Monday, November 24, 2014

Want to get started with automaton-making this year? Timberkits are the way to go!

Timberkits make excellent gifts for the holidays. Here's a nifty fish automaton you can assemble. I think these kits are the single best way to get started with wood automaton-making.

From the kit description:

Making a Timberkit is to step into the whole world of automata, ingenious moving models and scenes. It is an art form in which you can appreciate the magic of mechanical action and a fascinating education and hobby for children and adults of all ages. No special knowledge or skills are needed, just a little time and patience to follow the instructions. Assemble the wooden cams, push rods, levers and cranks and understand what makes it tick. After you have made the model you can paint, varnish or customize it in your own personal way then try another!

The natural wood is sourced from sustainable forestry and fully machined with no further need for specialized tools. The minimum age recommended is 8 years. Adult supervision may be required. Timberkits come in designs of varying complexity and a wide range of themes to suit all interests.

Here is where you can get the Timberkits Fish Wood Model Kit.

Here is where you can check out all of the different Timberkits.

[ Official Timberkits Web site ]

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind-the-scenes tour of the mechanical wonders at the Morris Museum

The Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey has announced a special "Behind Locked Doors" event. The event will feature a special staff-guided tour and demonstration of instruments and automata from the famous Guinness Collection. Visitors will see mechanical marvels that are not normally heard or exhibited in the galleries. This behind the scenes tour includes a visit to the museum's incredible Viewable Storage facility where a large portion of the collection is stored.

Guinness Spotlight: Behind Locked Doors

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ  07960


Thursday, November 20, 3:00-4:30pm
Thursday, November 20, 6:30-8:00pm

Tickets: Members - $7 / Non-Members - $9
Attendance will be limited. Call 973.971.3706 to reserve a seat.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pathfinders Leonardo DaVinci Aerial Screw Wood Kit

Check out this great kit from our friends at Pathfinders! This time they've designed a wooden kit that allows you to make a replica of Leonardo da Vinci design for the world's first helicopter.

From the kit description:
One of Leonardo's most iconic images, the Aerial Screw (also known as the Helicopter) illustrates the ingenuity of da Vinci, and indicates his obsession with flying. While this idea may never have got off the ground, for some basic technical reasons, it gave us an insight into the different ways in which Leonardo considered the challenge of human powered flying, and defines him as an inventor well ahead of his time. While it is often referred to as a helicopter, the premise of the lift to make it rise is more like archimedes screw than the rotors of a helicopter.

The kit comes complete with all pieces pre-cut and ready to assemble. Even the glue included!  Just follow the easy-to-understand instructions, and in a few hours you will have a completed kit. Mind you, it doesn't fly, but it's wonderful fun to turn the crank, watch the pinwheel gears and see the helical screw spin. A great project for young and old.

Here is where you can order the Pathfinders Leonardo DaVinci Aerial Screw Wood Kit

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