Back from my Break

Sun, 26 Aug 2012

I've returned refreshed and inspired from a few days in London with #TrueLove and #1 son & daughter where we saw some shows, including War Horse (amazing!) visited galleries and saw the sites. The weather was kind to us and we had a great time. 

I'm now back at the drawing board and raring to go. I have a few projects planned for the next few weeks, starting with the Indecisive Sheep. Turn the handle and the sheep first nods three times then shakes her head three times over and over… I have a couple of possible mechanisms in mind to try out.

I then plan to finish off the poseable Mr. White I was working on just before I started my break. 

One project I'd really like to crack is the Naughty or Nice Determinator. It is an idea I've had in the back of my mind for ages but have yet to solve. Press the button on the front and the Santa character raises either a "naughty" or a "nice" flag at random. Sounds easy but randomness is tricky. I'll keep thinking about it.

Once everyone is back at work and I have the house to myself again I'll be starting back on the Acrobat project so there is another one for you to look forward too!

Other things I have in mind include making a tuned instrument from Amazon boxes, perhaps a recorder or an ocarina. I'd also like to make a simple and repeatable escapement mechanism. You may remember that I made a Grasshopper Escapement some time ago. It worked but repeat versions of the same mechanism didn't. The whole thing was very temperamental. 

Is there anything else I've missed? Any ideas you would like to see? Any mechanisms that would grab your attention? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments (13)

  • cool022883 August 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    glad you enjoyed your

    glad you enjoyed your break,all those projects sound really fun. but if you're looking for ideas when you did the hammerbot with the 4 bar linkage there were a few ideas for other models using that mechanism  posted in the comments section so maybe you could try some of them. also on the cool4cats site there are some models that use like a conveyer belt mechanism like the  feeding time at the zoo model if you wanted to try a new type of mechanism you could experiment with that. and don't forget about the acrobat model either=)

    Thanks for the feedback 🙂 I just remembered the Flip Flop Logic Goat as well… – RI

  • Smelter August 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

    “Is there anything else I’ve

    "Is there anything else I've missed? Any ideas you would like to see? Any mechanisms that would grab your attention? Let me know in the comments below."

    Bring on the "all seeing eye" pyramid Rob.

    It's a mechanism I've tried my hand at, that needs your expertise to work.

    Ooo yes! – RI

    • umehta August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Oh, yes –
      1. Turning turtle

      Oh, yes –

      1. Turning turtle with moving head and legs

      2. Woodpecker with rapid double action pendulum

      3. Elephant lifting his trunk as cool022883 had suggested

      We all are glad that you are back and had a good break.

      Thanks! That should keep me busy for a few days 🙂 – RI

      • cool022883 August 28, 2012 at 2:56 am

        rob does have an elephant

        rob does have an elephant lifting his trunk on the cannon site it uses the same type of mechinism as the mouthy moose. here is the link for it

        • umehta August 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          Thanks Cool022883, It is a

          Thanks Cool022883, It is a nice cute elephant but in that case we can replace it with the following request,

          From Watt Linkage,

          1. Meerkat or

          2. Groundhog

          with a cam mechanism popping out of the ground

  • bigandclever August 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Glad you had a good time down

    Glad you had a good time down here in the smoke. Warhorse is amazing isn't it.

    Love the Indecisive Sheep idea, but it's the Naughty or Nice Santa idea that really got me thinking. I reminded me of the Long Jump judge who has to raise a red or white flag as each competitor jumps. It could also be adapted for a St Peter at the Pearly Gates, or Anubis deciding if its the ancient Heaven or Hell for you. That is if you can get the random wotsit sorted.

    Thanks for all the fantastic items so far. Dan

    Yep, random motion would have all sorts of fun uses! – RI

  • trishjoyce August 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    a paper made, paper powered

    a paper made, paper powered zoetrope….

    i have tried …. and failed..

    I’ll have a go at adapting the Turning Turtle model… – RI

    • Smelter August 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Ok it’s not the zotrope that

      Ok it's not the zotrope that trishjoyce is looking for. But it does show how far you can go with paper engineering. :-

      • trishjoyce August 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        Thunk…. chin =

        Thunk…. chin = table..

        speachless…lol.. and i cant twiddle a laggy band…

      • iamsofat123 January 18, 2014 at 12:02 am

        you can add “lenticular
        you can add “lenticular paper” to new projects

    • trishjoyce August 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      yes …like turning


      yes …like turning the handle … a bit like what the butler saw machine…with out the rude bits…lol

      wow  yes… maybe this time…


      thankyou thankyou

  • bigandclever September 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Quick thought about random

    Quick thought about random generator for Naughty or Nice Santa.

    Think of those penny falls games in arcades, or a Bagatelle. The penny drops and hits a pin. Will it go left or right? The weight of the penny when it reaches the bottom could then operate one of the arm lifting mechanisms.

    Or to utilize the button at the bottom, the penny could be loaded at the top but resting in a cradle. A press of the button at the bottom would raise a pin, (tightly rolled paper rod, like a lollypop stick perhaps), pushing the penny up and out of the cradle, but will it then fall to the left or to the right? 

    As clear as mud. I have doodles! Are these the rantings of a lunatic who doesn't know what he's blabbering about? Your thoughts please.


    Nice idea with the penny pin thing, I wonder if it could be adapted for coins. People always have coins. – RI

  • ezra028 August 19, 2013 at 4:05 am

    A paper wall clock.. In cute
    A paper wall clock.. In cute size.. 🙂

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