Sunday, August 23, 2015


Yesterday I Hooked fish on the pole that sticks out on the front of the little barn. It started out as a welded framework of heavy galvanized wire, and I had to sacrifice a pair of my denim jeans to make the skin out of. The purpose: to create a smile on passers by. It is 40 inches long.
There have already been a couple of the commercially made, fish shape decorative wind sock things made out of Taffeta on the pole. Taffeta does not hold up when exposed to the elements. Hopefully the denim will.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Another little replica engine of the electrical driven type. I had actually been inspired to build this one some time ago when I seen a picture on the Internet, and I did make the flywheel at that time, however it was put on hold while I built a couple ball roller machines.

The flywheel was made from 3 pieces of scrap brass machined and then soldered together. Machining the curved spokes was an interesting rotary table exercise as can be seen above.
It turned out quite nice, but as I said, was set aside while I built a couple other projects.
When I got back to it work proceeded a couple parts or operations per day. It was built by looking at a picture, only changed around so that it is not a copy, although it operates on the same principal. The base was milled out of a piece of hard Maple. Construction time, a couple days under two weeks which is pretty quick for me.
     Below is a short video so you can see it running.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


The workshop is always in need of another project and there were a lot of ball bearings in stock so how about another silly ball roller operated by a crank.
Started out by machining the device that returns the balls back to the top of the track. I've built these before and each one is different depending on the application, but they work similar. I also made a mock up of the flip flop device that will direct the balls alternately down the two track groves.
Next I built the frame and track. The track was milled out of hard maple.
Once I was satisfied with the operation of the balls rolling down the track I moved on to making the runners. They too were made from hard maple. Starting with a simple sketch that I had drawn for a pattern, body parts were blocked out with the scroll saw, and then shaped with a Dremel tool. Hip and knee joints were milled with the milling machine.
Painting of the runner figures was with tole paints, and they were assembled with heavy duty dressmakers pins.

     Finally after being at it for about 3 weeks the runners were ready to go for a run. Right lively bunch. Take a look for yourself.