First of all, I thought it would be good to reduce the lethality of the caterpillar by replacing the bare-wire antenna with something a little less eye-puncturing.
Second, I’ve added interior stops to the crankshaft so it can’t slide back and forth, minimizing the caterpillar posts from falling out of alignment. The crank, itself, has also been improved a bit to make it easier for kids to hold.
But probably the biggest improvement is the addition of footings to the bottom of each caterpillar post (cam followers). This allows for a MUCH smoother bi-directional rotation and animation.
So rather than videoing the “Wooden Mike Special” with the predictable 3 low-DOF macro photos using the stock Ken Burns Effect from iMovie and an illustrative video clip tuned to the beat of some relevant hipster music, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing a more in-depth look at the building process.
The video below illustrates the main aspects of building a caterpillar automata. And in keeping with the tradition of my long-winded blog entries, this video is significantly longer than any of the previous videos…like, ummm, 7 minutes long!
Suffice it to say, the caterpillar so totally did NOT take 7 minutes to build. :) I always have a tough time tracking how long it takes to make a toy since I work on them at such random times, but I’m guessing the caterpillar is something like 12-18 hours, spread over the last couple weeks.
0:44 Rough Dimensioning
1:13 Holes for posts and crankshaft
1:25 Walnut Staining
2:16 Body Segments
2:30 Sanding off burrs
2:46 Looking particularly awesome in my unshaven trucker attire…Sam woefully disagreed.
2:58 Head assembly
3:14 Footings for Cam Followers
3:31 Footings disrupting Lexy’s lounging
3:41 Adhoc jig to easily mark center holes for drill
Staining and Painting
3:57 Painting Foundation
4:16 Varathane 1st Coat
4:49 Painting Details…but, in reality, I forgot to paint them before I varathane’d the first coat
5:30 Varathane 2nd Coat
5:38 Body and Footings