Pendulum Sheep

This model is a mechanism powered by a pendulum. It can be used as a starting point for your own automata or you can add the cute nodding sheep character. The download is available for free for members, (thanks you for your support!) None members can download the parts for a modest fee.

Print all the parts pages onto thin card (230 gram / 230 micron) except page four which should be printed onto thin paper. The first two pages are for the mechanism, the third page, the sheep character.

Score along the dotted lines and cut out any holes with a sharp knife before cutting out the parts. Both these jobs are easier on a full sheet of card.

Fold the end tabs of the two box sides up to make triangular sections.

Glue the two box sides together.

Fold down the ends and glue them down making sure that the box stays square.

Glue on the box top making sure that the flap marked front is at the front of the box!

Fold the long tabs down and glue them together to make triangular section vertical pillars.

Fold up and glue the two box stiffeners…

…and glue them into place inside the box in the positions shown.

Fold up and glue the bell crank.

Fold up and glue together the various linkages.

Glue the long link point to the pendulum.

Wrap the coin holder round three 25mm diameter coins (2p pieces) and glue them to the bottom of the pendulum.

Carefully join together the linkages with the paper hinges. Leave a very small gap (1mm) between each of the parts so that there is no glue on the crease.

Finish the mechanism by threading the parts together as shown in the picture then glue the pendulum to the top of the box and a bell crank to the box front.

At this point you’ll have a working mechanism. Move the box and the pendulum will start to swing. The linkages and bell crank convert this motion into up and down movement at the push rod. Connect this to your own character to bring it to life!

If you want to try out a completed design keep going and add the nodding sheep to the top of the box.



Glue together the head and link point.

Glue the link point into the head.

Attach the neck to the head using a paper tab.

Glue a paper tab to the link point.

Fold round and glue together the body inner.

Glue the body inner into the body.

Glue together the body as shown above. Make sure that it is symmetrical.

Glue the paper tab from the inside of the head to the push rod on the box top.

Glue the neck to the body inner then glue the feet to the box top. When you are gluing the feet to the box, line them up so that the push rod doesn’t touch the edges of the arch shaped hole.

That’s it. Move the box and the sheep will start nodding. Now you have a fleecy friend who will agree with every thing you say!

YouTube video here.