Automata on Display.

Boys and Girls,
I was cajoled by ‘Rasmus to post an entry into the Woodentoybuild2022, however, not as an entry, as while I admire Dutchy and all his toys and plans, I cannot read pictures of plans in Dutch... and thought this may attract the attention of potential toy builders... don't let this sway you, his Dutch pictures are easily translatable. 
Again another post imported that was originally published Sep 25, 2020 at LJ.
This is not so much about a specific toy, but a template for mechanisms that are used to drive many automatons.
Hope it can give others ideas.

I told a lie below about not making toys for children,  I made a "clink, clink" (what my son called it due to the sound the railway crossing bell made), for Chrissy,

Unfortunately, after 42 years, it's the only photo I have of it.  Made out of pine in the days I was prepared to paint timber.


Boys and Girls,

I have no Idea what spurred me on to taking up this project's concept, as regrettably, I have never really made toys for children or had the opportunity to do so, as most of the "toys" I get involved with are more so considered big boy's toys... and I'm not referring to tools, but rather T & J (and like) models.

This project emanated from an "out of left field" reply I made to a project in the past, promising to post my limited experience (and lack of knowledge) about automata. I should stop here, but as the missus refers to me as a pig headed duck, I will press on (she keeps insisting I should have ducked when they handed out the heads)…
I apologise, not for the head, but forgetting the member's name that the "promise" was made to.
Just to set the mood… Quite a few years ago, during an inane debate with a woodworking mate, for some uncanny reason he drew my attention to an article in a magazine regarding toy automation. If I remember his sales pitch, it was centred around this picture

which he reputed to be the "answer" to all toy automation movements.
I am no authority on automata and don't want to get involved in theologian debates about mythical robotics… any form of contradictory opinions can be channeled towards that said friend who now refuses to be identified, and even if he was, he's training to be a Victorian politician (Australia) and is practicing the current political privilege of forgetfulness.

Without upsetting the rechabite viewers, I fired up SketchUp and started designing after my traditional preliminary ritual of a glass of "...IARCH…" ( Insert Appropriate Rechabite Chagrin Here) vino

Initially my intentions was to create a board that would activate all the automata actions as one with the use of an ingenious combination of gears driven by a single handle,
Unfortunately the ingenious quickly morphed into a genuine ass as I not so quickly realised that I'd need a bucket load of bearings, friction pads and other expensive hardware to permit such engineered motion with just one single knob.
Nevertheless, my friend was very impressed when presented with the SketchUp model and asked if I could laser cut the parts for him… I was unimpressed by his impression, but for the sake of friendship I obliged… then when he asked if I could assemble it… I was further unimpressed and related my feelings accordingly.
I believe it was at this point that the venture stagnated.

It wasn't till a few years later (circa 2020… C19 self-isolation… now-ish) that my buddy must have swatted up on Shakespeare and in a perfect Julius II impersonation, uttered the famous words of "Duckangello, when will you make it end?".
The timing was coincidental as while disinfecting what pottzy calls my NASA laboratory, I came across a baggie of ½ sized automata scraps (cut but un-assembled) and when I realised it wasn't a stash I got a fit of conscience… not for my buddy, but to that LJ member I mentioned above and for some stupid reason at that time, promised I would make up the automata model and post it here at LJ (not in the mail)… Well I can't remember who that member was, but I do remember my promise.

Running out of excuses (not a cask of "...IARCH…" vino), a revisit with SketchUp (without further reading), and resulted in,
Apparently each assembly is responsible for a unique action, depending on where and how one secures an attachment to it with the intention that the appropriate movement is achieved by the rotation of a "driving wheel", as in a cart, rolling toy or a handle.
 I really haven't the foggiest of which does what, however, I planned to make a video highlighting the individual actions, that if you use your imagination, might find an animation for the action. I do recall my friend pointing to one of the mechanisms in the original picture stating that is what one would use to make a wood-chopping action toy… but damned if I remember exactly which one he pointed at. Just remember that these are small models with no attachments. Even I can foresee a large model with appropriate attachments that could generate spectacular results.
Confused?... wait for the video… if it ever gets created… actors are hard to find with C19 restrictions… even I'm self isolating so currently unavailable.

Processed the "cut" layouts 
through the laser, (yaaay... finally… actual workshop and/or "wood" pictures) 
and created a new baggie of goodies and snail mailed it to my buddy,
as I had little bit of trouble using the email.
Eager to beat my friend to the first working model, I tried a prototype with just two of the movements,
and got totally concerned about the difficulty of activating the new simplified geared movement,

only to realise rubber mats are not a great friction pad for MDF.

Being winter, production stagnated again, but this time due to lack of springs (the above two movements didn't require springs)...
Fortunately during a pilgrimage to my local bottle shop, I ventured into the adjoining Mitre 10 hardware store and found these budget packets of miscellaneous springs,

With a new spring in my steps (and hands), it was back to the workshop. The base was built and the movements constructed,

The base was buffed to provide a slicker turning surface,
It was at this stage that I realised that the original dowel "handle" 
was a bit cranky, and designed a hollow dowel handle with a tenon
to compensate for the 3mm spacers. 
While this was workable, I soon decided that a moving picture would better demonstrate the functionality of each movement and in anticipation of a future video, with some trial and error, I redesigned the handle,
and was happy with the result,

Now I'm no expert in automata and certainly don't plan to be, however, since I took the trouble of making up this display board I should at least demonstrate its functionality. While there may be other movements, and I think some on the board are far too similar, I have been assured that these are a good sample.
So again I ask, don't shoot the messenger, even in duck season. Following this, eventually there will be a link to a video I'm planning to make, however, as I haven't made it yet, I can't discuss it any further.

Talking about videos… like in a movie… big print…

..... 2 DAYS LATER .....

The video was made an published,

There is also a SketchUp animation,

For any budding toy makers who might be tempted to experiment., here is a link to the SketchUp, original and layout PDF's. When it comes to the layout, exact dimensions are not critical, unless you want to print and make the meshing gears…

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

sorry ducks but after the touching moment with your son, i blew past the rest of the bullshit and just wanna say,yes the grinch does have a heart !!!!!!❤😎

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

very involved mechanics that came out nicely.    Interesting.  Bet it was a bit time consuming.


You certainly won that bet 987... Thanks.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

That is definitely a fun toy and educational too! I enjoyed the video.

Now it's a competition - at least it's a start 😁
I enjoyed watching the video! One of these days maybe I will actually try doing a bit of automata... 

Yooper with a Drawl

Now that is one amazingly well thought out educational toy Alex. You’re a clever duck!

Life’s Good, Enjoy Each New Day’s Blessings

Thanks mikeacg and crowie... unfortunately nothing clever on my behalf... straight out of a book (that was read to me).

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD