David Owensby
Idyllwild, CA
You can e-mail David

I have been infected by the same rare disease that you have. This letter is in the hope that I might find understanding in my present condition. It all started so subtly. I am a video cameraman by trade and after a period of extended unemployment, I went to work at the local theater. After a week or two they started showing "The Time Machine" by Simon Wells.

I like to build things, so decided to create some kind of a display inside the theater to promote the film. I didn't have much money or time, but what I did have were a lot of wire grid storage cubes. The kind you can whack together to make cubbyhole storage grids. Now, most of the machine is not square, so I needed some other way to attach the panels. And it had to be cheap. Zip ties!

So I started construction. Some 8 hours later I had the basis of a time machine. Over the next 3 to 4 days, I continued to tinker and refine. I would get so excited about different ideas, like what I could use or buy to make it more realistic. Eventually, the movie finished it's run and I had to dismantle my time machine. The patrons all thought it was cool and creative, but lamented that it was not big enough to sit in.

Enter the Internet. I started scanning the sites and soon I had a collection of over 125 photos. Most taken at Comicon 2001 in San Diego last year. I started drawing plans. Then I started shopping for parts. Home Depot. Ace Hardware. Walmart. Pic-n-sav. 99 Stores. Soon I had a base with legs, a control unit, rotors and so on.

The project occupied my thoughts day and night. Every night I would be up till midnight working on some aspect of the project. But I was plagued by doubts. "Would it stand up?". "Would I be able to finish it?". And "Who would care?".

I have taken some artistic liberties with the design so that you can't call it a replica. I call it a sculpture, yet strive to add details that make it look more like a "time machine". Some details are only hinted at, some are outright fabrications because I thought it looked good. About this time, I purchased the George Pal/ Rod Taylor DVD. In the segment about restoring the machine, I found the answer to my biggest problem. How to make the rotors turn slowly. BBQ rotisserie motors. They were cheap, small, noisy but they worked.

So after a month of sawing, drilling, painting and shopping, I now have a "working" Time Machine sculpture. I now have a great appreciation for both machines. And especially, Oliver Scholl's incredibly complex design.

Just to break things up, I got a large cardboard box and painted "TIME MACHINE" on the side, ah la' Calvin and Hobbs. So now I have 2 machines. Also I keep having the desire to "tinker" with it. Is that true for you as well? Like the C&W song says "That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it".
Still looking for my Weena,
David Owensby
Idyllwild, CA.

This is my version of the DreamWorks 2002 time machine. As you can see, I have changed some key parts based on what I could buy for cheap or already had. A coat of paint can work wonders, sometimes. The rotors turn in opposite directions and some areas of the machine light up blue.

I had designed a complex pulley system, but after watching "the Journey Back", they had used a rotisserie motor. That proved the best solution.

The cost of appliques for the chair was too high, so I tried other creative means.

The legs and rotor supports are 1/2inch pipe (it would have been better with 3/4inch). But pipe was the major expense plus lots of spray paint.

Finished it stands at 8 feet tall, 8 1/4 feet long and 6 1/2 feet wide. Yes, it comes apart so I can get it out the door.

Where ever possible, I tried to throw in small references to the George Pal machine.

Working on this one gave me a real appreciation for the original. I have so many plastic parts in it, I jokingly call it my "Tupperwear Time Machine". Thanks for giving me the chance to display my work on your site. I hope it inspires others, like you have inspired me. Thanks,
David Owensby


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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
Web Site 1999 Don Coleman
Web site created by Don Coleman
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd. #240
Burbank, CA 91505