Thanksgiving | RoboTurkey 3000

I finished one more turkey assemblage just in time for Thanksgiving.

turkey assemblage
When I first got the idea for this guy, I thought assembling the pieces would be quick and easy because most of the parts were going to attach to the hole in the center of the coffee basket that would become the turkey’s body.

turkey made from metal parts
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had originally envisioned. Holes had to be drilled out because they weren’t quite large enough, pieces had to be forced into place because they didn’t want to cooperate and, for a long time, the turkey just refused to stand upright.

turkey made from metal parts
I got him done, thanks to much help from my husband, who has mad turkey robot engineering skills and, when it comes to helping his wife with mechanical projects and power tools, the patience of a saint.

robot turkey parts
Here’s what I started with: a coffee filter basket, a bunch of old measuring spoons and two gold furniture feet.

making a turkey assemblage

Step 1 was to slide a bolt through the hole in the tablespoon that would become the turkey’s head …

making a turkey assemblage

… and then slide the bolt into the hole in the coffee basket.

making a turkey assemblage

So far, so good.

making a turkey assemblage
Next, I laid out the rest of the measuring spoons in a fan shape, with the largest ones in the middle and the smallest ones on the ends …

tail feathers for turkey assemblage
… and slid them onto the same bolt the head was attached to. I secured them in place with a nut.

measuring spoon tail feathers
He was already starting to look like a turkey.

adding feet to a metal turkey assemblage
At that point, I pulled the measuring spoon tail feathers off so I could drill holes into the bottom of the coffee basket for the turkey’s legs.

making a turkey assemblage

Then I put everything back together again.

measuring spoon turkey tail feathers

In order to keep the turkey upright, I had to add a couple of additional tail feather spoons that rested on the ground like a kick stand (the husband’s idea).

beads and baubles for turkey's face
Finally, I dug out a few beads and baubles to use as the turkey’s facial features …

turkey assemblage
… but when I had them glued on, I was underwhelmed. He felt a little blah. I wanted him to have more personality.

turkey asemblage
So I dug back into my stash of beads and baubles and tried again.

turkey assemblage
I was much happier with his new face.

metal turkey assemblageBehold: RoboTurkey 3000.

turkey assemblage
He joins Robot Turkey 2.0, who I made earlier in the week …

turkey assemblage

… and the original Robot Turkey that I made last year.

I still have lots of leftover turkey parts and lots of ideas, so I will probably continue to add to the flock next year, but I’m calling it done for now.

Thanksgiving | Robot Turkey 2.0

With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I’d make a turkey.

metal turkey
Technically, he’s a “turkey assemblage,” but I am calling him “Robot Turkey 2.0,” because he follows in the footsteps of last year’s original Robot Turkey (pictured below).

turkey assemblage
Off and on over the last 12 months, I’ve been hunting for turkey parts at garage sales and thrift stores, which was a little difficult because I didn’t really know what I wanted the new guy to look like. All I knew was that I wanted him to be different than the original.

metal Jell-O mold
As usual, I overcollected. I now have two boxfuls of metal junk (aka turkey parts) in my basement (so odds are there will be several more robot turkey iterations to come). As I sifted through the pieces last weekend, I decided I’d start RT 2.0 with an old Jell-O mold.

making a turkey assemblage
 I thought the mold resembled a turkey breast, so that would be the body. Then I drilled a couple of holes into the bottom of the mold …

making a junk turkey
… so I could attach his legs, which were made out of silver cabinet pulls.

making a turkey assemblage
Here’s how they’re attached inside.

making a turkey assemblage
I cut a dowel the same height as the Jell-O mold/body and glued it in place with E6000. My plan was to glue a mini tart pan that looked a lot like turkey feathers to the dowel, so the feathers would be sticking up behind the body.

metal turkey assemblage
The tart pan feathers looked great. Unfortunately, I realized at this point that there were some center of gravity issues — i.e., the turkey kept tipping forward when I tried to set him on his feet. I thought maybe if I put some weight in the back of the Jell-O mold, it might help balance him out …

making a junk turkey

… so I pried the tart pan off the dowel and filled the Jell-O mold with some mortar (because in addition to making a robot turkey last weekend, I also happened to be tiling a wall in my bathroom).

junk turkey

The mortar did the trick. I glued the tart pan back on after the mortar dried and he stood straight up.

turkey parts
I found a metal knob to use as the turkey’s head, a couple of small silver disks to use as eyes and a gold hex nut to use as his beak.

turkey assemblage
 I glued the facial features onto the head and glued the head onto the Jell-O mold body. I also attached a fancy swirly paper clip under his head to look like a waddle.

turkey robot
The weight of the head messed with the center of gravity again, but, happily, I discovered that if I screwed the legs a little further into his body and arranged his feet so they were slightly pigeon-toed,  I could get him to stand straight up.

Isn’t he cute? I’m not sure if he’s an improvement over the original, but he definitely has his own personality.