Jumping Mario Automaton

Introduction: Jumping Mario Automaton

For a while now I've been a big fan of automata makers such as Keith Newstead and Dug North. Because of that, and because of a post on makezine.com in which a similar project is made, I decided to try my hand at my own automaton.

Let's-a go!

Step 1: Materials & Tools


  • 1/4" dowel
  • Printer paper & ink
  • Clear tape
  • 1/8" x 6" x 5" wood sheet
  • 1/4" x 5" x 3" wood sheet
  • 3/4" x 2" x 2" piece of wood
  • Wood glue


  • Table saw
  • Drill press
  • Hacksaw
  • Belt sander
  • Mouse detail sander
  • 2 mini clampsPrinter
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Hole saw (radius of 3/4" or adjustable)

Step 2: Cut Housing

  1. Cut the pieces pictured above on a table saw
  2. Use a mouse detail sander to sand out a 1" by 1/4" clearance for the cam
  3. Round two corners on one of the short sides of the 1/4" x 3" x 2 1/4" on a belt sander
  4. Cut a 2 1/4" piece of the 1/4" dowel with a hacksaw
  5. Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" square

Step 3: Cut Cam & Supporting Pieces


  • Cut a 3/4" thick cam with a radius of 3/4" on a drill press
  • Drill a 1/4" off-center hole in the cam
  • Cut a 4" piece of the 1/4" dowel with a hacksaw
  • Fill the hole in the cam with wood glue and slide it onto the dowel that was just cut


  • Cut a 1/4" x 1/4" x 3/4" piece of wood on a table saw
  • Drill a 1/4" hole on one side of the wood piece


  • Cut a 1/4" x 2" x 2" wood piece on the table saw
  • Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the square
  • Cut a 3" piece of the 1/4" dowel with a hacksaw
  • Glue the dowel into the square

Step 4: Assemble Automaton

Assemble the automaton using wood glue as shown above. Make sure not to glue the axle to the housing or the follower to the slide (the hole on the top of the housing). Use mini clamps to keep the automaton secure while the glue is drying.

Step 5: Add Decorations

Print and cut the pdf below, adhering the background and ground to the automaton using wood glue or white glue. Use sticky tape to attach the Mario figurine to the follower.

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