Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brass Pegasus by Keith Newstead now available

Keith Newstead made his first Pegasus automaton about 20 years ago. This, his latest creation, has been laser cut from his original artwork. Each one is signed and numbered and measures about 30cm high.

Here is where you can order your own Brass Pegasus by Keith Newstead.


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Friday, March 26, 2010

"FAKIR" magician automaton by Thomas Kuntz

Another masterful magician automaton from Thomas Kuntz!

From the video description:
This video shows the presentation and some construction highlights of a magical automaton. This piece, an original sculpture by Thomas Kuntz portrays the exotic albeit "dead" Fakir, performing a peculiar cups and balls routine ending in regurgitation. The mechanism needed to be extremely precise to produce the desired result. It was constructed of solid brass the cams acting on levers were cut by hand... all other mechanical components were custom machined metal as well either brass or steel. To allow the operator the ultimate control over speed and stop/ starts there is NO electricity on this piece, all functions are purely mechanical, cams levers gears linkages and a very unusual bent pitch sound device also controlled by a cam that emits a sitar kind of sound over the hum of a ratchet/pawl assembly that also serves the purpose of protecting the machine if the operator turns the crank in the wrong direction. The case is custom made too from solid oak and the mechanism can be viewed from a door at the back.

See more magic automata by Thomas Kuntz on his web site.


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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Waiting Hand by Nick Rayburn

Nick Rayburn is an artist who works with an assortment of materials including wood, marble and brass to silver, coral and shimmering beetles. He has started to make automata in a Victorian/steampunk style. Shown here is his latest creation, The Waiting Hand, which is a limited edition of 20.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss acquiring a piece you can send an email to: nickrayburn at asky dot com.


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Sunday, February 07, 2010

The whimsical machines of Edmund Dohnert

The finely crafted & whimsical machines of Edmund Dohnert
Edmund Dohnert designs machines that are meant to be amusing celebrations of mechanical movement. Shown here is a piece titled Victor Rat Trap No. 3.

The artist describes this machine:
In a deliberate escalation beyond Victor Rat Traps Nos. 1 and 2, this one is powered by not one, but two rat traps! Both springs are connected by a steel rod, which is attached to a Swiss cheese-like structure that has a cord wrapped around its edge. (The "cheese" is mounted off-center so as to even out the pull on the cord over the full range of the springs' travel.)

This cord pulls the springs back, and through an arrangement of pulleys, connects to a crank-wound gearbox on the right. The gearbox's output shaft connects to a vertical shaft running through a support structure, on top of which is a 'planetary gear' arrangement with two hollow spheres attached.

When the vertical shaft rotates, not only do the "planets" rotate about their own individual axes, they also orbit around the central shaft (hence the origin of the term 'planetary gear'). Connected to the main gearbox is a second gearbox that operates a small fan which not only helps control the speed of the machine through air resistance, it creates a unique whirring sound.

While the machine only runs for about 30 seconds, it's quite interesting to watch, for the movement is reminiscent of a medieval astronomical orrery.

See more amazing mechanical creations from Edmund Dohnert on his web site.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Book: How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts

Book: How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts
This gem of a book teaches you how to reproduce or create new casts of brass, bronze, many other metals, and rubber. It covers metal selection, molding sands, mold-making, and how to repair castings. It also features information on core-making, troubleshooting problems, grinding, polishing, and buffing.

From the book description:
Just some of the countless uses you'll find for this potentially profitable skill: making obsolete or vintage car parts, hood ornaments, garden and fireplace tools, kitchen utensils, automotive parts, replacing broken antique parts, reproducing sculpture, plaques, and other art ... all kinds of decorative and useful objects...

Here is a link to How to Cast Small Metal and Rubber Parts (2nd Edition)

[ Thanks Neil! ]


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Monday, December 21, 2009

Destkop #51 - portable rolling ball sculpture

Here is a little something mechanical, brass, and hypnotic to start your week...um, yes...rolling.

See more insanely cool contraptions by Matthew Gaulden on his web site


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Friday, November 20, 2009

Tiny functional solar-powered brass engine models

Szymon Klimek creates tiny solar-powered miniatures like the steam engine show in the video above. The parts are cut from very thin sheet brass. He then hand-shapes and glues them together to create the final machine.

Here is a nice article on Szymon Klimek on Internet Craftsmanship Museum site.

Here is the link to Szymon Klimek's web site.

[ Thanks Karin! ]


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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Compact brass and wood motorized ball track

Here's a very compact and mesmerizing rolling ball machine that uses a combination of wood, brass, and a small battery-powered motor to great effect. Enjoy!

[ Thanks Bre! ]


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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Eclectic flying metal horse kinetic sculpure

I don't know much about this sculpture other than it is by artist Grigorev Viktor. That it is a wonderful assemblage of gears, metal, screws, wheels, propeller, motion, and sculpture is enough for me; I hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Monday, April 20, 2009

Gorgeous automaton chronograph pocket watch

Take a look the video showing all the functions of this magnificent pocket watch. Brass case, skeleton back, and animated bell-ringing figures. I am in love.

Details of this Pocket Watch
Movement: Swiss made 1/4 repeater and chronograph movement
Case Material: Brass case
Dial: Brass & Enamel
Size: 58mm round excluding the crown.
Condition: Overall in vintage condition and time keeping time, repeating function working correct.

One of many detailed photographs, this one showing the mechanism in back...
Gorgeous automaton chronograph pocket watch
Here is the full eBay listing with a number of outstanding detail photographs of Brass cased automaton chronograph pocket watch


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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reproduction monkey automaton sewing machine

Reproduction monkey automaton sewing machine
From the Sewing Machine Collector site:
Over 100 years on, and the sewing machine legacy left by Max Sandt appears to be alive and well. As a tribute to the father of figural automaton sewing machines, a French enthusiast has created the gilded monkey. The project, which took three years to complete, certainly seems to have attracted attention, for a full story is to be filmed for French TV. A series of only ten machines has been produced. The stitch plate carries the serial number together with further identification marks. These fully functional chain stitch machines are not inexpensive, but the edition has sold fast. As long as no more are made, they will surely become highly desirable in future years. And speaking of the future, our creative machine manufacturer reports that further projects are already in hand....
Here is the original posting on The Sewing Machine Collector site.

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Victorian Flea Circus Chariot Project

The other day, I wrote a short post about a very nicely made miniature tool bench. If you are interested in miniatures, you should hop on over to the Workshop Shed blog to see more about how Andy put together this amazing little brass chariot.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gordon Bradt's Six Man Clock Kinetic Sculpture

Brass, gears, clockwork, 6 little animated figures...yup, it's official: I love it.


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

German Clock-Maker Matthias Naeschke

German Clock-Maker Matthias Naeschke
If the sight of polished brass gears drives you insane (is it just me?), then you must to pay a visit to the web site of German clock maker Matthias Naeschke. I don't know how to read German, but I can tell you this: the pictures are beautiful. The site navigation is fairly deep, so keep clicking!

I am told he is one of the last makers of high-end flute clocks.

Visit the web site of Clock-maker Matthias Naeschke.

Update: I didn't realize this initially: they have an English version of their site.

[ Thanks Falk! ]

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