Tuesday, 9 December 2014


Hi all,
In my last post I said I was going to try my hand at doing a bit of automata. For those who aren't familiar with the term here is a simple explanation. If you are anywhere as near as old as me you will remember wind up toys, well automata are like wind up toys that can be made from wood.

However, instead of having a clockwork mechanism they are usually powered by a hand turned crank, which activates a number of camshafts and gears that bring animation to the subject.

I was going to have a go at one where a man plays a piano, but decided to do that next because it also needs a musical movement. So,for my first automata I'm going to keep it simple and do one where a cat is trying to catch a mouse. I got the plans free off the Internet and I hope it will be a bit of fun trying to make it. That may be especially true for me because the plans are in German.

As you can see there will be a lot of cutting out to be done but it should be a laugh when it's finished. Perhaps I'm having a late mid-life crisis, other men by a motor bike and ride route 66 but I'm going into toy making. Contentment is a wonderful thing, if ever you see it passing by, get a rope on it and tie it to your bed post.

If you remember from my last post, my wife said she'd gone off my wooden vases. Well that state of affairs that didn't last long. She wanted another for a Christmas present so I just gave her one of my special smiles and obliged.

I have also started a new box in a heart shape. It is cut from Maple and will have a walnut bottom and lid.
The lid is going to have a rose inlaid into it using two woods, Baltic birch plywood and mahogany. When the inlay is complete I will do the rose with my pyrography iron.

It should be finished in a few days and I will let you have a look at it in my next post along with any progress on the automata. Over the next day or two I will be helping my wife with the Christmas deccies so I don't suppose I will get much time for wood working. At least doing some decorations will be warm, at the moment my workshop is as cold as an Eskimo's pantry.

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