22 August 2019: The biped is dressed!
Scissor Lift #2

This is the second biped that I’ve treated this way (copper leaf, patina).  Even though I cannot control the patina process I am pleased with the way that these two bipeds have turned out…and I am thinking that this may become my default method of ‘dressing’ my bipeds.  I think that for the Jim’s Gym series of automata that this will certainly be the method.  Time will tell.

The process is not trivial.  Each of the two that I’ve run done have taken about a week each.  The first one that I did had a silver leaf undercoat and a copper leaf top coat.  The second one that I’ve done (for Scissor Lift #2) I applied a gold color leaf undercoat and the copper leaf top coat.  This has resulted in a biped that is ‘warmer to the eye’.  

So…Scissor Lift #2 is now undergoing further quality control.  This particular automata is hand cranked…so the testing process is slower than if it was motorized.  I will also say that this is the last non motorized automata that I plan to create.  Building an automata that is both hand crankable and powered is how I will create future builds.  

The Scissor Lift #2 biped is born August 2019/

15 August 2019: Copper Leaf is almost done
Scissor Lift #2

This is the second biped that I am dressing with copper leaf.  The process is not trivial.  It’s certainly more time consuming than paint.  That said…the outcome should be very nice.  As I have been introducing Big Wheel Lift #1 to the public (as I busk with my street organ) the copper leaf is proving to be attention getting, conversation starting, intriguing, and it is certainly ‘race neutral’.

The process is: 1) shape the biped out of basswood.  Sand, fill, sand, fill, sand.  Get the perfections out. 2) Paint with two coats of automotive spray primer.  It is true that you can apply the leaf directly to the wood.  The complexity is that the end grain absorbs the size (the glue) at a much faster rate.  Because of this it is difficult to get an even coating of ‘sticky’. 3) Apply the first coat of leaf.  The first time I did this I applied a silver colored leaf.  This time I am applying a gold color as the first layer. 4) Apply the copper leaf.  As things go there will be places where the gold leaf shows through.  I like this better than having the silver leaf show through. 5) Wipe the surfaces carefully with alcohol. 6) Brush with salted vinegar and then hang in ammonia fumes so that a patina will form.  The last biped hung in the fumes for about one and a quarter hours. 7) Spray with a clear coat or two.  This will slow down any further changes in the way that the patina looks.

The wooden Scissor Lift #2 biped is receiving his copper leaf clothes.

31 July 2019, Finally, the biped is born.
Scissor Lift #2

As Scissor Lift #2 was nearing completion I was still fighting with the creation of the biped…so I took a seven month break and worked on Big Wheel Lift #1 and it’s biped.   Finally, I got a biped that I was comfortable with.

The biped for Scissor Lift #2 is now the priority on my workbench.  In the image to the right, at the rear we see the original biped.  And in the foreground is the new one.  I am very pleased with the way the new one is coming together.
The new biped, since this image was captured, has been primed (X2) and is waiting for it’s copper leaf and patina. I expect the new biped to be completed within the next seven days.
The new biped for Scissor Lift #2 is in the foreground

26 October 2018, The First Lift assembly
Scissor Lift #2

Receiving marbles from the Regulator the First Lift lifts the marbles so that they can roll into position to be tipped onto the scissor lift arm.

The First Lift on Scissor Lift #2.

26 October 2018, The Regulator assembly
Scissor Lift #2

The Regulator is the mechanism that meters marbles one at a time to the first lift.  Marbles que up on the uphill side of the Regulator.

The Scissor Lift #2 Regulator Assembly.

15 October 2018, Scissor Lift assembly nearing completion
Scissor Lift #2

I’m pleased with the way this is coming together.  I’m able to get a more “organic” feel to this build.  It feels and looks smoother than SL#1 (as it should.  They should all be better than the prior).  Note that the marble run is one piece now, as opposed to multiple pieces in the first build.  I’ve got the level installed (the green cube at the left).  The regulator is working nicely as is the tipper.

The Scissor Lift assembly nears completion….pre-paint obviously.

1 September 2018, Mechs almost completed
Scissor Lift #2

On the Scissor Lift series I complete the mechs first (the mechanics on the underside).  This means that I know how much lift I’ll have, etc.  After the mechs are completed I’ll start on the top side…I’ll start that actual scissor lift mechanisms themselves.

The mechs (the under mechanicals) of Scissor Lift #2.

12 August 2018, The mech frame 
Scissor Lift #2

The second build goes faster than the first.  In the first build the basic dimensions are sorted and an example exists.  When creating the next generation I need to look at the prior generation(s) and learn.  I then need to create.  Each generation should be better than the prior.

Scissor Lift #2 base and mech frame.

8 August 2018, Onto the bench
Scissor Lift #2

The first component I’ll create is the biped.  Here is the initial armature.  I must admit that I feel most vulnerable creating these little people.  After I’ve worked more with them I feel more comfortable but right now I sort of feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.

The initial armature for the Big Wheel Lift #1 biped