Sunday, January 06, 2008

15 New Robots from WowWee

Head over to the MAKE magazine blog to see their roundup of reviews for toymaker WowWee's new line of robots.

Here's an article on the new robots from PC Magazine's coverage of the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

I'll be updating the robot toys section of The Automata / Automaton Store, once these new toys are available through Amazon.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Woodshop Specialtes: Wood Gears & Marionettes

Here's a book that at first glance might not seem to be of much use to automata-makers, but not so!

There are three sections of this book that are of particular interest to automata makers (and woodworkers in general).

First, there is section on wooden clockworks. This section may only be 8 pages, but it is almost the only 8 pages I've found on wooden gears and their construction. This includes tips on cutting wooden circles, making pin wheels and pinions, and cutting slots for toothed gears.

Second, there are two sections on the construction of wooden marionettes/dolls. Take a good look at the work of Paul Spooner/Matt Smith or Keith Newstead. I would be willing to bet that they studied puppet-making as some point. You can see that they understand the human form, joints, and how to make them from wood.

I have only covered three sections of this book; there are two dozen more on diverse woodworking topics. At this price, Woodshop Specialtiesis a great resource.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Miniature Table Saw - Amazing!

PROXXON Table Saw at Woodcraft.comI recently bought some new tools. The first thing on my list was a miniature table saw. My full-sized Craftsman is going strong after forty or more years, but it often seems like too big of a saw for the pieces I cut for automata.

I did some research and bought the Micro-Mark version of what you see here (Proxxon). I am 99% sure that they are made by the same company for every detail is the same except that mine is black.

Simply put, these little table saws are amazing. The saw is very strong and precise. The saw is quite capable of cutting hardwoods and the speed can be adjusted for the material.

There are a variety of blades available including a carbide tipped, diamond, abrasive disks, and fine toothed slitting blades. There are also many fine accessories (rip fences, feather boards, cross-cut tables, tapering jigs) available. I comes with a basic rip fence and mitre slider.

Buying this saw had an added advantage...I was able to free up space by moving my full-size saw out of my primary work area because I need less often.

If you need a good saw, don't have a lot of space, or work with small pieces I think these miniature table saws are a great choice. I LOVE mine.

Check out all the the details on this Miniature Table Saw.

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