Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default New Project: Flapping Butterfly with a Passenger

    While I was watching my granddaughter yesterday (she's 2) she started using a flapping butterfly push toy as a hobby horse, saying, "I'm riding on my butterfly!" I had been thinking of making a simple flapping butterfly with wings done in marquetry and this was incentive to start.
    I often start a project without drawings or detailed plans. I think it may be that I got tired of the detailed and exact nature of cabinet work and furniture making. Maybe it's because I worked for the fire department for so long and rebel against being regimented. Sometimes I work on something for a while and find it unworkable, but mostly it becomes an adventure of sorts with tons of problem solving and often ending up somewhere I never intended to go.

    The mechanism for a flapping character is generally straightforward, so I decided to start on the butterfly. The wings are 1/8 inch plywood. The body is Brazilian rosewood.

    IMG_3490.jpg
    IMG_3491.jpg I thought about using the kerf set hinge above, but decided it could bind too easily and slitting 1/8" plywood would be difficult and not leave enough wood to retain any strength. So I through drilled the body and inserted some stainless wire bent into cotter pin shapes which I had to drive in from both sides. No glue needed.
    IMG_3492 2.jpg I tried to drill the wings for the corresponding wire loops that form the other sides of the hinges. The 1/16" drill was too flexible and came through the wing's top surface, so I decided to turn it into a groove. I will epoxy the wire into the groove and the marquetry panel will cover it. I'll use hot glue or tape to fix them in place until I'm ready to make it permanent.
    I would love to hear your thoughts, criticisms or suggestions. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Nice shape Neal !
    I assume this will be also a push toy ? How do you envisage the mechanism to animate the wings ?
    Gus

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Hi Gus,
    Thanks for your well timed question. This is to be a hand cranked automaton. I've been wanting to use some square gears I made recently, so this is what I ended up with.
    IMG_3502.JPGIMG_3520.JPG I haven't been able to get in the shop much lately, but I'm slowly refining things. I have the marquetry pattern for the butterfly wings sketched out and transferred to some walnut blanks. I made one attempt so far and botched it up pretty well - a little more expensive kindling to help heat my house. I've been using the scroll saw to cut gears for so long that I'm not used to the light touch needed to cut such thin material. I might go back to my hand tools for a bit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    212

    Default

    There is something in the brain which looks at a square gear with disbelief, isn't that so ? But, we know they work. Keep posting progress shots please, looking good so far !
    Gus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I couldn't agree more about the square gears. I don't usually buy other people's plans, but I bought the set of weird gears online. Quite an interesting selection.
    Anyway, not a lot of time in the shop lately, but I did manage to get the wings done. Here they are ready for a final sanding and then some finish. My favorite finish is the wipe on poly, but with marquetry I usually go with a water based lacquer. My experience is that it brightens the colors and doesn't yellow or fade as much.

    IMG_3528.jpg I'll upload more pictures after the finishing is done. Then it's time to carve the passenger. I'm thinking to carve a little pixie-like girl kneeling on the butterfly's back holding on to its antennae. That should be a fun challenge.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Neal

  6. #6
    crowie's Avatar
    crowie is offline Life's Good, Enjoy each new day & try to encourage
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Faulconbridge, Lower Blue Mountains
    Age
    64
    Posts
    9,555

    Default

    Better put my name down to see the finished project...

    AND YES, the square gears do my head in too.

    Cheers, crowie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    The wings are finished and I'm starting to play with drawings of the passenger - a little girl/nymph kneeling on the butterfly's back, holding on to its antennae.
    Video can be seen here: YouTube
    More to come

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Woodstock (Cowra)
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,500

    Default

    What was the web site where you bought the gear plans please, I have a project in mind needing some gears.
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default Weird Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by rwbuild View Post
    What was the web site where you bought the gear plans please, I have a project in mind needing some gears.

