Learn how the ship "sails" in Adrian Potter's Endeavour cabinet, featured on the back cover
Adrian Potter is 15 years into a career as a furniture maker, but he hasn’t entirely left behind his training as a mechanical engineer or his early stint designing for an automotive factory. When he wanted to create a sea of slats with simulated waves for his tiny version of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour (back cover of the May/June 2010 issue (FWW #212), Potter made a cam mechanism like the ones found in a car’s drive train.
The mechanism: A pair of cams creates their wave action
To convert the rotation of his two axles into the up-and-down movement of the waves, Potter threaded the axles with plastic disks. All the disks were drilled identically, with off-center holes for the axle and a pair of small holes for pins. Each disk, or cam, is rotated a few degrees relative to its neighbors and pinned in place, creating a snaking shape that the slats sit on. When the disks move, the wave slats push up on the bottom of the boat, making it rise and fall.
Click here to watch a short video of this ship in action.
Watch an audio slideshow on Adrian Potter for more details about the artist.