The assembly of the Reuge Byzance
An automated mechanical singing bird. Movement composed of 250 mechanical pieces. Real bird feathers. Animation of the bird: 10 to 12 seconds. Running reserve: 7 times the working cycle.
The singing of the bird combined with its physical actions are coordinated simultaneously through cams driven directly from the barrel.
Please click on the image below to turn the box.
Assembling the barrel
The barrel and train leading to the air-brake in place and greased, with the exception of the worm gear and synthetic pinion that run dry, not requiring lubrication.
Each step of assembly is executed by hand, certain components such as the bellows are built in series prior to the final assembly of the mechanism. In addition to the basic assembling of the components there are constant checks and adjustments made to the parts being positioned.
Many of the levers are held in place by tapered steel pins which are pushed in placed, then shortened afterwards.
Certain levers are adjusted by filing the desired form then finishing the surface with a fine buff stick.
The operating button and lever assembled, then placed in position between the plates.
The upper plate being placed in position. The plates are brass, machined, polished and plated. The holes are rectified by hand using broaches removing any excess plating that has entered into them.
A pillar being re-tapped during assembly.
The ratchet wheel which prevents the mainspring from unwinding when the box is wound. Placed on the square section of the barrel arbor then held in place by a steel tapered pin.
All of the levers are made from brass or steel. When positioned synthetic oils and greases are added, then when in place each part is tested to assure that it moves freely.
All of the levers, bridges and springs are made in-house. Techniques of production vary depending on the quantity to be made, material and function. The spring below, which sits on the lever which was shown above is made by hand using specific jigs.
Any excess lubrication is removed.
The grills that are below the bird covering the mechanism, both are to hide the mechanism below, but allow the sound to travel through the holes in them.
When the bird sings, its beak, wings and neck move in unison with the song, and the bird pivots on its perch.
The mechanism assembled with only the bellows to be added.
The bellows are built separately in series due to their complexity and the time required at each step, allowing the fabric to dry after the cementing onto the wooden structure.
The bellows are added.
Once the outer box is assembled the mechanism is placed inside and screwed in place.
Synthetic washers are placed on all joints of the outer box to reduce vibration.
The box assembled missing only the hard rubber feet.
Diverse images of the finished bird box, please click to see the full image.
The singing bird box is a unique product in a world of modern technology. Unlike modern technology, as with some mechanical watches Reuge’s music and bird boxes have a feeling that transcends time with a charm that they will exist for generations to come.
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