Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner automata series

This third design in the product spinner series of automata, the Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner is designed to display a bottle (of wine, for example) or a can (of beer).

Powered by 110v electric motor, the biped steps up and down on levers that in turn cause the product display platform to incrementally rotate.

Created July 29 – September 15, 2020.

This automata is available only for rent.  ($30-$90 month, depending)

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1. Completed September 15, 2020

Surfer automata series

This automata began as a 2-week challenge to myself.  The primary motion is the surfboard.  It is supported by three randomly moving supports.  The surfer motion is a side effect of the surfboard.

Because this was a quick build I had to use what was on hand.  There is no motor powering this automata…it is simply hand cranked.  That said…I will not create another of these that does not have a motor.  The motion of the surfer and board are too satisfying…hand cranking is a distraction.  Future Surfer builds will be dual-powered…hand crank and motor.

$2,000. Created for you on a commission basis.

Surfer #1, completed 2 April 2020

Big Wheel Lift automata series

The Big Wheel Lift is an interesting automata that people enjoy watching.  This is a Jim’s Gym piece of exercise equipment.  The biped both pedals and pulls levers to power the big wheel.  The big wheel lifts marbles to the top.  The marbles fall out of the big wheel and roll to the bottom of the wheel, passing through three magnetic shock absorbers on their journey.

The Big Wheel Lift is powered by both hand crank and by electric motor.  When under electric power the Big Wheel Lift  will either cycle 12 marbles (and then stop) or will operate continuously.  As I write this (8/22/2019) Big Wheel Lift #1 has cycled 21,000 marbles.

Approximately 25″ wide, 21″ high, and 9″ deep, and weighing about 8-1/2 pounds.

$4,000. Created for you on a commission basis.

Big Wheel Lift #1 completed 8 July 2019

Scissor Lift automata series

Scissor Lift #2 is the last ‘hand crank only’ automata that I will build.  This is a Jim’s Gym piece of exercise equipment.  The biped lifts two levers, which in turn feed marbles through a mechanism which lifts them one at a time to the top.  From the top gravity pulls the marbles back down to the bottom.

This machine is operated by hand crank…is very smooth…a pleasure to operate.  

Approximately 25″ wide X 18″ high X 9″ deep.  Weighs about 8 pounds.

$1,500, Scissor Lift #2 (in stock and available, pictured to the right)
$4,000Scissor Lift #3, motorized, created for you on a commission basis.

Scissor Lift #2 completed August 2019

20 Pipe Street Organ

I really enjoy owning my 20 pipe street organ. Playing it in public is very satisfying.

In the image to the right you see Big Wheel Lift #1 out in public with me.  People are fascinated.  These little machines make people happy.

I would be pleased to create a 20 pipe street organ for you.

Sales Detail Sheet

~$5,000 including organ, cart, 1 roll of music, and animated monkey.

Big Wheel Lift #1 displays alongside Misty, the 20 Pipe Street Organ. At the Bernardo Winery Farmers Market.

How to Purchase:

Generally speaking, I do not keep automata in stock…rather I build on a commission basis.

Purchase:  If you wish to purchase an automata that is in stock:

  • The selling price does NOT include packaging and shipping.
  • James Coffee Studios accepts major credit cards.
  • Local pickup would be wonderful.  Perhaps I could deliver.
  • Contact me via either phone or email,

Commission: If you wish to commission me to create an automata for you:

  • I describe the process on the Commission page.
  • You should allow 3 months for the completion of the automata from the date of signing the Letter of Intent.
  • Contact me via either phone or email.

Warranty:  This is a complicated subject.  My thoughts;

  • These automata are little machines that have gone through rigorous testing.
  • These automata are fragile works of art.
  • At this time I offer no warranty.
    • I would like to offer a lifetime warranty…but that is not reasonable.
    • I would like to offer a one year warranty.  If the automata is located close by and if it can be brought to my studio I would do what I could to effect repair. 
      • If the problem appeared to be a design flaw I most likely would not charge for my time.  If the problem was caused by abuse or by commercial use I would charge for my time.  I charge my shop time at $25.00 hour.
    • Shipping can be a problem.  These automata can be fragile and must be carefully packed for shipment.  This is not a trivial process.
  • At this time I do not offer a warranty….however in any situation and regardless of the time that has flowed, I would do my best to help the owner obtain effective repair.

So, bottom line I offer no warranty but I would do all I reasonably could to help the owner obtain effective repair.  It will be interesting to see where I stand in five years (2024) on this important issue.


How to Rent:

Some of my automata are being created so that they can be rented.  I call these product spinners.  They are designed to sit on a counter in a store, or in a store window.  Their job…to increase sales.

  • These automata will be available for rent month, semi-annually, or annually.
  • James Coffee Studios retains full ownership.  James Coffee Studios is responsible for proper automata operation.
  • There will be a Rental Rate Card available for each automata.
  • The Renter will have the responsibility of:
    • Keeping the automata safe.
    • Keeping the automata from being damaged or contaminated.
    • Paying invoices in a timely manner.
    • Immediately reporting automata problems to James Coffee Studios so that the problems can be resolved.