Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Nice Cup of Tea

For the past week my wife and I have had a new addiction: making a tea maker. It started with Sharon getting me a Klutz book of Lego ideas called Chain Reaction. It has several ideas for machines that just trigger each other. Like a tire that unwinds from a pole and hits a ball that flips up a sign and then hits a domino that triggers a see-saw to knock another ball around. There are many individual units that can be strung together many ways. So Sharon had the idea of building a machine that would brew a cup of tea (her favorite winter drink). This started last Monday. On Friday a major winter storm hit the area giving us several days of "inside time." We enjoyed two days of heavy rains, occasional snow, and cold, howling winds. So we could mope about the bad weather or build the Lego tea maker. After many false starts, dead-ends and ideas that didn't quite pan out, this is what we ended up with.

video

You can also see the video on Flickr.

The recording set-up was fun. We used almost every camera in the house to record this. We first tried each of us recording part of the run but that didn't work out so well. So this morning, I set up several tripods and other holders and shot five angles. Then tried my hand at video editing to get this video. It is a bit rough and I wish there were a few more set-up shots but I'm pretty happy with my first editing attempt.
The design of the tea maker is mostly Sharon's, as was building the pendulum with escapement and designing the ziplines and the siege tower pulley-and-gear system that holds the tea bag. She also built a majority of it. Very exciting that it all came together in the end. We had two complete runs and enjoyed the cups of tea.
Can you find some of the hidden gems in the video? Harry Potter? The astronaut leading the horse? Workers on a break? A Lego camera holder?

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