I have just spent ten hours trying to make a miniature mechanical toy. I have a desk full of eraser shavings, metal scraps, and one seriously scorched mouse and a burnt polymer cheese to show for my efforts.
Some days are like that. Taking something from an idea to a product that works can mean a lot of head scratching and dead ends.
Then, just as I was about to nibble on eraser shavings and chew wires, the man came home. He took one look at my work table, twisted a piece of wire and started talking about tolerance and play. Not in the context of human relationships. Remember he's an engineer...
I spent hours trying one type of fabric and another to give the gears more grip. He asks, what about sand paper? I spent hours trying to align every axle and gear, and get them centred. He says, offsetting the gears will give better torsion. Whatever that is, but I can see what he means.
So, now I have some new avenues to explore. At this late hour I'm going to start over. When I go to bed I will dream of dancing mice.