As an extension to the Crank Box project I have put together this Double Crank Box. The mechanism is basically the same as the Crank Box project. there is a sliding pad on the top of the box onto which can be attached a variety of different characters, this time though there are two pads for twice the fun!

The crank that drives the pads back and forth are set at one hundred and eighty degrees to each other making them move constantly in opposite directions, perfect, as Mr Cool pointed out, for a walking character.

Here's the finished project animated. If you squint you can just about make out the pads moving back and forth on the box top.

I have completed photography of this project so I'll be releasing this and the single crank box shortly.


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Mon 16th Jun 2014

I received an email from Perry Newby this morning. Perry has wanted to try making my Laser Cut Cupid model but didn't have access to a laser cutter. She did, however, have a paper cutter so she set about making the cupid from laminated paper.

The result is fantastic!

Perry then went on to make this flying horse. (Check out the cloud detail in the base!)...

My favourite of Perry's three creations is this unicyclist.

Brilliant stuff Perry! Thanks for sharing!


You can see his wonderful YouTube video here.

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I was delighted to see this picture of the Phonohorn on my Instructables page. It was posted by Patyi from Hungary, thanks for sharing Patyi!

Whilst on the subject of the Phonohorn Intructables page. I can't remember if I posted this His Master's Voice style picture from a few month back so just in case, here it is again! Good stuff!

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I've made a few dimension changes to the crank mechanism I was working on. I reduced the length and height of the box so that the mechanism itself was more of a close fit to the box.

That done I've put together a final version and completed photography so I can release it as a kit. I just have the instructions to do.


I've put together this House Maid model as a demonstration of how the mechanism could be used.

Here's the animated version on Instagram

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I'm in the process of prototyping future model where I need back and forth movement. The first draft has a this pad on the top of the box moving smoothly back and forth. It will be easy to use this starting point to make a character come to life, just so long as the character needs to move back and forth. Smoothly.

Inside the box, a crank drives a con rod which in turn pushes the slider back and forth.

It all fits together quite neatly! I'll be making this available as a download shortly.

Here's the prototype in animated action.

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Check out my YouTube channel to see this video clip of the Mk III Agreeable Sheep in action!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

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Download Twitter Bird Box
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The Twitter Bird Box is the starting point for a future Twitter Bird project. It is interesting and fun to make on its own so I thought I would release it as a project in its own right. Turn the handle on the side of the Twitter Bird Box and the double finger cams tap repeatedly on the bellows making the integral pipe tweet.

Members can download the parts for free from the link at the top of the page. The parts are available to non-members for a small fee.

Print out the first three pages onto thin card. I used coloured card to add interest to the finished model. The last page is the net for the bellows. Print this out onto normal photocopier paper.

Score along all the dotted and dashed line and cut out the holes before carefully cutting out the parts.

You can see the Twitter Bird Box working on Instagram here.

Roll the bellows paper round into a tube and glue the edges down. Line up the edges as accurately as possible

Working from one end of the tube fold the creases. Dashed lines are hill folds, dotted lines are valley folds.

Work your way down the bellows tube one row at a time.

The completed bellows

Glue up the pipe tube as shown.

Assemble the pipe end and glue it to the end of the pipe. The bottom edges should be aligned accurately with the bottome edge of the pipe.

Fold over the double hexagon piece and glue it down to make double thickness card. Cut out the marked hole with a sharp knife then cut out the hexagon.

Glue the pipe to the hexagon so that the hole lines up with the air inlet in the bottom of the pipe.

Glue the hexagon to the front of the bellows. Glue the single hexagon piece to the back of the bellows. Once the glue is dried you can test it to make sure it works!

Assemble the two box side pieces with right-angle triangle tubes.

Make up the larger of the two box ends with equilateral triangle tubes.

Glue the ends to the sides... (note the the smaller end piece fits on the end with the faint bellows markings)

Glue the flaps into place making sure that the box is lined up squarely.

Fit the completed bellows into place in the shallower end of the box. Make sure that the bellows are centered so that they don't catch on the sides.

Assemble the cam shaft with double thickness cams. Line up the cams with the two grey lines on the axle.

Roll up the axle and glue it down lining up the edge with the red arrows and the edge of the grey area.

Hold the cam shaft into place and thread the axle inner into place.

Assemble the handle in three steps.

Glue the handle to the axle to complete the model.

Turn the handle briskly to hear the Twitter Bird Box twitter!

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Tue 10th Jun 2014

I'm having fun experimenting with various layouts of sound making devices. Here is the latest version as an Instagram animation.

There is a single bellows/pipe suspended from the roof of the box. As the handle is turned a pair of double fingered cams tap repeated on the bellows making the pipe twitter.

There are two cams so that the bellows are pushed up evenly.

Once I have the box layout sorted out I think it will make a rather nice twittering bird model.

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Mon 9th Jun 2014

I was at Higham Hall yesterday. I'd taken my crank driven pipe bellows thing (hence forth know as a tweety box) and it went down a real treat! I've finsished off the parts today and added a bit of colour. I'll be making it available as a download shortly.

Below I present the parts printed out and ready for assembly photography.

...and here, the completed model.

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Sun 8th Jun 2014

Pinterest is one of those fantastic parts of the internet where the small efforts of thousands of people combine to make a superb resource. In the case of Pinterest, a place where you can find quality , interesting pictures of all sorts based on all sorts of themes, from fashion to fruit, from models (both types) to mechanism.

To make it easy for anyone interested to share the pictures from my site. I've added a new feature. Hover over any of the pictures and a 'Pin It' button appears allowing you to easily pin pictures from this site onto your Pinterest boards. I hope you find it a useful feature!

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