I have suddenly become distracted with a new project. I think that the final few inches of the new rolling ball sculpture is just not quite right. This is making me want to do something else until I know how to fix it.

My sister-in-law has some metal letters sitting on a table that spell out the word RELAX. Sometimes we move them around to try to spell other things but there are no good anagrams for RELAX. I keep thinking that I need to make that word do something else for her. A few years ago, I started toying with the idea of a mechanical movement of some sort. Here is the idea, in text:

The letters will be broken up into smaller pieces. The R will be made from 3 parts, the E from 4 parts, etc. There will be a mechanism with a lot of moving parts that will move the parts of the letters in various ways over a given amount of time so that the word RELAX is only spelled out now and then. The rest of the time, the letter parts will be spinning and turning and should not be the word RELAX as far as anyone can tell.

The idea is to have a bunch of interesting moving parts. Maybe even some parts that don’t relate to the letters and just move around for the heck of it.

I will try to get some pictures of this as I go. Starting is the hardest part but once I get one letter doing something interesting, the rest should go quickly. The only problems I will have are; 1, using some existing gears that are all metric, attaching the right size and speed of motor, and having the parts I need to get the movement that I want. Oscillating movement is easy and I can drive cams and crank shafts all off of the same drive shafts. It’s the 90 degree changes in rotating movement that are tricky because I only have two bevel gear sets and no chain or other gears to connect things.

Maybe I’ll find a junk store with some old machinery to find some more parts.