Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner
a product spinning automata

The delightful Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner is the 3rd design in the ‘product spinning’ series of automata that I am creating.  A biped steps on levers, which in turn drive a chain that incrementally rotates a 4-1/2″ display platform.  The display platform is designed to hold a bottle or a can. The ‘product spinning’ series of automata are to be rented into customer-facing environments, such as a counter in a retail store and are responsible for the display of products of special interest or focus.

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

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

The Peddler
a product spinning automata

The eye-catching product spinning Peddler is the 2nd design in the product spinning series of automata that I am creating.  With a stationary lower base, a biped waves and pedals the upper base in circles, which in turn causes a 9” display platform to counter-rotate. The display platform is designed to hold and call attention to larger-small items, such as jewelry, pastries, confections, art, sunglasses, watches, books, cards, drugs, electronic devices, etc.

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

Product spinning Peddler #1 is completed July 11, 2020

Two Tier
a product spinning automata

The appealing Two Tier is the 1st design in the product spinning series of automata that I am creating.  A biped works-out by both pedaling and pulling levers.  As a result of his work-out two product display tables and one flag pennant are caused to rotate.  The product display tables are intended to hold products for display.  The two tables rotate counter to each other at different speeds.  This automata would be used in a customer-facing situation, such as the counter of a retail store, to call attention and focus to certain products or items. cards, drugs, electronic devices, etc.

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

Two Tier #1, a product spinning automata

Surfer automata series

This energetic little surfer is the result of a ‘two-week construction’ challenge that I gave myself.  The surfboard is mounted on three moving shafts.  As the handle is turned the surfboard moves randomly,  as if skimming over the waves,  The surfer’s feet move on the surfboard as he keeps his balance.

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

Surfer #1 was completed April 2, 2020.

Big Wheel Lift automata series

Big Wheel Lift #1 seems to easily capture the attention of passers-by. One of the Jim’s Gym series of automata, a biped is exercising by pedaling and pulling levers.  This motion in turn causes a big wheel to lift marbles from the bottom to the top, where they drop onto a track and roll back to the bottom.  Lot’s of color and motion and interesting noises.  Magnetic shock absorbers.  This is a fun one.

The Big Wheel Lift #1 Project Sheet is here.
View Big Wheel Lift #1 on YouTube
View the Sales Details page here.

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

Big Wheel Lift #1. Completed July 9, 2019.

Scissor Lift automata series

The first of the ‘Jim’s Gym’ series of automata, this active little automata is a pleasure to operate and to watch.  As the crank is turned the biped raises and lowers handles which, thru a scissor-like mechanism, in turn raise marbles to the top of the automata.  Powered by gravity the marbles then descend back to the bottom where they arrange themselves and prepare for another trip.

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

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

Scissor Lift #1 created February – July 2018.

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.