Saturday, October 25, 2014

Invention creeps after world’s slowest machine

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 9/27/2013

WELLSVILLE — TJ Bivins did it again.

Just slower.

WELLSVILLE — TJ Bivins did it again.

Just slower.

Less than three months after he sold his Guinness Book of World Records-recognized “Slopoke” machine, Bivins, 89, Wellsville, crafted another machine, this time even slower than his first.

His original machine, which he named “Slopoke,” is recognized as the slowest rotating man-made object in the world, and was sold to the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond in early July. His new machine, “Creepy,” takes 7 trillion years for one plate to make a 360 degree rotation, Bivins said.

“‘Creepy’ is all made out of salvaged scrap parts,” Bivins said. “I had it complete and showed it at Wellsville Days [last weekend].”

Bivins' original “Slopoke” machine’s slowest gear took a little more than 3.8 billion years to make a complete rotation. He said he did not intend for the machine to be ready for Wellsville Days, but since it was, Bivins decided to show it off.

“I got lucky,” he said, laughing. “A lot of people said ‘What the heck does it do?’”

Well, it moves incredibly slowly.

Even though Bivins, who turns 90 Oct. 3, previously designed “Slowpoke,” he said the two machines have no ties to each other.

“They are entirely different,” Bivins said.

“Creepy” is made of motors from scrap trunks, Bivins said, and runs off a six-volt battery. Gears are hooked together, and each gear turns 50 times slower than the gear it is hooked to. The first gear, or power head, turns once per second.

The idea for the new machine, which was built at Bivins’ home, came simply out of a desire to fill his spare time.

“I needed something to do very bad and I love working in the shop,” he said. “My plan was to enjoy making it. I kind of missed ‘Slopoke,’ so I built this one.”

It took Bivins two months to complete “Creepy,” but he hasn’t yet contacted the Guinness Book of World Records, he said.

“I haven’t said a word to them,” Bivins said. “I don’t see why I wouldn’t. They are awful nice people to deal with.”

With “Creepy” completed, Bivins said he is done building machines.

“This will be the last one I ever fool with,” he said.

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