Thursday, 28 February 2013


Dear Tony,

We are happy to inform you that your application for Mini Maker Faire Bristol, Amateur Automata Maker, has been accepted. We're looking forward to having you participate in the 1st Mini Maker Faire Bristol on the 23 March, 2013 at M Shed Bristol between 10:00am and 4:00pm. 

Please prepare for your exhibit. We will provide a standard setup, which includes a standard banquet table and two chairs. We ask that you bring all other items required for your exhibit. If you need something different, and you indicated so in your entry, we may contact you to discuss these details. We will also provide a small sign for your exhibit. We encourage you to think about ways to design your exhibit and to make it interactive and fun. If you have any questions about your exhibit or changes to it, please email us at ************************
Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you at Maker Faire!

Mini Maker Faire Bristol Team

Very happy but I seem to keep putting deadlines/pressure onto myself. Well, sometimes a deadline can be a good thing I guess.

Anyway, time to plan.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Photos of recent exploits

As I mentioned, here are some pics of things I have been getting on with. I will shelve this project for another day and return to it. I am thinking a rack and pinion gearing system might be a good mechanism to try. If I can't get it to work at least it'll be good experience. 

Close up of the mechanism with the main pin wheel gear

Reverse view

My initial mechanism with pin wheels on half of the gear. It nearly worked but if I turned the wheel too fast, the centre wheel would have built up some inertia and would continue moving around. I wanted it to turn exactly 180 degrees each time. 

A new mechanism I was trying. There would be an offset cam which which push the lever up and down. The lever would have a rod sticking up out of the end of it which would lift the friction wheel up, disengaging it from the main drive friction wheel. This model also nearly worked but didn't quite make it. 
A close up of the "newer" mechanism

A present for my friend

The hearts for the cupid model

My friends present. I scrapped this configuration

I decided to make a makeshift sanding table to lay parts on to get a perfect 90 degree angle. It requires a bit of work
With the sanding attachment

This is a luthier clamp I made out of mdf and pine (I'm going to build my own guitar, amateur guitar maker blog to follow). It's not the best example but all of the videos I saw on Youtube involved them being made out of mahogany and I am too poor for that. I might try plywood but I think that would probably snap easily.
Another view of the clamp

For my friend's present I decided to try using papier mache. This is the plasticine mould

Newspaper layer


The re-done mechanism. Hopefully this will work out better. I have a few other bits to attach.  
Sorry it's a bit of a dull one. I'll try harder next time. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Well, I didn't finish the model on time but that's OK. I didn't like putting the pressure on myself. The whole mechanism needs re-working so I'm going to leave it for a while. Besides, I recently split with a girl I was seeing so I don't really feel like working on a Valentine's model. 

Time to do some fun stuff. Sorry for the lack of pics recently. I will get on it at the weekend.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Maker Faire Bristol

Well this is exciting! A Maker Faire is coming to my home town. I've always wanted to attend. I've applied for a stall, although it won't be much. In any event I'll be there even if I fail in my submission. It's on the 23rd March at the M Shed.

In other news, work on the Valentine's model is coming along slowly, so slow that I won't have it made in time for Valentine's day. This has led me to make a decision that I won't be making any more themed work as I hate to put pressure on myself. When it's done, it's done. 

Some pics to follow of the things I've been up to.