Friday, March 14, 2014


I'm not sure what inspired this project. Perhaps it was because Daughter in law Angie teaches classes at Golds Gym. Considerable time was spent browsing through images on the Internet of people exercising, and various kinds of exercise equipment trying to pick things that could be worked into an automaton and provide interest.
To start the process, silhouette type figures were cut out of hard wood using a scroll saw.
The blocks were then shaped with a Dremel rotary tool. Not exact, but close enough for whimsy. The figures are about 5" tall, and the faces about the size of a fingernail. Some parts were carved separately and either glued or pined in place. Dressmaker pins were were used for a lot of joints and mechanical connections. If some things look out of proportion it is because and artiest is licensed to exaggerate to attract attention to the work. There was a lot of preliminary fitting and testing as the work progressed, as can be seen in the above picture.
I prefer to not copy other people's work, but the Hula Hoop girl that I seen on You Tube was so unique that I had to bend my rules. All the rest of the figures of my own design. That was the most complicated figure, and it took 9 days to build.
The Hula girl is driven by gears, and I elected to make peg gears, because I think they are classic.
Motion is transmitted from the crank to the figures by cams, gears and pulleys. Here is a view into the mechanical compartment.
    Finally after working at it doing something every day, 7 days a week for a month and a half it became a working machine yesterday afternoon.
Now instead of going through a strenuous routine, all I''ll have to do is turn the crank a few turns and I'll have my exercising done for the day!