Quiet Contemplation of a Sandwich

Sandwich automaton
My most popular piece.
The lime wood carved man looks slowly from side to side, taking a casual bite out of his sandwich. Every so often, driven by a small Geneva Wheel he scratches his head in contemplation.
With animated eyes and mouth this automaton conveys a feeling of peace and serenity.
The latest pieces take advantage of brass bearings with nylon bushings for increased accuracy and smooth running.
The mechanism is made from hardwoods with brass bearings.
  • automaton_head

    The carvings are all in lime wood. Finished with artist’s gesso, acrylic paint and coats of acrylic gloss and flat varnish.

  • automaton_head

    His eyes look down at the sandwich before he eats it. The controls for turning the head, the mouth and the eyes all run internally within the neck.

  • automaton_feet
  • automaton_crank

    The crank handle is a screw fitting that can easily be removed for fitting a pulley for a motor drive. The knob is made from box wood, traditionally used for making chess pieces. It rotates on a brass axle.

  • automaton_eating_sandwich

    Birch ply inserts in the frame holding the axle bushes prevents the movement that naturally occurs in wood from affecting the mechanism. This mechanism runs incredibly smoothly. There is absolutely no need to hold the automaton while the crank is being turned.

  • automaton_painted
  • He scratches his head every 4th cycle. This is driven by a small geneva wheel that activates the cam.

  • automaton_scratching
  • automaton_mechanism

    The mechanism is made from beech for toughness. The gears are made from high quality birch ply for stability. All are finished with several coats of wax acrylic varnish.

  • automaton_mechanism

    Window in rear plate allows view of meechanism. The small Geneva wheel driving the intermittent scratching can be seen on the left hand side.

This video shows an earlier version of this automaton. The movements remain the same in the new version. The newest versions are even smoother running.

On display, together with "Shy" in the collection of the automata museum in Korea.

© Philip Lowndes
Long View
Church Green
Nr Saffron Walden Essex
CB10 1RA

Tel. +44 (0)7531 660021