25 May 2020: Memorial Day


It has been one of those ‘finicky’ weeks in the studio.  I had created both the biped and the pedal assembly.  This week the task has been to get them to operate smoothly together.  Finally, mission accomplished.  I had to do major biped surgery.  Had to move his thighs about 3/4″ further apart.

In the end he pedals very smoothly.  Now it’s time to create his permanent seat and the cowl that will proceed him.

Today is Memorial Day.  I am a Vietnam Vet.  I’m glad to be able to say that the Vietnam experience for me was not a particularly negative experience.  And as a nation we have fought wars since then…in fact still are.  Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all soldiers in the world would simply refuse to fight?  It is my belief that human nature would find other ways to fight…we cannot help ourselves.

As I evaluate my relationship with my country (the USA) I have to remind myself that I am always in the minority and that I must be tolerant and let others be who they are.  Our government is a compromise.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be greed and hate.  On the other hand, we have tolerance for love, selflessness, charity, learning, freedoms of religion and speech and we can vote for those that serve us in the government,  In spite of all that is wrong there is a lot that is right.  We are fortunate.

25 May 2020: The Peddler is fitted to his pedals.

 

17 May 2020: The Peddler is started


Not looking very sexy in this undressed state, is he? Before starting the Peddler #1 automata mechanism I created the biped.  I’ll build the automata to fit the biped.

This one will be different from prior automata in that the entire powered mechanism will rotate.  This will necessitate the use of a slip ring so that power can be transferred through to the rotating mechanism.  Initially, I did not know to call them slip rings…I did not know what to call them.  An hour later though and I was more educated and can now source slip rings.

This guy is going to be peddling a little cart that tows the product table around in a circle…I want the little cart to be “happy and cute’.  

And out in the world COVID-19 is still in control…though it seems that folks are ready to try to get back to work.  I think that it will take a while for the balance to be achieved as we wait for a vaccine.  I remain disappointed with the national leadership.

17 May 2020: The Peddler #1 biped is taking shape.

 

4 May 2020, Product Spinner


It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since my last blog post…the world is moving fast.

Being of a mechanical mind, every time my wife and I drive by a sign-spinner on a corner of a street my mind works on ways that the sign-spinner could be on a bicycle-type of device…one that would allow the sign-spinner to relax a bit…and that would also permit people to notice and read the sign.

Take that idea a bit further and you arrive at ‘Product Spinner’.  For decades I’ve contemplated creating a product spinner…a little device that sits on a countertop and that attracts attention to a product or service.

I had just finished Surfer #1 and was learning a bit about how to whittle.  As the biped was nearing completion I began to contemplate what automata to use it in…and decided that now is the time for the product spinner.  

The image at the right shows the effort three weeks later.  The product spinner has gone together well.  It’s sturdy and should be able to run for years  It features, in addition to the pedaling and lever pulling biped, two product tables that rotate, and a third rotating shaft that at the moment is twirling a pennant made of blue painters tape.

As I write this blog post the product spinner (that you see pictured) lays disassembled on my workbench.  It is in the process of being painted.

It is my hope that I will be able to rent this product spinner to some sort of retail establishment.  My next blog post should show this automata completed.

On the world front, COVID-19 continues to impact the entire planet.  In the news are whispers of some countries and states beginning to loosen restrictions in efforts to restart the economic engines.  I wish good fortune to everyone as we learn how to achieve balance in this new life.

And in parting let me say that today is my 75th birthday.  I feel blessed to be living in my current circumstances and to be married to Cheryl.

Stay healthy.  

Cheers

-Jim-

Product Spinner #1 construction is complete. Next is disassembly and paint.