Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Unwelcome Dinner Guest - automaton by Dug North featuring a scene with a dog and bird

A while back I told you about the excellent mechanical wooden projects included in Gizmos & Gadgets special edition magazine. Here is some video of my contribution to the the magazine, a piece called The Unwelcome Dinner Guest.

Image showing magazine pages about how to make an automaton
Image of magazine cover

The automaton depicts a backyard scene with a picket fence, doghouse, and birdhouse mounted to a pole. Apparently the dog has recently been fed because his bowl is overfull with food. Sadly for the dog, his leash has become wrapped around the birdhouse pole and he cannot reach his food bowl. This situation provides the perfect opportunity for the local bird to enjoy a big meal, free of charge. All the poor dog can do is wag its tail, jump, and bark at the bird.

The article in Gizmos & Gadgets shows you how to make a wood automaton from start to finish. I designed the automaton using simple wood shapes, and thin boards obtained from a local home improvement center, and assorted hardware. Using the wooden shapes means you don't have to have carving tools or skills. Using the boards from the home improvement center means you should be able to find them easily. While challenging for the beginner, the project should be fun and gratifying. People seem to really love the scene.

The original version of The Unwelcome Dinner Guest automaton that appears in the magazine is currently available. The signed piece will also include a copy of the magazine, also signed. Please use this contact form to get in touch with Dug North if you are interested in acquiring the piece or one like it.

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