September 17, 2020:  Three of Them

For years I’ve watched ‘sign-spinners’ stand on street corners spinning their signs.  Many times I’ve thought about developing a machine that they would sit on and pedal that would spin their signs for them.

In 2016 I started to focus on automata, and in 2017 I think it would be fair to say that I started obsessing on automata.  At some point in there, I caught the scent of thought of ‘product spinners’.  In April 2020 I started the first one…and in September 2020 I finished the third one.

The next week or so is going to be spent completing the videos and the marketing materials that I think I will need.  And then after that, I’m going to hit the streets to see if I can find rental customers for these little guys.

Here are links to the Project Sheets:

It will be interesting to see what the reaction from the marketplace will be.  Positive I hope.  I definitely will learn something…probably many things.

Remember to vote for anyone OTHER THAN Donald Trump this next election.  We need to get him gone.  He is not a leader.  And he lies.  It’s embarrassing. 

It’s interesting how it goes. In March 2020 there were none. And in September 2020 there are three. It’s been fun. 16 September 2020.


September 15, 2020: Creation is complete

This afternoon I completed Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1.  I am pleased with this little machine…it is and does exactly what I had envisioned.

At the last moment, I had to remove the belt drive and replace it with chain.  The belt drive stored energy near its couplings.  There is just a tiny amount of work being done to turn the bottle.  As a result, the ‘elastic’ stored energy in the belt was causing the bottle to spin ahead of itself.  I replaced the drive belt with a plastic chain and the spinning motion is now exactly in sync with the rest of the mechanism.

More images can be seen on the Project Sheet

This has been quite a year.  COVID-19, and now here in California there are wild fires.  Where we live there are no fires, however, there is haze and there are beautiful ‘fire sky’ sunsets.  Some of the other parts of the state that are burning are a terrible shame.  That said…fire is one of Mother Nature’s tools.  She is strong and she will use her tools.  Personally I think that it is possible to live in nature and not be in danger of having your home burn down.  Burrowing underground would be one way.  I think living underground is appealing and would not hesitate.  The opportunities, however, are rare.

On the automata front, it has been announced that Automata Magazine will cease production at the end of the year.  Too bad…I’ve really appreciated the magazine.  Apparently there is a possibility that someone will step up and take over from Marc.  I hope so.

Again, I urge a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump.  He is not good for this nation.



Creation of Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1 is completed. 15 September 2020.

September 2, 2020, Wet Paint

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1 has racked up about 15 hours of runtime on its clock and has subsequently been disassembled and is being painted.  The painting process is very important and it takes time.  And then everything needs to dry.  I find the drying time part of the process to be frustrating.  That said…the drying time is extremely important.

I’ve never been political in my business communications until now (this election cycle).  One of the quotations that I respect says “A Democracy is not a spectator sport”.  I don’t want to be a silent spectator right now…this coming election is very important.

I want to also point out that I’ve been a registered Republican for my entire life.

I am disappointed with the process.  I’m disappointed that the Republican Party cannot offer up someone more qualified than Donald Trump.  It would seem to me that we would want potential candidates on a “track” to the White House.  Being trained and groomed.  And I would expect the Republican Party to put forth a forward-reaching platform.

Instead what we’ve got is a gross individual, one with no sound principles, who is not a leader, continuing to lie to us, and continuing to isolate us from the rest of the world.  He is certainly unacceptable to me…as I hope he is unacceptable to the majority of the electoral college.

Donald Trump does not represent the value system that I want leading this country.  Please vote this coming election.  Please vote for anyone other than Donald Trump.

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1 has been disassembled and is being painted. 2 September 2020