Here’s a sneak peek at some of Dawn’s awesome puppetry soon to be brought to life with some fiendish mechanicals!

Lady Guildford – titular resident of the Carlisle Archive building – Lady Guildford was an enthusiastic knitter. In this automata she will be regally perched in her chair knitting furiously whilst her two dogs worry the balls of wool at her feet. puppetry-a02


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So cute!

Here’s the drive mechanism for Lady Guildford. The two small gears on the sides drive the dogs intermittently, Lady Guildford’s knitting is driven via a small gear hidden behind the main gear. The motor drive fits at the front – shown in pink on the picture.


Master of all he surveys, Joseph Pocklington, will be inspecting his treasures through his telescope.puppetry-a05

His friend Peter Crossthwaite will be dusting his collection of curiosities.


Here a few of the ‘coming next’ group.


Making Up Weight

As part of the movement of the Catherine Marshall model the suffragette character raises her head to look at the donkey. I have attached a pull wire at the back of her head. Most of the weight of the head is at the front so the pull wire needs a counter weight to make it work.
weight-11Here’s the bottom end of the pull wire. It is connected to a cam follower (the cam is actually not fitted in this picture) the weight on the end of the cam follower is cast from lead. Here’s how:weight-12

I took two blocks of 2×1 and clamped them together. Right in the middle I drilled a 20mm diameter hole stopping about 10mm short of the far side.weight-01

I made a staple from wire to act as the weight hanger. The ends are 10mm apart.weight-02

On the other side of the block I’ve drilled a 5mm deep 20mm diameter hole then two small holes for the staples then threaded the staple into position.weight-03

From the underside you can see how the staple fits into position.weight-05

In a suitable pan I melted some scrap lead using a blow torch.weight-06

Once melted I poured it into the mold filling it right to the top.weight-07

After leaving it to cool for a few minutes I unscrewed the clamps to reveal the completed weight. Ta daa!weight-08

I made a short Instagram video showing the entire process in just 15 seconds! Click the picture to see it!weight-10

Linkage Design

Catherine Marshall was a suffragist. The suffragists believed in campaigning for women’s votes through peaceful, polite means. By contrast the suffragettes believed in deeds not words. In this model Catherine and a suffragette stand on either side of a donkey trying to get its attention with a carrot and a stick respectively.


The women’s hands are moved via a cam and cam follower which in turn drives a linkage. I’ve used a heavy gauge wire to make the link. This part is made from a single wire bent into position over a template then fixed into position with a fine brass wire and some epoxy resin.link-01

A small screw fixed to a block on the box top provides a pivot point for the linkage.link-02

Then under the box the linkage is connected to a cam follower. All that remains is to see which is more persuasive; carrot or stick?link-03

Rotating Work Table

All round access is vital when working on the Archive Project models. You really need to be able to get to all sides of the model to work on the various mechanisms.
After a chat with a couple of twitter friends @concretedog and @workshopshed we settled on the idea of a Lazy Susan. In my youth I had seen these being used for cake decorating. Next stop eBay.rotate-a04I ordered a Turner’s 350mm diameter turntable which claimed to be able to take loads up to 250kg. Plenty.

I cut a circle from 12mm ply and screwed it the turntable.rotate-a01Flipped over it looks like this and is ready to go. Sorted. Thank @concretedog and @workshopshed