Friday, April 23, 2010

Site featuring top 10 unbelievable miniatures

10 unbelievable miniaturesCheck out this site with a bunch of cool miniatures!

[ Thanks Julia! ]

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book: Miniature Internal Combustion Engines

Miniature Internal Combustion Engines
Model engineers have been making miniature internal combustion engines for as long as that type of engine has been around. Some, though, have been put off from this endeavor because of the perceived difficulty of the task. This book attempts to remedy this situation. The text covers various internal combustion engine designs and their operating cycles. The core of the book provides detailed information about the process of constructing internal combustion engines. Readers with a basic knowledge of machining should find the information necessary to build a simple single cylinder engine. The book features tons of photographs and beautiful drawings to make the concepts clear.

Here's where you can learn more about Miniature Internal Combustion Engines

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

L. & A. St. Leger collectible miniature automata

L. & A. St. Leger collectible miniature automataL. & A. St. Leger create very small, metal automata. Their automata are typically less than two inches high and very clever. They offer a wide variety, which would make nice little gifts. For an addition fee, they will also do custom pieces.

Here's the page with a full listing of L. & A. St. Leger miniature automata.

[ Thanks Joe! ]

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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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Monday, July 27, 2009

Animated peanut butter lid video, Part 1

Here is an exquisitely detailed miniature scene constructed by Christopher Dowie. The entire scene fits on top of a peanut butter jar lid! In this first of two parts, the video examines the scene and animated figures. In part 2, we will take a detailed look at the mechanisms and techniques used to animate the scene.

[ Thanks Karin! ]

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Stuhrling men's automatic skeleton watch

I know: there are probably dozens of excellent blogs that talk about nothing but watches. I don't know much about them, really, but I couldn't resist sharing all the shiny miniature mechanical goodness embodied in this one made by Stuhrling.

From the watch description
A skeletonized design displays the mechanical movement, and a series of gold-tone alternating Arabic numerals and indexes bring at-a-glance precision. A deep black crocodile leather band comes equipped with a sturdy buckle-clasp closure. Other details include 41.5-millimeter case and a gold-tone stationary, stainless steel bezel. Characterized by its distinct beauty, this exquisite timepiece sets itself apart. Powered by automatic-self-winding movement, this watch is water resistant up to 165 feet.

Here's a link for more details on this automatic skeleton watch
with an extensive write up of Swiss watchmaker, Stuhrling.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Proxxon hand-held minature belt sander

Proxxon Hand Held Belt Sander
Designed for sanding in spots where there is limited space, this little power belt sander works on flat surfaces, corners, and curves. The sanding head tilts to provide access to difficult spots. The belt speeds may be adjusted from 300 fpm to 700 fpm. The sander features a quick and easy belt change system and belts that come in 80, 120, and 180 grit.

Here the link for the Proxxon Hand Held Belt Sander

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proxxon's Miniature Bench Drill Press Machine

Proxxon Miniature Bench Drill Press Machine
More Proxxon goodness for you (me) to ponder...

From the Amazon Description
Proxxon Bench Drill Press TBM 115 - This 3 speed drill press excels at drilling micro holes down to 1/64 inch (0.5 millimeters). The unit offers a high quality machined work table of ribbed die cast aluminum, 8-1/2 inch x 4-3/4 inch in side. It provides an adjustable parallel fence with scale. The solid high chrome steel column is 11 inches high and is 4/5 inch in diameter. The powerful motor is built into the super stable die cast head of the machine, runs very quietly and has a long life expectancy. The power transmission by 3 step aluminum pulley and flat belt provides 3 spindle speeds of 1800, 4700, 8500 rpm. This allows triple torque and lower speeds.

Here's the link for more information on the Proxxon 38128 TBM Bench Drill Machine.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dremel 220-01 rotary tool work station & press

Dremel 220-01 rotary tool work station & pressThe Dremel Work Station allows you to use almost any Dremel rotary tool as small table-top drill press.

You can tilt the Dremel Work Station in 15-degree increments from 15 to 90 degrees horizontal. It can also be used as a telescoping FlexShaft tool stand. Finally there is a little tool caddy for holding a few bits, collets, and wrenches. Comes with the accessory nest, mounting wrench, and instructions.

Here is the link to the Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Work Station

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Video of German-made miniature singing bird box

Here is a nice looking miniature singing bird box captured on video. The box measures 4 1/8 inches long by 2 5/8 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches tall.