    Here's the weird gear website: https://www.lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/weirdgears1.htm

    Enjoy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I've made a little progress lately. The holidays are a bad time to try to work with all the family and feasting and all. Besides that, my shop is as cold as a walk-in freezer. I have a wood stove but won't light a fire unless I plan to work for a few hours - not worth it otherwise

    .IMG_3654.JPGThe passenger is roughed out here. I haven't decided how far to go with the character. I'll probably carve a generic face and paint the clothes on.The hands have holes in them to receive the antenna .
    IMG_3655.JPG
    IMG_3656.JPG You can see the disc in the middle rear with an off center peg that moves the wire up and down.
    IMG_3657.JPGThis shot shows the gears I added on the backside to make the passenger bounce up and down while riding the butterfly.

    I've uploaded the video here: YouTube Thanks for watching!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    ButterflyFinal-1.JPG She's pretty much done now. I'll need to touch up the antenna paint as it scraped off a bit while heading them through the hands. I've decided to leave the figure plain wood for now at least. I'm a fan of natural wood, but to be totally honest decorating with paint or fabric scares me - I'm always afraid I'll ruin it after putting all that work into it.

    Overall, I'm quite happy with it. The action is very smooth. I was able to tone down the bouncing action of the figure to make it more subtle. It started out looking like a rodeo event.
    I posted a final video on my YouTube channel - YouTube
    ButterflyFinal-2.JPGThanks for watching and if you're so inclined, I would appreciate any suggestions and criticisms. I'm new at this and have a lot to learn.

  12. #12
    crowie's Avatar
    crowie is offline Life's Good, Enjoy each new day & try to encourage
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Faulconbridge, Lower Blue Mountains
    Age
    64
    Posts
    9,555

    Default

    You have some amazing creations in your youtube video collection, love the flying pig... Cheers, crowie

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    212

    Default

    Hi Neal,

    Like the movement, very smooth, realistic, not jerky, the marquetry is just like a beautiful butterfly. For a beginner, very advanced work ! It is a pity you threw in the towel on the angel, the flying pig video proves your finishing ability, very good indeed. Completely understand though, facing the complex work of carving a small face, delicate hands is daunting, but ! Can I convince you to remove the angel, do some more carving and apply paint, as you already know how to paint well ? The improvement will be so worth the time, and fun ! All paintwork, even by great painters shows many revisions, overpainting etc. Unlike many aspects of automata work, a bad paint job will be erased simply by overpainting. I hope no offence is taken, none intended !
    Regards,
    Gus

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xpro View Post
    Hi Neal,

    Like the movement, very smooth, realistic, not jerky, the marquetry is just like a beautiful butterfly. For a beginner, very advanced work ! It is a pity you threw in the towel on the angel, the flying pig video proves your finishing ability, very good indeed. Completely understand though, facing the complex work of carving a small face, delicate hands is daunting, but ! Can I convince you to remove the angel, do some more carving and apply paint, as you already know how to paint well ? The improvement will be so worth the time, and fun ! All paintwork, even by great painters shows many revisions, overpainting etc. Unlike many aspects of automata work, a bad paint job will be erased simply by overpainting. I hope no offence is taken, none intended !
    Regards,
    Gus

    Thanks for the encouragement, Gus. I don't take offense at all, in fact this is why I joined the forum. I have many friends and family members who are supportive and complimentary. The value of a woodworkers' forum is to get meaningful feedback from experienced woodworkers. For me, those are the comments that really count. As I sit and look at the butterfly, it does look unfinished. I will give it some time and revisit decorating the angel. She deserves better!

    Thanks,Neal

Similar Threads

  1. Elu 172 Belt Vibrating/Flapping
    By PK Ontario in forum TABLE SAWS & COMBINATIONS
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 4th Sep 2019, 06:53 AM
  2. Gatto Passenger Train Car
    By htl in forum TOY MAKING
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 8th Jun 2019, 04:41 AM
  3. First Class Passenger Carriage (Early 1900's)
    By Keith_1 in forum TOY MAKING
    Replies: 512
    Last Post: 6th Dec 2016, 11:18 PM
  4. Passenger train
    By oneye in forum TOY MAKING
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 17th Apr 2016, 07:01 AM
  5. Passenger list for August 1883 ???
    By Jonzjob in forum NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH WOODWORK
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 19th Feb 2013, 09:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •