Automata Workshop

The completed animatronic piece can be seen here.
The painted and varnished body and heads on the painted base. I used 2 coats of spray primer, sanded between coats followed by 4 coats of top coat. The paint I used is Plasticote Project Paint. This comes in 400ml cans and smells very strongly of pear drops. It is expensive but dries very quickly and leaves a good finish. With a bigger batch it would be worth investing in a spray painting outfit. I used to have a compressor and a shed dedicated to spraying - because you need to avoid dust. For small numbers of articles cleaning the equipment becomes a chore.
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The heads are mounted on the body with small necks cut from beech and shaped on my small band sander. A hole is drilled through for the control rod.
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The eyes I similarly painted with acrylic paints and then finished with spray lacquer, sanding between coats.
They are made from beechwood. First i turned a dowel between centres from a square section. I then mounted this in a collet chuck and turned the shape of the eye. Cut it off and drilled a 1mm hole in the rear to epoxy in a brass wire.
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I design the mechanism on the computer using Adobe Illustrator and cut out the printed sheet to glue onto the wood to be cut.
The pieces are cut out with my fretsaw and bandsaw.
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A milling machine makes a good job of forming complicated sections but these can also be cut on the bandsaw or fretsaw and sanded to shape.
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Pieces of the mechanism, drilled and sanded.
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Plenty of small off-cuts which at least are good for lighting the fire in the evening.