Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Christmas model 2012 update

Below are some pictures of the Christmas model I am making this year. 

I have been experimenting with gear trains but the movement seemed a little too fast. I thought about using another worm gear but remembered how long it took last time and thought I'd experiment with a coiled worm gear (if that's the correct phrase). I got the idea from this website:

Specifically this model:

It seemed so much simpler than carving a gear. Check out the entire gallery, there are some great pieces!

I gave it a go but it still didn't work as planned (actually became a bit too slow!). I removed a gear from the train but it still didn't seem right. I then remembered I had an old wooden worm gear I had carved but this has been too fast for my previous model. I have attached it and hopefully it will be the right speed. 

I have also started carving the figure. I'm really not sure what style to go for. I think I'm still trying to develop my own but am struggling to find something I am happy with. 

Anyway, here are the pics

 The Frame

 A practice set-up I made by attaching it to my desk

 A rough version with the gear train

 A close up with the pin wheel

 The pin wheel and worm before installing

A close up of the work in the frame. I had to carve out a channel in the wood to allow the pins to rotate freely.The problem I found with this gear is that during the rotation, there would be a slight pause where the worm wasn't making contact with the pin wheel which meant there was a pause in the movement, almost like with a ratchet set-up. I didn't want this effect as I wanted smooth continuous movement. it might have been that I hadn't made the gear or the worm as well as I'd hoped, which might have caused the problem.

With the wooden worm I had previously made. I had to made the channel even larger to accommodate the spur gear.I also removed the last gear on the train as it was too slow. I have saved them for another time. This gear allows for continuous movement.

Here are some vids for info:

I also managed to sell my Turtle and Hand Automaton on EBay. I didn't get as much as I had hoped which is the problem with EBay. I think I need to analyse how much my models might actually be worth. I know I haven't made a name for myself yet so in terms of the value of these it might be different for different people. Maybe I shouldn't keep labelling myself as an amateur (even though I have much to learn).

Anyway, I hope the model has gone to a good home (and arrived there safely! I always worry when sending models by post in case they break!)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Improved video and next project

I found out my camera has a HD setting for video. After I made a little set and filmed it, I had a delightful afternoon learning to edit on Movie Maker.

I hope people enjoy this new video as it is better quality.

My last video was featured on Dug North's blog, which was a nice surprise. Thanks Dug!

I also received some nice comments on the Automata/Automaton Facebook group. Check it out if you haven't already!

I've already started on my next model for Christmas. I am using a few gears to slow down the action. It'll hopefully be a model of santa using a whip to encourage an elf to make presents faster. 

I better hurry up. Only 67 sleeps to go until Christmas day.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Can see the finishing line...

I am almost complete. Check the pics and the vid.


The model with a weight I got from a fishing tackle shop. I'm not sure why I didn't think of this sooner instead of spending all that time making my own weights.

 Front view of the gear

Here I had tested using springs but it was still too sharp a reaction. I also realised that I could control all the limbs and the head with one control lever so I now only have one for the head and limbs and another one to operate the hand.

Here is the reduced lever set-up with the weight. I have used a slightly smaller weight as this one was too heavy and not needed (I think - I'll need to add the limbs first and see how they react).

All I need to do now are add the wires for the limbs and make a few cosmetic changes, add a lick of varnish and it'll be done! :)