Building an Animation Workstation

Doesn't every cartoonist want to make their pictures move?

Not having found any satisfying solutions to making animation on my computer, I'm going to turn my drawing table into an animation desk...something I've wanted since I was 12, and am finally getting around to!

For anyone else interested, I'm going to document my project and cheapskate expenses.
This is my current drawing desk.  It was handmade by someone I don't know, and purchased at a rummage sale, years ago.  Fortunately, the top of the desk detaches, leaving a flat surface, so I can remove the drawing board to alternate it with the animation board.  Any flat surface would probably do, though.

This is a wobbly, rickety, rough old drafting board nobody in their right mind would try to draw on.  (Rummage sale, $10) But it will provide the main lumber for the desktop.  Behind it is a sheet of quarter-inch plywood panelling.  It was in the garage, and nobody knows where it came from. (Freebie!) It will provide more than enough wood for the disc. drafting table

lighting stuff Here's a flourescent light containing both a 22 watt and a 32-watt bulb.  Should be adequate for lighting!  Available at Home Depot, Fleet Farm, and probably lots of other places for around $40.  If you have a milky sheet of plexiglass, you can get by cheaper by buying one without a diffuser.  A polarized plug, a couple of handy boxes switch and plate total up around $10.

Some trim, a bit of finish, and some bits of hardware add up to less than $20.  The clear sheet of Lexan (14.5x14.5--a bit bigger than necessary...) was purchased off Ebay, for about $25 including postage. The library book is free, provided I return it in time! lexan and trim

The difficulty of cutting a circle is the first problem to raise it's ugly head.  Using a thin chunk of hardboard, I made this makeshift compass.  It is attached to the saw (badly) with wood screws in strategic places, and pivot holes are drilled 10 inches and 12 inches from the blade.  (The Lexan is 22 inches diagonally, so my disc is going to be 24 inches wide.)  With any luck, the compass will not fall apart from the vibration until I accomplish something.

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