Date   
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

veeracer@...
 

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-

Re: What on my bench: The Electrics Module

 

Baltic Birch plywood is nice to work with.  I keep on hand 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2.  
The wood that you are looking at has only been sanded...as fine as 220 grit.
Before this project is completed the wood will be rattle can spray primed twice (Rustoleum Automotive Primer) and then rattle can sprayed one of four camo colors.  I sand (220) and toothbrush between each coat.
When completed it is not possible to tell what the material is...but many folks think that it is metal.
I do use "naked" wood sometimes.  For example, I have a bit of Pistachio going in.  All I'm doing is waxing it.  It's a beautiful rich and warm color.  
One day I may make an automata completely from unpainted wood.  Most likely finished with wipe on poly.  It's difficult to build this way because everything must be perfect.
Cheers
-Jim-

On Tue, 3 Mar 2020 at 08:44, <veeracer@...> wrote:

I would have never guess that was wood.
What kind of finish do you have on it? It looks more like PVC or plastic.


BillB

Re: What on my bench: The Electrics Module

veeracer@...
 

I would have never guess that was wood.
What kind of finish do you have on it? It looks more like PVC or plastic.


BillB

Re: Excellent March-April 2020 issue

Automata Magazine
 
Edited

Thanks Jim. I’m glad that you have been enjoying the magazine. I’ve certainly been enjoying putting it together. I have several interesting articles on file but am always looking for more. There’s a lot of great work out there but people seem reluctant to write about it. We’re always interested in new material, so I invite anyone with an idea to drop me a note at automatamag at comcast.com. —Marc

On Mar 2, 2020, at 7:02 PM, Jim Coffee <jim@...> wrote:

Thanks Marc...
Lots to this issue (as with all past issues).  I am impressed that you are able to crank out content of this quality for so many issues.  I've deep read many of the articles...still have some to go.

I never would have thought that automata and Lego would go in the same sentence...yet here they are...and they are pretty sweet.

Sam Zell automata...very interesting project.  I cannot imagine the concept development process.  It must have been painful, time-consuming, and time-sensitive.  Quite a project...year after year.  I've added a link to the forum wiki to YouTube's view of Sam Zell automata.

And there are many other very interesting articles.
I look forward to each issue. Thanks again.
 
Cheers
-Jim-
 

Excellent March-April 2020 issue

 

Thanks Marc...
Lots to this issue (as with all past issues).  I am impressed that you are able to crank out content of this quality for so many issues.  I've deep read many of the articles...still have some to go.

I never would have thought that automata and Lego would go in the same sentence...yet here they are...and they are pretty sweet.

Sam Zell automata...very interesting project.  I cannot imagine the concept development process.  It must have been painful, time-consuming, and time-sensitive.  Quite a project...year after year.  I've added a link to the forum wiki to YouTube's view of Sam Zell automata.

And there are many other very interesting articles.
I look forward to each issue. Thanks again.

Cheers
-Jim-

Re: What on my bench: The Electrics Module

 

Hi there...
The vertical leg is made of Poplar.  The drive frame lattice is made from 1/4" Baltic Birch plywood (run through a scroll saw).  And the motor chassis is made primarily from 1/8" and 3/16" Baltic Birch plywood.
Cheers
-Jim-

On Mon, 2 Mar 2020 at 11:58, <veeracer@...> wrote:
What is the frame of the drive frame made out of?

Re: What on my bench: The Electrics Module

veeracer@...
 

What is the frame of the drive frame made out of?

What on my bench: The Electrics Module

 

The Electric Chair automata that I am (still) building has two major components: 1) The top part...the automata proper.  2) The Drive Frame...the automata sits on top of the drive frame.
The Drive Frame is complicated so I've modularized two components so that they can easily be removed: 1) The CamPak is easy to take out and replace.  2) The Electrics Module...which contains all of the electrical portions of the automata (including the motor) with the exception of one limit switch.
The two images show  1) the completed module as it sits on my workbench and 2) the module installed in the drive frame of the automata.

IMG_20200227_095241-1000.jpg
IMG_20200227_103851-1000.jpg
The drive frame has not been painted yet.  The entire drive frame will be painted using a camo palette of four colors.
I've appreciated being able to create this electrics module as a stand-alone unit.  It's been easier to make.  Installation into the drive frame is easy...it hangs from two stainless steel axles.
Now that I've been able to run the automata under power it's been easier to monitor and to troubleshoot.  I've got a bit more tweaking to do...then I'll be disassembling for paint.

I would enjoy seeing what's on your workbench.

Regards from San Diego.
-Jim Coffee-

Re: 3D printing...some random thoughts

Randy
 

For finishing the prints, you need sanding files for removing sharp edges. I buy manicure files in bulk for this purpose. I only use black or white PLA filament so I consider my airbrush essential for painting over the white prints. Metric dimensions are primarily used for 3D printing so a set of metric allen wrenches and metric screw taps are useful. I use a lot of M2.5 and M3 screws for fastening - very little glue. Fusion 360 allows you to design and print threaded holes for screws which is useful. The screw taps allow you clean up the holes.

No dust or odor when using PLA. I've heard that ABS filament smells. It's a clean hobby. My spare bedroom is my shop.

Re: 3D printing...some random thoughts

 

Hi Randy...
You say that you have totally transitioned to 3D printing... I've been thinking about that and wonder what kind of tools you use that you consider essential.  For example...in my shop I consider a drill press, a scroll saw, a disk sander, and a bandsaw essential.  Many small tools, different glues and fasteners...I could go on and on.
What, in your 3D printing shop, do you consider essential?  
And a side question...is there dust?  In my shop wood dust is a factor that I need to consider.  In a 3D printing environment is there dust, or odor?
Thanks
-Jim-

On Mon, 10 Feb 2020 at 15:39, Randy <rglissmann@...> wrote:
As an old (67) woodworker I had some initial reservations about both CNC and 3D printing. I have great respect for the craftsmen that can create wood objects that I don't have the talent nor patience to make. Also being an engineer, I'm intrigued by technology and  while some may consider it a shortcut, these TOOLs allow me to create things, very challenging things, that I would probably give up on. Anyway, I got tired of wood dust and totally transitioned to 3D printing. I'm willing to accept the scorn of the purests, but for most people, they just appreciate the creative effort in my designs. I airbrush my work so the material, plastic vs. wood, is immaterial. To reiterate, I'm in awe of someone who can create a 40 tooth gear by hand.

There are two main types of 3D printers: cartesian and delta. A cartesian printer moves the base in the X and Y directions create the object. The plastic extruder moves up in the Z direction as layers of plastic are layer on. A delta printer has a fixed base and the extruder dances around in the X, Y, and Z directions. I've never seen a delta and that may be because they are definitely less popular than cartesian. I'm not saying they are inferior, but I do think that both the manufacturer and community support is less than cartesian. I own an Ender 3 cartesian printer. It is a simple $200 printer that works very well. I have added a few well documented tune-ups that makes it very reliable. I can discuss these if there is interest.

Regarding filaments, I've tried different types of plastic but have always return to PLA, the most commonly used printing material. For a stationary object without environmental temperature and humidity stress, it works just fine. I use Hatchbox white PLA. I have found that the manufacturer of the filament does make a difference. For design software, I use Fusion 360. This software is SO amazing. For a hobbyist, using it is free. This is industrial-strength software, so don't expect to be productive overnight. 

Uri Tuchman, creator of automata and other things

 

Greetings...
I love the world of automata and I enjoy learning.  I especially enjoy learning about how to create automata.  Last night I ran across Uri Tuchman.  Here is a link to his YouTube video page.  And then here are links to three specific videos that you might enjoy.  
  1. Creating a Sculptor automata.  In this video, he works with brass and wood.  He makes mistakes, corrects them, and in the end has a nice automata.
  2. Creating a small metal hammer.  For the Sculptor automata he needed a small hammer.  It is in this video that he creates it.   One of the side things that he does is make a small drawknife.
  3. Creating a benchtop lathe.  Just interesting.  He starts with a treadle sewing machine base and moves forward from there.
I like the way that this guy presents.  He has an interesting accent and a very interesting sense of humor.  And he does a really good job working with both metal and wood.  Many closeup shots.
A pleasure to watch.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-