25 April 2019
Motorizing and Suppliers


Big Wheel Lift #1: I’ve been busy with this little guy…am in the process of installing the motor and the on/off mechanism.  The on/off mechanism will allow ‘push to start’ and then a full revolution later (12 marbles) the motor will be turned off.  I expect to have this creation under power (and hand crank) next week.

The Big Wheel Lift #1 project sheet can be found here.

Suppliers: As I create automata I need certain things (bearings, belts, chain, plywood, fasteners, magnets, shafts, information, motors, brass plates, etc).  Over time I’ve developed online relationships with suppliers that I like to deal with.    I’ve spent a portion of the first part of April creating a web page of Favored Suppliers.  I hope this page helps one or more of you on your own journey to create automata.

James Coffee Studios creates automata.

19 April 2019
The Big Wheel has It’s Legs


It’s been a busy two weeks.  One of things that I’ve been doing is building the biped test stand.  The test stand is motorized.  I had a problem with an eBay motor order so had to order again.  I ordered from both McMaster and from ChancsMotor (eBay).  Both motors have arrived.  I’ve powered the test stand with the Dynatech motor from McMaster.  The ChansMotor just arrived this afternoon and I must admit that I like it a lot.

So the test stand is completed and operates under power.  This enabled me to move forward with the table for Big Wheel Lift #1.  I now know what the biped power module geometry is.  In the image to the right you can see the table, legs, and the mechanical frame.  I’m in the process of building the levers and cams and sprockets and etc.  I suspect that Big Wheel Lift #1 will be operating under power within the next two weeks.

A test period will follow, with the Big Wheel operating for about 3,000 cycles as it is fine tuned.  Then disassembly and paint.  Then reassembly and test.

The Big Wheel has it’s legs!

4 April 2019
The power unit is the focus
Big Wheel Lift #1


These weeks I’ve got two projects on my workbench, A Sunday Drive and Big Wheel Lift #1.  Also, in the back of my mind, I want to write a quick article about some of my online suppliers.

Big Wheel Lift #1 has been the active working focus.  At the present time I am focused on creating the assembly that the biped will operate which in turn will power the big wheel lift.  The build is coming along nicely.  In the image to the right you see the two biped elbows.  I’m using a beautiful acoustically tanned leather…remnants from the bellows of the organ that I am building.  I’m waiting for the motor to arrive (it’s late).  The test module that I am building will put the biped and the mechanics through thousands of test cycles…so that I can know that the build will be solid and reliable.  The Big Wheel Lift #1 Project Sheet can be seen here.

A Sunday Drive has been the active ‘thinking’ focus.  At the top of my thinking process is how to have scenery scroll by as the car rolls down the road.  I think I’ve got a solution…will know more next week.  The A Sunday Drive Project Sheet can be seen here.

The biped elbows are a nice thick leather.