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.


1 comment:

Christophe Carcenac de Torné said...

Nice automaton, Birk, as usual. I noticed the part played by the angle of the ramp on which the runners are "jogging": the lower one is slightly angled, thus the runners legs are running in a far better manner.

Keep on the good & funny job!