Bot Builder's Info

Guides => Crow T. Robot => Topic started by: Ron on August 08, 2011, 08:12:46 PM

Title: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on August 08, 2011, 08:12:46 PM
(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm1.jpg)

11" / 10" / 10" / 10.75"

I like the positioning of the wrist and shoulder with these measurements.  Plus it allows you to extend the arm without things binding up.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm3.jpg)

Lil' Monsters joints.  They work best with 100 degree head screws.  I painted the screws separately.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm4.jpg)

Here we are up top.  Prototype reversed "fancy" wrist.  It's got some texture issues, but heck, it's a prototype!

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm2.jpg)

Finally complete!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Evil Bob on August 08, 2011, 08:20:56 PM
They look better than mine!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on August 08, 2011, 08:25:51 PM
They look better than mine!

PFFT... they don't look as nice as I'd like...  Testors and it's stupid ability to blow propellant into the paint and pool like nothing else on Earth.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: SynaMax on August 08, 2011, 08:39:32 PM
Thanks a lot for the info Ron!! :D  They look fantastic!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on December 19, 2011, 08:47:27 AM
Hiya Ron-
  Great work.  Can you please pm me, as I have some questions regarding the construction of Crow's arms and legs.  Thanks so much!
Mark-
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on December 20, 2011, 08:21:35 AM
Ron-
  In regards to our Crow Leg discussion can you post some more pics of your arms?  I think I've figured out how the connect to the lower Floralier, but I'm not quite sure yet.  Thanks again!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on December 20, 2011, 09:53:13 PM
Do you mean shoulders?
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on December 21, 2011, 07:04:37 AM
Yes, rather the tops of the arms as I don't believe they connect with the entire shoulder piece just the swivel joint that connects to the on/off switch.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on December 21, 2011, 06:48:58 PM
OK, here's the picture I've been trying to find... it's from the Scrapbook VHS tape...

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/CrowLegs.jpg)

My money says they used whatever they had lying around.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 06, 2012, 01:31:19 PM
Ron-
  Could you post some high res pics or some close ups of the following sections of your arms?
I have hopefully received my Crow parts today and I want to get started on building him.  Oh, also as I have not heard back from him is Randy still offering the arm joint pieces?
Mark-

Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 06, 2012, 09:29:03 PM
I hope you're on broadband ;)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm5.jpg)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm6.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm7.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm8.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm9.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm10.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm11.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm12.JPG)

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm13.JPG)

Also, Randy is NOTORIOUSLY hard to get a hold of...  pesky full time jobs! ;)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 07, 2012, 05:23:11 PM
Thanks for the pics, Ron. Yeah, I know Randy is hard to get a hold of, lol. Nice guy, though. My plan to attach Crow's legs really depends on me figuring out the arm to shoulder joint, and then attaching that to the lower part of the floralier. Hopefully, I can figure out an alternative if I can't find something similar. Thanks again for the pics!

Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 09, 2012, 02:51:27 PM
Oh, one other thing.  (I know it's always something, lol.) What kind of screws/bolts/nuts are you using?  When I received my Pastruct I thought it looked much to skinny, but having seen the extra width the nut provide I can see that I probably got the right size for Crow's legs.  Thanks again, again, I mean.  ???
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 10, 2012, 11:45:32 AM
I space out my arms using plastic nuts.. you can find them in the little "misc parts" drawers by the nuts and bolts at Lowes.

As for the bolts, since Randy's joints have a little raised receiver on top, I'm using 100 degree head Phillips bolts (which aren't that hard to find).
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 23, 2012, 09:25:19 AM
  I received my Crow from Bob Bukowski last week, and I'm very happy with the overall results of his work.  The Crow Body and head are amazing and you can tell he's been doing this for a long time.  One thing that he did differently than I've seen here is the construction of the arms.  I bought the Plastruct,  http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/pls/pls90203.htm  <--- Square Tube ABS 1/4'' to construct his legs, as I assumed this is what he had used for his arm construction.  However Bob used squared wooden dowls of 3/8" thickness.  I really like this as it creates a more solid look to me, and since the Plastruct is only 15" long it would have been impossible for me to make his legs from the same material anyway.  A few other differences include certain parts of Crows construction being black instead of gold metal flake.  My questions are, should I paint these parts the gold metal flake to better match what is displayed here (is it show accurate) and just how exactly is the swivel joint in the shoulder attached?  I want to disasemble it to paint it. My next question is on the hands.  My Crow appears to have two of the same hands (left resepectively) is this accurate?  Should they be solid on the inside like the ones in the pics posted by Ron?  As always thanks for your help.


Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 23, 2012, 05:27:57 PM
That's the thing... everyone change the formula slightly, and you end up with a billion different permutations on the same theme.

If you're building something from the Pre-movie era, then the arms are 3/8".  If you're building something that's MST3K:TM on, then it's all 1/4" square ABS Plastruct. 

Plastruct is expensive, only available in shorter lengths (under 15" and under as far as I've seen), and sometimes hard to get when you're on a deadline... so I can completely understand substitutions.  My only beef with 3/8" (and wood at that) is that it's heavy... at least heavier than plastic... that means swinging... which means paint dings.

Keep in mind that the eBay buying public are people who want a bot on budget, and aren't typically thread counters.  Since the bot is now yours, I wouldn't feel any compunction about modifying it as you see fit (or leaving it just as Bob built it).  My Crow is painted to Scifi era standards... which means the shoulder "pin" is gold... that doesn't mean that you won't find a host segment where the pin is black, it's just more consistently gold than black.

Since the "Italian Fanny Pincher" is a one handed device, the hands are going to all be left, unless some intrepid person decided to reverse the mold one day and create a right version one day.  As for them being solid on the inside, that's just how Randy (Lil' Monsters) molds them.  I am unaware of anyone else doing them this same way...  Randy has a number of unique purpose built parts in his catalog.



Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 24, 2012, 07:37:40 AM
That's the thing... everyone change the formula slightly, and you end up with a billion different permutations on the same theme.

Good to know, I was worried about screen accuracy, but I think I need to just relax, lol.  ;D


Plastruct is expensive, only available in shorter lengths (under 15" and under as far as I've seen), and sometimes hard to get when you're on a deadline... so I can completely understand substitutions.  My only beef with 3/8" (and wood at that) is that it's heavy... at least heavier than plastic... that means swinging... which means paint dings.

It is definately expensive, I can't tell you how dissapointed I was to discover that it was only 15" long, and that I couldn't use it for my leg construction.  The plus side to the wood is that I think over time it will hold up better to supporting the weight of the rest of the puppet. Plus with enough sanding and a nice finish I might be able to acheive enough of a plastic look that it might not be so noticible.  Here's hoping anyway.

Keep in mind that the eBay buying public are people who want a bot on budget, and aren't typically thread counters.  Since the bot is now yours, I wouldn't feel any compunction about modifying it as you see fit (or leaving it just as Bob built it).  My Crow is painted to Scifi era standards... which means the shoulder "pin" is gold... that doesn't mean that you won't find a host segment where the pin is black, it's just more consistently gold than black.

In making my bots I really just want to acheive what I'll refer to as a "representation" of the characters.  I know my bots won't be "perfect," but at this point it seems that "perfect" is really determined by the builder.  I am currently running into a similar issue with my Gypsy construction as having the main body be 4' feet long at a 45 degree angle causes some issues for me in terms of how I could display her.  I decided instead to switch the 20" section with with the 4' section making her taller, but no less curvy.  I'm not sure if this makes any sense at the moment, but I'll post pictures in my Gypsy thread when I start it.  ::)

Since the "Italian Fanny Pincher" is a one handed device, the hands are going to all be left, unless some intrepid person decided to reverse the mold one day and create a right version one day.  As for them being solid on the inside, that's just how Randy (Lil' Monsters) molds them.  I am unaware of anyone else doing them this same way...  Randy has a number of unique purpose built parts in his catalog.

What kind of parts?  I'm always curious to know what's available.  I'd really like to get some of his joints, hands and some other parts from him as I think it would be fun to see just how many sources I can use to make my Crow.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 24, 2012, 01:49:14 PM
Randy has made quite a number of "refined design" parts for the bots.  Here's a few:

Solid construction Crow hands w/ integrated "wrist tube."

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Other/LilMonsters/Crow%20Hands%201%20-%20Small.jpg)

C-More Buns "arm" replacements.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Other/LilMonsters/Servo%20Shoulder%201%20-%20Small.jpg)

Molded resin Servo "shoulders."  The part hugs the curve of the barrel... I think it's leaps and bounds nicer than vacuformed.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Other/LilMonsters/Servo%20Shoulder%204%20-%20Small.jpg)

Here's the two parts together.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Other/LilMonsters/Servo%20Shoulder%20Combo%20-%20Small.jpg)

Not pictured?  Randy's resin replicas of original Boo Bowls, and "pre-curved" Tyco Turbo trains that are designed to hug the curve of the bowl.

Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 24, 2012, 09:12:26 PM
Wow!  Okay then, time already to upgrade my Tom I think.  Hopefully Randy will respond to my e-mails again, I'd love to send him some of my money.  ;D

Since the "Italian Fanny Pincher" is a one handed device, the hands are going to all be left, unless some intrepid person decided to reverse the mold one day and create a right version one day.

