LumberJocks

Woozle Bird Automaton

  • Advertise with us
Project by Don Johnson posted 02-20-2021 03:24 PM 830 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A good friend of mine sent me some plans he had purchased over twenty years ago, for an automaton – in the form of what is called a ‘Woozle Bird’. These plans were designed by Phil Lockwood, and more of his creations can be seen at his website https://www.phil-lockwood.com/. As there is no mention of purchasable plans on his website I emailed Phil to ask if they are still available, but so far have not received a reply. If/when he does, I’ll update this text. (see below)

I used a teak board to make the base, and some of the more fragile parts of the bird, plus the winder and a couple of the cams. The body was mainly made from pine. For the pulleys and the ‘weight’ I used some purpleheart I’d had lying about for years. Despite the heaviness of the purpleheart, the weight didn’t seem heavy enough for me, so I drilled some extra holes into it, which I filled with molten lead. That did the trick nicely.

I cheated a bit by using 5M hex-headed grubscrews to fix some of the parts to the shafts, which was easy to do as the teak and purpleheart are so close-grained that it was easy to drill and tap the items just as though they had been made of metal. I also used screws to hold the top of the base and the feet and the ruff in position. These modifications did however enable me to easily repeatedly disassemble and reassemble the unit, and adjust the positions of the cams, etc., to get the best action – which would have been impossible if everything was glued. In place of elastic bands or spring belting, I was prompted to search Ebay for ‘Round Urethane Drive Belt Rough Surface Green’ and used the 2mm diameter size – although 3mm might have been easier to join. To do the joining, I struck a match, rested it on the matchbox with the flame over the edge, and held the belt ends in the flame for a few seconds before lowering onto a flat surface and pressing the melted ends together – carefully – for about 20 seconds. I didn’t even bother to try to trim the bulge, and the joints seem very secure.

Painting was interesting, with the tips about gradually adding lighter green to a darker shade as the paint is applied over a part to give a gradual change was very helpful. The plans themselves are very comprehensive, both with dimensional information and constructional details which include a materials list.

There is a short video showing my bird in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zowwyN1Bh8U and if you search YouTube with ‘Woozlebird’ you will also see Phil’s version and other examples of his work.

I’ve now been in touch with Phil Lockwood, and arranged to print and distribute copies of his plans on his behalf. The plans can be ordered from http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk/woozlebird.html – which I’ve just set up so might need a little tweaking!

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk





14 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

5314 posts in 2682 days


#1 posted 02-20-2021 03:52 PM

absolutely delightful to look at and even more in operation. Congrats on successfully comleting what had to be a very tedious build
Again, VERY nice

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2528 posts in 2763 days


#2 posted 02-20-2021 04:03 PM

Very cool indeed!!! I love the automated things. Great piece…. I hope you receive info on the plans…

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

858 posts in 376 days


#3 posted 02-20-2021 04:18 PM

Interesting and fun piece. The work involved is outstanding. Love the bird.

-- Ron

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

4259 posts in 4994 days


#4 posted 02-20-2021 06:34 PM

Very nice. Excellent paint job.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View BurlyBob's profile (online now)

BurlyBob

8745 posts in 3325 days


#5 posted 02-20-2021 07:34 PM

That’s hilarious. There’s a lot of work went into that fellow. Doubt I have the patience for it.

View crowie's profile (online now)

crowie

4510 posts in 3010 days


#6 posted 02-20-2021 09:21 PM

Well done Don, Lots of work but top result.
Also thank you to the hands of the beaut assistant for the video.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View TDominy's profile

TDominy

204 posts in 3602 days


#7 posted 02-21-2021 03:55 PM

That is cool. I would love to get the plans too.

-- By hammer in hand, all things do stand.

View htl's profile

htl

5393 posts in 2219 days


#8 posted 02-21-2021 06:09 PM

WOW!!!
So nicely done!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

738 posts in 3840 days


#9 posted 02-22-2021 12:17 PM

Plans now available – see the bottom of the original posting.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2528 posts in 2763 days


#10 posted 02-22-2021 04:11 PM

Thanks for the info…. Just placed my order.. Do Woozles have to be green??!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

738 posts in 3840 days


#11 posted 02-23-2021 11:57 AM



Thanks for the info…. Just placed my order.. Do Woozles have to be green??!

- PaulDoug

I believe there may be various variations in nature, and Phil even has a family group in natural wood colour.
BTW – I see we swapped comments on https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/103324 back in 2014.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2528 posts in 2763 days


#12 posted 03-02-2021 04:17 AM

Okay,,, for anyone the least bit skeptical about ordering these plans. from another country… I ordered them a week ago and they are here! May have arrived a day or two ago,,, I have a Post Office Box that I do not check every day… did today and there they here.. It is a book! The only thing that surprises me, is I thought I would see dimensions listed and I don’t see any at a quick glance, but looks like the pictures are to scale… so I will be copying and pasting to wood… I am use to that, no problem… This is a very quick glance for me this evening… will be looking in more detail over the next few day… But if you are hesitant to order from another country… well I have plans from a lot of other countries and so far not had a problem… these are no exception…

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2528 posts in 2763 days


#13 posted 03-18-2021 07:15 PM

I am very slow… too many projects, but I do have the case built, (phase one) and started on Woozle’s body… Body block built and starting to bandsaw the shape… so far,,,,, so good, I think… Won’t post more here, this is just to let Don know,,, I am really, slowly, working on it…

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

738 posts in 3840 days


#14 posted 04-18-2021 01:04 AM

Good to see you making progress, Paul. BTW I have sent you an email with a revised version of the Introduction which you may find helpful – particularly regarding the use of TWO main cams and followers, removing the need for the bottom guide pins.

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com