Monday, February 04, 2008

Fantastic Wind-Powered Whrligigs Video

Automata maker Tom Haney sent the video you see above to me.

Tom writes:
I have something you might want to put up on your site. The man who inspired me to do mechanical pieces, Ben Thal, has posted a video on YouTube. I met him at a whirligig show in Oregon in 1994. He does great pieces with amazing and simple movements. He is a doctor and does whirligigs as a hobby. All his whirligigs are for indoors and are powered by a fan.

See it at:

The motions are pretty sophisticated for whirligigs...impressive!

Thanks Tom!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an artistic doc!

There're many hobbyist woodworkers whose professions are medical doctors or dentists. Would surgeons make good carvers if or when they take up woodworking as a hobby? Paul Spooner uses a surgical knife for his carving work. Among Dr. Thal's pieces, I like the lion tamer most. I've made a couple of lion tamer automata based onRon Fuller's design. After I'm done with my current three projects in the pipeline (including Ron Fuller's sheep shearing man), I'll attempt a hand cranked version of Dr Thal's lion tamer.


February 4, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Dug North said...

I've recently acquired a scalpel myself. The steel certainly seems to be of the sort that takes a good edge. The handle feels somewhat small in my hand, though. I wonder if it was meant to be held like a pencil for fine incisions.

I suspect that both surgeons and dentists MUST have good hand dexterity. I also suspect that they enjoy using this skill. This makes woodcarving and woodworking with hand tools a logical fit.



February 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are awesome whirligigs! I esp like the Kid Wash. Question though, what is the approx size of those examples? And about how much wind does it take to get one into action? I found a guy on that sells some cool WWI airplane whirligigs (RicksWhirligigs). Im working on making some Gigs of my own but am fearful that my yard does not get enough wind to enjoy them. Also im looking for some more airplane whirligigs like "RicksWhirligigs" to use as examples. any ideas where to look? thanks!

January 13, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

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