Friday, October 23, 2009


This is part 3 of my mini robot-building surgery. I'm making a miniature version of THIS larger robot I built earlier.

The head is a wooden bead. The large version has lots of electronics all over it, but I don't want to attempt all of that at this scale. I'll let the paint simulate that stuff. I mostly just need a round shape with protruding eyes and mouth. The eyes are smaller beads. I drilled shallow holes so the eye beads would sit 1/2-way deep and glued them in place. I had to make a mouth because I couldn't think of anything else to use. It's nice when there's some found piece of plastic you can take off another object, and I do that when I can, but this particular project isn't lending itself very well to things like that.

Here's a layout of the pieces I have so far. The large original robot has upside-down banana split dishes for feet. I carved fluting around the edges of these wooden feet to match the larger version.

To make elbows I did these 3 things in this order:
1. I wrapped some wire around a nail to make a toothpick-sized loop.
2. I drilled a toothpick-sized hole through the edge of a dowel, toward the end.
3. I cut a slot perpendicular to the hole using a bandsaw (very carefully.)

These are the shoulder joints. These were the most worrisome pieces so far. I drilled holes in the ends of 2 dowels, and cut them at 45 degrees on the opposite ends. The 45 degree mitered ends were glued together to make this bend.

There are 2 different sizes of wooden rings here. I am sliding the larger ring on first and it will spin freely without glue. The 2nd smaller ring will be slid on and glued so it captures the larger free-spinning ring and keeps it from falling off.

Now I cut off the excess pin. Notice the hacked up desk I'm working on? Oops. It WAS new. My wife's not too happy about that since it's a piece of furniture in out living room.

What I have now are the finished shoulder joints. the larger ring will allow the arm to rotate forward and backward.

Tomorrow I'll get to the arms and hands. Be here! Same robot time, same robot channel.

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