Thursday, March 18, 2010

Roto-Caster (Part 2)

I knew when I took on this project that it was going to be a challenge as this is my first year every really working with wood and certainly my first time working with gears and moving parts that are not hinges. I have encountered a few problems (and general tips that seem to be missing) with the instruction I posted from the Internet in Part 1.

The first is the top arrow which refers to the larger of the two black gears. This gear has a set screw in it and has to be tuned to the point of contacting the bolt that goes through it. This gear is meant to move with the bolt as the caster rotates causing the white gears to move the inner, smaller frame (Hint: the white gears need to be tapped to a larger size so that they do not split (or tear up your hand) when putting the bolt in.)

This same large gear brings me to my second problem which is the arrow at the bottom of the first image. Because of the thickness of the gear, the small amount of clearance between it at the outer frame and the possible chance of warped wood, any time the caster rotated, the gear would hit the outer frame and stop moving. To solve this problem I had to re-cut the piece of wood for the outer frame on the left and attach it to the end of the base as oppose to on top of it (you can see in the image below where the two pieces used to be joined and where they are located now.) This move allowed me an extra 3/4 inch clearance and I would recommend just planning on this change from the beginning and buying slightly longer carriage bolts.

Finally, the third problem comes with the smaller of the two black gears, as seen in the image below and the middle arrow in the top image. Although this gear has a set screw in it just like the large black gear, you do not want to set this screw to lock with the through bolt. Instead, this gear needs to remain still with the wood on the outer frame. This requires having a grove for this gear to fit and making sure it stays in place and does not rotate with the bolt. My solution to this was a good amount of strong epoxy.

The last and final problem I hope to encounter in this piece is that, although I ordered the motor over 2 weeks ago, it took me contacting the seller on Ebay to find out that the motor I ordered was out of stock and that they were refunding my money. So, please stay tuned for Part 3...

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