From the eBay Listing:
The bird comes out and twirls while flapping his wings and opening/ closing his beak. When we got it to work, there was a faint tweeting noise, but I think it needs a little adjusting to work perfectly.

When you take out the drawer, the bottom says Metall [sic], and there is a mark that looks like an EB in an oval. We looked inside the top and the upper right corner says Made in Germany, and there is a little bird on top of some hills with a K on the left and and G on the right. There is also a 5 on the back of the drawer and the back of the inside near the top.

Here is a link to this German-made miniature singing bird box.

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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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Friday, January 30, 2009

Miniature woodshop models with amazing detail

Miniature woodshop with amazing detail
Setting the scene for an automaton often requires making miniature versions of things. Having done bit of this myself, I can really appreciate the work of David Brookshaw who makes 1/12-scale miniatures of tools and workshop equipment.

Brookshaw is working on a fully-equipped Victorian workshop. In the photo above that is a U.S. Quarter clamped to the bench vise!

You can visit David Brookshaw's web site to see more photos of his work

[ Thanks Charles! ]

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mini Solar-Powered Car is Less Than 1.5" Long

Mini Solar-Powered Car
Here is a super-small solar car. It may be a "solar roller" in the BEAM robot lexicon, but I'm not sure if it stores a charge and fires when there enough juice in a capacitor or if the power goes directly from the solar cell to motor. Regardless...this little car measures a mere 1.3 inches long!

More on the Mini Solar-Powered Car:
The world's smallest solar powered car - it zooms along when the sun shines on the solar panel. No batteries - it gets its power just from the sun. No assembly required. Measures a tiny 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.4 cm. When the sun shines on the solar panel, the panel makes electricity that turns the motor and the wheels. A fun demonstration of solar power. Will also work when close to a strong artificial light source.

Check out this Mini Solar-Powered Car over at

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Proxxon Micro Plunge Router for Miniature Work

Proxxon Micro Plunge RouterI haven't tried a router this small (1/5 HP), but it sure does look like a good size for model and automaton making. This little router allows you to round-over, slot, counter bore, and remove stock from wood and other materials.

Some details on the router from Woodcraft:
* Depth adjustment of 0.008" increments
* Easy router bit changing with the shaft lock button
* Support columns are positioned so you can see as you cut
* Integrated suction device for connecting to a vacuum
* Parallel and circle jig made of die-cast aluminum
* Die-cast aluminum base and smooth gliding polycarbonate face
* Includes 6 pc. collet set
* Comes in plastic case
Here's more info on the Proxxon Micro Plunge Router

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Easily & Safely Cut Small Parts on the Table Saw

In previous posts, I mentioned the value of having miniature power tools for small scale projects. I find them to be less intimidating and more appropriately scaled for small scale work. They are also great space-savers if your shop space is limited.

But what about using traditional woodworking tools? You may already these tools or want to buy them to work on full-scale home and woodworking projects. You can still cut small pieces on full size tools with some proper planning and helpful jigs.

One such jig is the one shown here. This simple sled allows you to use a full size table saw to rip very thin pieces of stock safely, easily, and uniformly.

The sled is simply a piece of melamine that been ripped to a 10-in. width. After ripping the sled to width, a small block is glued on it to act as a hook to hold and push the material being cut.

Take a look a the full article on the Small Parts Sled from the folks at Woodworkers' Journal. [Thanks Charles!]

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miniature Workbench to Work on Small Parts

Working on miniatures or any small part can present a unique set of challenges. Sometimes the job requires small tools. Other times, you just need a way to hold the piece so you can work on it in comfort and safety.

Here is a solution that I wish I had thought of years ago.

This little bench is 13-1/2" high with a 1" x 3-1/2 x 8" top. You can't really see them in the photo, but the top has a row of nine 1/8" x 5/16" miniature dog holes. The whole thing can be clamped in a vise or to the surface of a larger bench. The third option, shown here, is to sit on the splayed wings that form the base. Two bolts in the top act as screws for the wooden end vise.

Read more about this and more elaborate arrangements in this article on miniature workbenches.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tiny Fighting Knights Automaton for Sale at CMT

You've got to visit the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre web site to see this really cool and REALLY small automaton of two knights fighting.

Granted, the motion isn't too elaborate, but the incredibly small size, nice detail, and great concept make this piece a gem.

Check out the full description and watch a video of the dueling knights at CMT's online shop.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Auotomaton of Nosferatu Rising from His Coffin

Take a look at this unconventional little wood automaton. The mechanism is housed in Nosferatu's coffin. This is a hand-held windup automaton. Clever!

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