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Training for Christmas

This piece was made for an article in Woodcraft Magazine's Holiday 2005 issue. The articles provides plans and instructions on how to make this automaton for yourself.

When the hand-crank is turned, Santa works out on the parallel bars. Going up and down millions of chimneys requires some very strong triceps. Though the mechanism is fairly simple, the figure's articulated joints create a convincing lifelike motion.

This automaton is the first of its kind, and sure to be duplicated by others in years to come. This is the original, signed by the artist, that was featured in the pages of a woodworking magazine with nationwide distribution.

Stages of Development

Initial Sketch

Refined Sketch 

In Progress


Now in a private collection

Exercising Santa Automaton Details

  • 30 cm X 15 cm X 7.5 cm
  • Solid cherry mechanism and base
  • Brass hardware
  • Carved and painted basswood figure
  • Original protoype by the artist as seen in Woodcraft magazine
  • Engraved brass title plaque

  • Training for Christmas © 2005 Dug North

This piece now resides in a private collection. To enquire about obtaining one of your own, please use the contact form.

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Automata by
Dug North