Project Sheet
Peddler #1

created May 8 – July 11, 2020

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View the Construction Journal here.

11 July 2020: Peddler #1 has a face
Peddler #1

Finally, the head and face (and the whole biped) are completed.  This guy sits on his unicycle and goes round and round.  The automata is still a bit jerky.  I’ve got a replacement motor on its way from China.  It’s got 56 hours on the clock and is working well.  I like the speed.  The product display table has a pleasing speed and motion.

Peddler #1 has a face.
11 July 2020

2 July 2020, Nearing completion
Peddler #1

Peddler #1 is nearing completion.  I’ve got the base and the drive frame ‘sheathed’ with Myrtlewood and Pistacio. The motor has a slight jerk…I’ve got a replacement on its way.  As I type this it’s run for almost 30 hours.  It’s quiet, smooth (except for the jerky motor) and the motion is nice.  The speed is appropriate.  This is a good one…at least as good as I had imagined it.

At this time I’m working on the mechanism that causes the Peddler to wave his arm…and of course, I need to finish painting him.  If you enlarge this image you may be able to see that he is wearing argyle socks.

The sheathing as both Myrtlewood and Pistacio wood.  I did not use any Pistacio on the base and used it sparingly on the drive frame.  It’s a lovely reddish wood that adds a pleasant character to this automata.

The Peddler Drive Frame has been sheathed with Myrtlewood and Pistachio ‘planks’. 26 June 2020

19 June 2020, the full assembly
The Peddler #1

Progress continues to be made.  The base has been completed.  In the first image you can see how the electrics assembly fits into the base.  And you can also see how the lower rotating assembly fits onto the base.  The motor is right-center.  And the Peddler will mount to the left.

In the lower image you see the base, the lower rotating assembly (the drive assembly), and on top the cream-colored product spinner.  The product spinner turns very slowly counter to the rotation of the lower rotating assembly.  I find it visually interesting and relaxing.

The biped arm is not in its final state.  In my mind at the moment are magnets mounted in the edge of the product spinner that interact with the biped left arm…which in turn will cause the right arm to wave.










Peddler #1 under construction. At this time the base is completed. I’m now working on the upper rotating parts. 17 June 2020


Trial run for Peddler #1. 18 June 2020.

15 June 2020, the Electrics
The Peddler #1

The slip ring that I’ve been waiting for finally arrived.  You see it in the foreground of the image. To the right is the 10 rpm gear motor. And in the back to the left are 1) an hour meter, 2) on-off toggle, 3) 3 amp circuit breaker.  Note that the gear motor connects to the drive with two dowel studs that fit loosely into female holes.

I use 22 awg wire.  Components within the assembly are soldered to a terminal strip.  The motor is connected via a 3 prong plug.










The Electrics are completed for Peddler #1. 15 June 2020.

2 June 2020, Astride
The Peddler #1

I’ve finished the biped/pedal mechanism.  As you can see in the image I’ve been experimenting with different things…like using a Mobil 1 oil can as a hood and grill.

Next is completing the rotating table mechanism…which is what will power the biped on his unicycle.  I’ve got a couple of things on order, including a split ring assembly that’s coming from China…so I suspect that it will be about 3 weeks before this thing powers up.

You may be able to see a wire hanging down from his left shoulder.  This is (a mechanism in development) what will cause his right arm to wave.  There will be magnets affecting the hanging wire…which will cause the arm to wave.









The Peddler is testing a hood and grill. May 2020.
The Peddler is astride his pedals. The mechanism functions very smoothly. May 2020

25 May, The Peddler Pedals
The Peddler #1

This has been a ‘finicky’ week in the studio.  Most of the time was spent getting the biped and the pedal assembly to play with each other.  

I had to do major surgery on the biped…had to move his thighs about 3/4″ further apart.  

Mission accomplished.  The pair of them pedal smoothly.

I’m pleased with the pedal assembly.  These assemblies are always a concern for me because they are complicated (take a lot of time) and if there is a failure the entire assembly must be recreated.  Key to this assembly are the ball bearings that are at the hub of the wheel.  All in all this assembly is very sturdy.  I cannot flex any part of it.  I suspect that it will last for the duration.  It is already painted because it is all fastened together (as you see it).  Difficult to paint in this assembled configuration…so I paint before assembly.  The “tire” is an o-ring 2-5/8″ inner diameter.

The next thing to create is the cowl and custom seat.







25 May 2020: The Pedal assembly for The Peddler #1.
25 May 2020: The Peddler is fitted to his pedals.

16 May 2020, The Countup Begins
The Peddler #1

Recently I started learning about ‘whittling’ and I am glad that I did.  The time spent is beginning to pay off.  

Pictured is the Peddler #1 head.  It has been created as an Apoxie overlay onto a basswood head.  One of these days when I have a 3D printer I’ll be printing these heads as an open lattice framework, but with the eyes and ears in place.  Then I will apply the ‘skin’ using Apoxie.  I think that this will give me better results.

What you don’t see is the body.  I rough shaped the body with the band saw and then did final shaping by whittling.  I’m pleased with the result and can see that I’m making progress with the bipeds, which seem to be my nemesis.  Both the body and the head will be painted with acrylic, and then will be paste waxed and buffed.

16 May 2020: The Peddler #1 biped head is completed.

8 May 2020; The Peddler is started 
The Peddler #1, a product spinner

Peddler #1 (a product spinner) is begun.

The concept of this is simple: A biped will pedal a unicycle in a circle.  The unicycle will be harnessed to a product display table that follows the unicycle around.  As he peddles the biped will smile and wave one arm.  The product display table will also rotate.

Peddler #1 is begun 9 May 2020