Behold the wooden machine (translated) that is used for… well it does… it was built because… Okay, this is a case where asking what it does or why it was built is the wrong question. [Erich Schatt] began building the piece that he calls “Wheels” back in 1995. It took just seven years to complete, and is made entirely of wood. The video after the break shows a multitude of moving parts.
The chains were modeled after bicycle chains, which are used to transfer motion from the “rider” throughout the machine. The gearing for each segment was meticulously calculated, then perfected through trial and error. The complexity even calls for a differential and universal joints. It’s mesmerizing to watch and for that reason it’s made appearances at conventions and been featured in art exhibitions.
It’s also worth mentioning that this comes from a very humble-looking shop. [Erich] posted some pictures of his studio and aside from the abundance of bar clamps, it’s just your average garage or basement setup.
Continue reading “Wooden machine belongs in Willy Wonka’s factory”
Feeling pretty good after putting together your brand new standing computer desk? Step aside please, [Kagen Schaefer] has something he’d like to show you.
His Pipe Organ Desk is undoubtedly one of the coolest pieces of furniture we have seen in a long time. The project took [Kagen] over three years to complete, which sounds about right once you see how much attention was put into every last detail.
This desk is amazing in several ways. First off, the entire desk was constructed solely from wood. The drawers, the supports, knobs, screws, and even the air valves – all wood. Secondly, when one of the desk’s drawers are pushed in, air is directed to the organ pipes at the front of the desk, which plays a note.
A small portion of the air is also directed into the desk’s pneumatic logic board, which keeps track of each note that has been played. When someone manages to play the correct tune, a secret compartment is unlocked. The pneumatic logic board is an unbelievable creation, consisting of well over 100 wooden screws which can be tuned to recognize any number of “secret tunes”.
Sure a well-placed axe can open the compartment too, but who would destroy such a fine piece of work?
We can’t think of a single person who doesn’t enjoy playing with a handful of rare earth magnets now and again. We know that [Dave Johnson] certainly does. As a gift to his father in law, he constructed a magnificent machine that does little more than manipulate spherical rare earth magnets with hypnotizing grace.
The machine is constructed almost entirely from wood, save for a few fasteners and rods. Even the gears have been carefully cut from wood, with special attention paid to ensure smooth operation. When cranked, the machine slices off a single magnet from one end of a long chain, passing it along to a lift arm. The lift arm deposits the magnet into a metal tube, and with the help of eddy currents, it drifts slowly down before being redeposited at the end of the magnet chain.
Be sure to check out a video demonstration of the machine after the break, it really is fun to watch.
Continue reading “Hand-cranked magnet machine is endless fun”
[Michael Thompson] has been hard at work for well over six months building a bicycle made entirely of wood. The project started as a bet between two friends, and has become much more over the last few months. The SplinterBike, as it is being called, has been constructed solely from wooden parts, as well as glue and paint – but not much else.
The bike uses many different woods in its construction, each chosen to fulfill a particular purpose. The axles are made from hardwood ekki, while all of the gears, wheels, and frame parts were constructed from birch plywood. Oiled ironwood was chosen to serve as a replacement for metal bearings wherever moving parts came together due to its durability. Other parts were constructed with random scraps that [Michael] had sitting around in the shop, such as the handlebars which were cut from an old broomstick.
Now that the bike is complete, [Michael] and his friend [James] are gearing up to set a wooden bike land speed world record. It should be doable, as they have calculated that the bike should hit about 31 miles per hour provided [James] can pedal fast enough. A date for the record attempt has yet to be set, but keep an eye out – it’s likely to be an entertaining show.
Here’s a desktop you can take with you. [Rbean] built it at a hackerspace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (go Badgers!) using very basic materials and techniques. The utilitarian construction of the wooden body reminds us of Cub Scout tool box projects. It features an open space in the top which house the keyboard and mouse during travel. The blue strap lets you sling all forty pounds over one shoulder, but we’d also love to see a thick dowel to go along with the toolbox concept we’ve got stuck in our mind.
The lower half of the case is removable, serving as the mounting area for what looks like a mini ITX motherboard, hard drive, and full-sized power supply. As you can see the LCD screen mounts to the side of the box which allows you to rest the unit on its side and protects the display if the whole thing were to be knocked over. [Rbean] mentions that he’d like to try another revision using aluminum instead of wood, but we like this version. The only thing we’d want to see added is a set of speakers mounted inside the case on either side of the monitor.
This kinetic sculpture is a ball bearing’s paradise. Not only do they get a cushy ride around two lift wheels but there’s a variety of enjoyable obstacles they can go down. The first is a vortex made from a wooden flower pot which sends the balls randomly down one of two possible exits. From there it’s on to enjoy a ride on a flip-flop, a divide-by-three (takes weight of three marbles before it dumps them all), a zig-zag track, or a divide by twelve mechanism. We’re sure this is a riveting read, but don’t miss the video after the break where [Ronald Walter] shows it in action and takes it apart to illustrate the various features.
If you’re wondering about the digital logic terms used, we’ve seen wooden devices that use these concepts in the past.
Continue reading “5/8″ ball bearing playground”
[AndyO] embraced his inner geek by building this meter clock. It exhibits a lot of features that you’d want to see in a home-built timepiece, include over-complexity, abundant features, and RGB LEDs. We’re fascinated by the design he put into this. For instance, the two indicator LEDs on the clock face are not poking through the surface, but use brass tubes as light pipes. Also, the three buttons on the top are almost indistinguishable, and have an RGB back light that places a halo around each. The case itself was built by first making a form, then laminating thin sheets of wood (a difficult task due to the tight curves). The needles themselves are not actually meters, like the clock the inspired the build, but are attached to servo motors. This all comes together into a fascinating build, and a great writeup.