Yellow Earl Progress Report

YellowEarl-b01My continuing mission to work out a work flow for designing and making wooden automata has borne fruit.
Having made up a prototype box from corrugated card – previous post – I’ve set about dividing up the automata into its various mechanisms.
Firstly, the parallax hills. The two smaller gears (14 and 22 teeth respectively) are fixed onto a single shaft. The two larger gears are where the magic happens. The 37 tooth gear is fixed to a 7mm tube, the 43 tooth gear fits onto a 6mm rod threaded through its centre. The hill profiles are fitted to these coaxial tubes. As the small gear turns, the front hill turns faster than the rear hill producing the illusion of movement.

YellowEarl-b02Next, the legs. I’ve made up the mechanism as a complete unit. This fits inside the box. The legs of the Yellow Earl fit down into the top of the two fingers. As the gear turns the fingers are driven back and forth moving the legs in the process.


The final mechanism is the thought bubble window. As the Yellow Earl trudges onward ever onward towards the North Pole he is haunted by the memories of the various women in his life. In a ‘thought bubble’ window behind his head the pictures flips past showing portraits one after another. The mechanism is driven by a ratchet and pawl.

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Mechanisms in hand, I visited Archive this morning to see how everything fits together with Dawn’s splendid puppets.

YellowEarl-b04Dawn has done a fantastic work making her distinctive puppets to match with my mechanisms. The Yellow Earl is no exception. Everything fits together in the prototype form.
Having taken measurements and made sure everything works we’ve arranged to meet up again early next week for final assembly. Exciting stuff!

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