To be honest, I'm considering it.  I'd love to tackle that project.  If I can get a set of Randy's hands and of course with his permission, (as I'd cast the top part of the hand.)  I'd really like to do it for myself if nothing else as I know me, eventually the whole two left hands thing is gonna bug me, lol.  One step at a time though...  ;)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 25, 2012, 04:46:15 PM
I'll see if I can get Randy on the phone tonight.  He's a busy busy guy.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 25, 2012, 07:49:10 PM
Randy is alive and well and has been living these last 8 months in the year 1885... no wait, that's Doc Brown.

Seriously though, Randy just finished a major project he was working on and is just now catching up on email.

He said he got your message, and you should have a reply in the next few days.

He also told me about a couple of "secret" specialty parts he's working on....  I'll let him make announcements when the time is right.

Wait.. what's that?  We have a picture of one of the items?  ROLL IT, JOHNNY!

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Servo/ServoFez.JPG)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 26, 2012, 07:38:35 AM
Love it!  I must get one when he announces them.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: SynaMax on January 26, 2012, 07:36:17 PM
Glad to hear Randy's still alive, haha XD  I need to grab another engine for preservation.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 26, 2012, 08:53:08 PM
That's so true... everyone goes into packrat mode every so often since great parts are so rare.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 27, 2012, 09:26:51 AM
  I hear ya'  I better stock up when I can, I have 516 more Toms to build.  You know, for sake of accuracy.  :o

Ron-
  Where did you get these wrist joints from?  I know the left one is machined, but what about the grooves in this one?  They aren't in the design for the one to be machined. 

Mark-
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 28, 2012, 09:40:47 AM
The "grooves" on this part are from the prototyping method.  My friend used a Makerbot to put it out with extruded plastic... sort of "drawn on" a line at a time.

It's the older Makerbot even... so the diameter of the print is pretty large... thus the rough prototype.

The original joints are from Lil' Monsters.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on January 30, 2012, 11:09:07 AM
  Okay, so they aren't supposed to have the lines, good.  That makes me feel so much better.  Are they supposed to be smaller that the "standard" joints to?  I had the part machined (CNC machined) this weekend (I'll post a pic soon, with a comparison to the joint I received from Bob), and it was significantly smaller than I thought it should be.  It kinda worried me, to be honest, because it makes me wonder if all of the joints I have are scaled wrong now.  Any thoughts?  Randy got in touch with me a couple of times this weekend, hpefully I'll have some updated Crow news soon.  ;D
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on February 01, 2012, 03:30:08 PM
The joint in that file (as well as the prototype in that picture) are scaled to 100% size of the original Wallace Lamp joints.

Anything larger or smaller isn't the correct size.

How about posting some pictures of what you've got scaled next to a ruler or maybe a coin?
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: myersfarms on February 02, 2012, 07:19:52 AM
I'll do that.  ;D I have the machined piece at home at the moment, and I haven't cut it out yet. I plan to that this weekend when I get some time to work on the bots.  I'll take some comparison picks too with the ones I have from Bob. The pieces (joints) he sent me are too big then, if the piece I had machined is scaled 100% to the Wallace joints.  I assume that Randy's are scaled correctly then?  I really want to do this right as I only ever plan to make the one Crow with legs.  I may make a more mobile puppet version at some point, which I won't worry quite so much about, but time will tell.  8)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on February 02, 2012, 06:39:52 PM
Keep in mind that the wrist joint that many people use is just scratch built... for a while, it just looked like a giant "guitar pick."

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/Crowarmsmovie.png)

My guess says that the reason why this was the norm for a while is to keep the spacing of the "tibia and fibula" consistent if the arm was bent.

Many can attest to cutting their Plastuct too short and ending up with the wrist all pinched up... all this is averted by just using some modified measurements.

(http://www.botbuilders.info/botbuilding/Crow/arm2.jpg)


Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: fkane123 on December 27, 2014, 07:04:47 PM
Back to the original measurements you posted:

11" / 10" / 10" / 10.75"

If you remember, are those the lengths working from the claw backward, as pictured in the third photo? I tried these lengths using Bob's joints, but it resulted in arms that wouldn't fold up all the way. Either the latest joints are substantially different from the ones you used in 2011, or I assembled them in the wrong order... or maybe I'm not measuring from the correct points or something. I'm using those as the lengths of each plastruct segment, and then drilling screw holes 1/4" from each edge, then assembling as pictured here.

Would be good to hear from other builders as to the lengths they like to use too!



Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: treadwell on December 28, 2014, 02:03:13 AM
Somehow I had in my head that the forearms were slightly shorter, but a quick look at reference doesn't agree. Where did I get that? Gary's booklet?
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: fkane123 on December 28, 2014, 05:52:11 AM
Yeah, the Bot Building Booklet says to use 9 1/2" segments for both part of the forearm, and 10 1/2" for both parts of the... um... humerus, I guess. That does result in the wrist resting below the shoulder when folded up. My guess would be that the lengths varied over time on the show, and maybe those measurements were accurate at the point when the booklet was written.

Still, I've tried equal-length segments before, and they had a tendency to not stay parallel in operation. That's why I'd like to get these "new & improved" arm lengths working if possible.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on December 31, 2014, 01:15:27 AM
I didn't use Bob's joints.  The joints I used in my example are from Lil' Monsters.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: fkane123 on December 31, 2014, 08:46:56 AM
Yeah, looking closely at your original photos, I think the Lil' Monsters elbow joint is wider than what Bob provides. That would explain it.

Here's how those measurements look with Bob's joints. Maybe you'll catch something I'm doing wrong, but I think they're designed to work best with the stated lengths in the Bot Builder's booklet. I've got some more plastruct coming in today so I'll give that a try.

(http://media.sundog-soft.com/bots/arms.jpg)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: fkane123 on December 31, 2014, 11:54:45 AM
So, the measurements in the Bot Building Booklet didn't work out so hot either. Using Bob's joints, here are the plastruct lengths I settled on:

10.5" / 10" / 9.5" / 9.5"

As you can see this folds up nicely. I used foam tubing lengths of 8" and 7", which fit nicely and allow for the most movement. If using Bob's Fanny Grabber hand molds and shoulders, you'll want to use 3/8" Plastruct and not 1/4".

I think most people just buy entire arm assemblies from Bob and not just the joints like I did, but hopefully this will help someone out down the road.

This tries to match the look of the arm assembly in the Bot Building Booklet as closely as possible. You could however go for equal-length forearms and humerus by going with 10.5" / 10" / 10" / 10" instead.

Eyeballing it, they seem a little short in hindsight - I'd probably add an extra inch onto each segment if I did it again.

(http://media.sundog-soft.com/bots/arms2.jpg)
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 02, 2015, 04:13:18 PM
Nicely done!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: rashielx on January 14, 2015, 04:12:15 PM
I trashed a set of joints... and... well... an arm as well. Where's the best place to get a set of joints? For that matter, is there a list of parts suppliers or certain people we can get parts from for the various bots?
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: sledge_riprock on January 15, 2015, 08:30:08 AM
To make the arms fold up correct with the foam in place the front three arm rods should be of equal length and and the back most rod 3/4" longer.  I use 3 - 9 1/2" and one 10 1/4" with 7 1/4" foam pieces on my Crow arms. No particular reason for this size. It just works for the height of my Crows on their bases. You can make them any size you want as long the rear one is 3/4" longer.

The original Wallace lamp rods are 13 1/2". Most off the shelf lamps are 14 1/2" or longer.
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on January 16, 2015, 08:19:35 AM
I've always shot for a "Movie era" length on the arms.  Those early season arms are just too gangly for my tastes. LOL
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: 1984gojifan on February 08, 2015, 07:44:36 PM
I Personally prefer buying real adjustable lamps and salvaging them for crow joint to make him last longer, since I'll be taking him and Servo to Motor City Comic Con in May, For anyone who wants to buy real Crow type swing arm desk lamps, (keep in mind you'll have to either make or buy, scratch built wrist joints).

http://www.amazon.com/Alvin-G2540-B-Swing-Lamp-Black/dp/B001DNFLYS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423445188&sr=8-1&keywords=alvin+desk+lamp
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: 1984gojifan on February 15, 2015, 06:08:39 PM
Got the Alvin Black desk lamp in the mail yesterday, now I can sleep a little easier now that Crow will last longer.

Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Gromilini on October 18, 2015, 01:53:51 PM
Hi Ron, I know it's a very old post, but is there a chance you could reload the pictures you posted on the first page of this thread? Many of them have gone away. I would especially love to see anything you have regarding connecting the grabby hand to the "guitar pick" wrist joint. Thanks!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on October 19, 2015, 09:15:15 AM
Got those image links fixed...
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: katsu on December 16, 2015, 06:10:07 PM
I have an imposing question! Any chance for some scans or measurements for your joints? I've seen some various vague descriptions but I'd like numbers on a good looking set!
Title: Re: My most recent arms...
Post by: Ron on December 17, 2015, 10:44:58 AM
(http://sol.semo.edu/mst3k/botbuilding/crow/joints.jpg)