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Mechanisms can be created by a Mechanic at a Mechanic's workshop out of a stone, or at a Metalsmith's forge from 1 bar of weapons-grade metal (silver, copper, bronze, bismuth bronze, iron, steel, or 3 adamantine wafers). In the Metalsmith's forge menu, they are found under trap components. Unlike when making other trap components, making metal mechanisms at a forge requires the Mechanics labor. Stone mechanisms are made from any type of stone (even supposedly soft minerals as gypsum or talc).
Building traps, levers, pressure plates, and gear assemblies requires one mechanism. Linking objects to a lever or pressure plate requires two mechanisms per linked item - one for the linked object, and one for the trigger (the lever or pressure plate). The only way to recover these mechanisms is to deconstruct both the linked object and the trigger.
Mechanics will install mechanisms. Mechanisms can be linked to objects at any distance. It is unclear exactly how two (or more) mechanisms talk to each other at a distance without building direct mechanical or electronic channels between them (such as a wire), and given that the Dwarves have not discovered radio technology, it is believed by some that the Dwarves have actually discovered how to implement and control quantum entanglement on a non-quantum scale.
Mechanism quality determines the skill with which the weapon is "swung" or "fired" by the weapon trap, and affects all the rolls.  It does not affect how quickly a trap refires.
Mechanisms for use in magma must be magma safe, otherwise they will be destroyed (whether by melting or by burning) and the object to which they are linked will deconstruct.
Mechanisms make surprisingly good trade items due to their high base value of 30. In comparison to other crafts they are heavy, making them less than ideal when trading with races that do not bring wagons; currently, this includes all racesBug:197. Levers and gear assemblies make good room decorations, as they have a greater base value than that of statues and windows.
Mechanisms count as furniture. Because of this, the Jeweler's workshop job encrust furniture with [gem] may encrust mechanisms with gems instead of more useful furniture.