics are the same. The singing mechanism is brilliant. It has a little lever on top which produces the movement in the bird.

 

Regards

 

Barry


Automatacon Update

BiLL B
 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to the continued developments on COVID-19 and for the safety of our attendees, we have decided to postpone AutomataCon to 2021. The new dates are May 21-23, 2021. The location and hotel will remain the same. Purchased tickets will be honored for the 2021 event, or refunds can be requested by e-mailing us. Anyone with hotel reservations should contact the hotel to change or cancel their reservations. More details can be found on our web site at http://www.automatacon.org/covid-19. Please be safe, and we hope to see you all in 2021.


On my bench

BANOFALK
 

Hello ALL

 

Firstly, I hope you are all keeping well. Here in the UK, us over 70s have been told to not meet friends and family for 12 weeks. That is going to be really tough, but is essential for the good of all.

 

I know it’s nothing to do with automata but you may be interested in the wooden combination lock I have made (see photo). Details of the pattern can be found at:

https://woodgears.ca/combolock/

 

I am currently working on a singing bird designed and made by Keith Newstead. He provides details of its construction on this web site (you may have to join the group):

 

https://www.instructables.com/id/Steam-punk-Singing-bird/

 

I am coming up with my own version but the basics are the same. The singing mechanism is brilliant. It has a little lever on top which produces the movement in the bird.

 

Regards

 

Barry


What's on my bench: A Red Telephone

 

Greetings from San Diego.
I'm currently working on an automata titled "The Electric Chair".  I've been working on this since November.  Up until recently, I've been working on the mechanics parts of the automata...the things that move and that make things move.  Late last week I've started adding character to the automata...things like the high voltage transformer, and the red telephone.  Other details in the images include the bars in the window and the "switch handle".  Now that I've got the automata mechanically functioning the next major step is to disassemble it and paint it, reassemble it and add character.
IMG_20200314_174110-1000.jpg
IMG_20200316_180613-1000.jpg

I've been working on this automata for a long time (four months) and I want to take a bit of a breather so I'm in the process of challenging myself to a "Two Week Automata Build".  I intend to start the build next Monday (and to be completed in 2 weeks).  So I've got the remainder of this week to decide what I'm going to create.  If anyone else wants to jump into this challenge...please do so.  Post your intent next Monday...and then a What's On My Bench midweek (1st week) and midweek (second week), and then in the third week post the completed automata.

I would also like to gently nudge anyone out there that is creating automata to post What's On My Bench.  I'm certain that we would all be interested...and as has been demonstrated this is a safe place.  Nothing but nice folks here.  And many thanks to those of you that participate in the forum (it's a forum for everything automata).

Cheers from San Diego.
Stay healthy.
-Jim Coffee-


Almond coupling

 

Greetings...
Ran into this strange right angle drive coupling last night and thought that I would share with you.
I look forward to creating an automata one of these days that includes one or two of these.  Fascinating to watch operate.

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-


Art brut

 

One of the articles in the most recent Automata Magazine (March-April 2020) is titled La Vraie Vie (Real Life) by Dominique Corbin.  In that article she uses the term "Art Brut" and also gives a definition of Art Brut. 
~~~~~~~~
*Art brut: According to the Tate Museum, “Art
brut is a French term that translates as ‘raw art,’ invented by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art such as graffiti or naïve art which is made outside the academic tradition of fine art.”
~~~~~~~~
And then I found a further definition:
~~~~~~~
The term "Art Brut" (raw art) was invented by the French painter, sculptor and assemblage artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) to describe works "created by people outside the professional art world... from their own depths and not from the stereotypes of Classical or fashionable art." (See the English expression Outsider ...  
~~~~~~~~
This second definition is similar but adds the component of  "created by people outside of the professional art world from their own depths..."

I post this thread because the term "Art Brut" is fascinating to me and a term that I think does apply to creators of automata generally speaking.  Speaking for myself...I don't have formal art training...and I also don't consider a piece done (completed) until my heart is at peace with it.  I suspect that is true of many of us.  The term Art Brut is sort of comfortable to me.  I like it.

Cheers from San Diego
-Jim Coffee-

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