Step 1: Collect a Bunch of Junk and Tools
I was fortunate enough to have been the Artist in Residence at the San Francisco Dump a few years ago, and have managed to retain the privilege to salvage there. Scrap yards and second hand stores such as Urban Ore are also frequent sources for materials.
Of course, all these resources would be meaningless without some sort of facility to re-work them. My studio has evolved over the years to be just the sort of place to accomplish this.
I use a wide variety of grinders and sanders to clean old material, as well as many hand tools to disassemble these things for parts. I've come to depend heavily on my collection of wrenches, pliers and screw drivers for this purpose (these links point to Craftsman tools, can you tell I'm entering this instructable in the Crafstman tools contest?).
In the final images for this step you can see my studio and some of my equipment. The scooter being worked on in one photo was the subject of one of my previous instructables. You can see it here. The same goes for my Praying Mantis sculpture seen in another photo.
Step 2: What to Make?
Starting a project is the hardest part. For me, it usually begins when I recognize a face or some other life-like feature in an object. In this case it was an old wooden voltage meter. Turned up side down, the window formed a pretty good mouth. Brass keyhole covers made good eyes, and ukelele knobs made perfect teeth.
Step 3: The Head
Step 4: The Body
A trip to a scrap yard turned up a bunch of broken wind instruments and I was struck by how they looked like intestines so I set out to make a sort of engine room out of them in the robots belly.
Step 5: Arms
Step 6: Wiring
"Aux" refers to a line out that allows for an additional start button somewhere outside the piece.
"Timer Bypass Switch" is simply a switch that allows you to leave things running without the timer (mostly for demonstration purposes).
You can purchase these timing modules from:
Step 7: Presentation
I realize that this instructable may have been a bit non-linear and unusual but I hope it was of interest to some of you. As I implied in the introduction I can't really see anyone duplicating it, but hopefully it can serve as an example of what you can do if you're willing to fill your life with tools and garbage!
If you have any additional questions feel free to leave them in the comments.
Thanks for reading!
Again, you can find me on the web here: