Silent Library – Indian Burn Machine

Designing and building this machine was one of my biggest challenges on Silent Library.

Figuring out a way for the hands to rotate around a point where I could place no pivots was tricky – so I made a semicircular track for a set of rollerskate wheels, and attached a pair of silicone hands to the wheels. The hands are moved by steel bars which slide in tracks to convert the circular motion of the motor into the back and forth motion of the hands. Some bearings helped to keep everything running smoothly.

Here is a preliminary version of this machine – it uses shortened bicycle inner tubes to grab a contestant’s arm in three places. The clear plastic tube is also in three pieces, and the center piece can rotate to give an indian burn effect. Becky Holmes helped with the silver paint finish, which helped to make the machine look scarier.