Detailed plans for adding Animated Figures

by Bernard Pilgrim

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Bernard Pilgrim has very kindly sent me details of how he added the animated figures to his organs.  His animal figures are detachable and driven from a rod off the driving wheel.  Very neat.  Photos of these organs can be seen in the John Smith photo gallery.

Animated Figures
The first time I played the organ in public, I got lots of comments of: 'Where's your monkey?".  This was soon rectified.  My wife bought me a monkey from ASDA,  I took the stuffing out of the arms, and removed some from the body, I then made the cradle to fit.

My automatons are a monkey and Silvester the cat, they both play a concertina because I do.  I also have a black and white cat that hates music, but using the same drive rod mechanism and cradle for the animal, you could make a simple lever mechanism using the same wire drive rod, and make the animal play a banjo or fiddle etc.

I found it easier to make a mock up with the levers with bits of wood and panel pins, etc. to get the right movement first.  To cover the mechanism I made a cloak for the animal.

The automaton driving rod is 1/8th braizlng rod.  The fixed lid covers the pipes and forms a platform for the automaton.  The lifting lid gives access to the drive rod and driving wheels etc.  The catches I made from small coins drilled off-centre and pivot on a brass screw.

Before cutting the slot in the lid, or fitting the catches, move the automaton to get the right amount of travel on the drive rod.

To fit the automaton place it between the wooden guides, lock it in place with the catches, and drop the drive wire through the slot and hook it onto the driving rod at the top of its stroke.

Click on images to see full-size drawings

Click on images to see full-size drawings

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