The tenth episode of Tim Hunkin’s The Secret Life of Components is up. Linkages & Mechanisms does what it says on the tin as Tim Hunkin shares his knowledge and experience with us about the parts that amplify forces and make his machines move.
This is honestly my favorite video so far, we get to see Hunkin’s joyful perspective on watching a digging crane at a local scrapyard pick up, move, and destroy rubbish. The crane picks things up using linkages and Hunkin’s happy to just watch them in motion and share that with us which is a little unusual but much appreciated.
Tim Hunkin helped us peek into The Secret Life of Machines on TV three decades ago with his colleague Rex Garrod. In the meantime Hunkin had also made custom, extremely silly, arcade machines and other inventions. Last year Hunkin was inspired by other creators and returned to video with a new series of eight episodes called The Secret Life of Components. I think the building community is very fortunate to have him back again for a new series of five episodes starting with Sensors. In each episode, Hunkin demonstrates his knowledge of the topic and shows us practical skills in implementing the components Hunkin uses to build his machines.
In The Secret Life of Components: Sensors Hunkin goes over the different types of sensors he uses for his inventions and shows us how practical (or not) each one ends up being.
Yet to be aired in this new series of five videos are: Linkages and Mechanisms, Motors,Screw Threads, and Prototype.
The Secret Life of Components finale is up and this time it is all about those wibbly wobbly bearings that help other parts move. I’m a little sad to say goodbye to more content from TV’s Tim Hunkin, but that’s what makes this series special. Hunkin isn’t like other video essayists and hobbyists on YouTube and that’s why I was elated when the series started. Who the heck is going to go on about bearings, glue, connectors, springs, switches, hinges, LEDs, and chain! These things are the mundane parts that make other things work. Somehow, Hunkin made each component interesting with live demonstrations and more.
Hats off to Tim Hunkin. If we’re lucky he will follow through with the idea he put in the description for this final video that he might make another series next winter. We should all be so lucky.
Tim Hunkin is back at it again, this time he’s teaching us about the wonderful world of glue with a little history and some real-world demonstrations both in his workshop and at his arcades. It is those demonstrations and Hunkin’s presentation that really make these videos work, and turn what might be a completely boring subject, like glue, into something fun.
One of the most interesting things about glue is how it is used today in phones, laptops, and some monitors. Usually glue is used to hold glass on to the body of the device instead of something with a visible mounting system. I used to think knowing about the glue trick these companies use devalued the devices because glue seems like a cheap answer to that problem, but it must be the most practical solution or there would be a replacement after all these years. I’m sure the people who fix these devices don’t appreciate having to heat up and remove the bond, just to have to re-do it again and hope you get it right without pinching any of the tiny connecting cables.
This week on The Secret Life of Components Tim Hunkin treats us to connections he makes with wires. This is probably the most practical video for me because I struggle sometimes to make good connections from one wire to another but I never look up any help about it and just keep making mistakes. So, if you’re like me and in need of some practical advice, or just enjoy listening to Tim Hunkin explain the components he uses to make the machines at his arcades, tune in above and then check out Hunkin’s The Secret Life of Components website afterwards.
One great new feature of the TSLoC website is that Hunkin has been writing a bit of behind-the-scenes errata or addendum in response to the comments on each video a little while after they go up. For example, Hunkin says in regard to the wonderful giant micro switch from the switches episode:
I’m delighted that many people commented on the giant microswitch because Rex made it 30 years ago for our Secret Life of the Lift film. Far too good to throw out its been waiting in my stores for this moment of glory. Its made of layers of MDF, cut to shape on a bandsaw.
We’ve already seen Hunkin talk and demonstrate about Chain, LEDs, Hinges, Switches, and Springs in this series. There are just two more episodes left, Glue coming up next week and Bearings the week after that.