Advice on how to balance a handwheel
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    Default Advice on how to balance a handwheel

    img_0835.jpgimg_0834.jpg
    I need to balance 2 hand wheels for a remote camera system. The hand wheels have to be perfectly balanced in order to function correctly. Does anybody have any suggestions on what is the best way to go about this?

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    You're going to have to add weight opposite the handle. I'd put a shaft through the hole and rest it on rails, just like balancing a grinding wheel. I don't like two handle wheels, but adding an identical handle might be one solution.

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    Put a matching handle on the opposite side.

    If another handle is too big, You could model it in sketchup and use the "C of G" extension to find the center of gravity. Play around with placement of counterweights until you get it centered. All materials have to be the same density for that extension to calculate correctly.

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    I'd probably try to copy how grinder wheels are balanced. Use a ground shaft that matches the ID of the handwheel and use two other hardened ground shafts/thin planes on either side to allow the center mounted shaft to rest upon (maybe search Ebay for "grinding wheel balancer" to relieve yourself from having to make that if there is more than a few of these to do). Level the assembly before adding the handwheel/center shaft. Then you have to determine where your heavy areas are and remove/add material. Right off the bat you will have to address the mass of the handle that is added to one side either by adding comparable mass to the opposing side or by removing material around the handle. If this is a system that will be produced regularly you may want to redesign to compensate for the weight of the handle and fastener(s).

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    The added mass should be very dense, like lead, silver or, carbide., so it is small enough to not interfere with the existing handle.
    Bill D

    The chemical elements of the periodic table sorted by density

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonCarriveau View Post
    img_0835.jpgimg_0834.jpg
    I need to balance 2 hand wheels for a remote camera system. The hand wheels have to be perfectly balanced in order to function correctly. Does anybody have any suggestions on what is the best way to go about this?
    Perfectly? Why?

    Firstly, Not trying to be difficult here, but the force inputs from the operator's hands are necessarily unbalanced and by quite a bit as the wheels are operated. So, just pretty close should be good enough for the dynamic part of their operation. Then again, a significant imbalance of the wheels could cause the hand wheels to seek a crankarm-down position if the wheels are attached to a very low friction axle. Ideally the axle would have some natural damping imparted usually by thixotropic grease applied to gears and or bearings. If possible, application of such a grease might be as important as balancing if such grease is not already in place.

    The second big question is what equipment do you have at your disposal to make modifications to the wehels and to measure their imbalance?

    So, as is quite common here, it would help if you could provide information to flesh out the problem so that better advice can be provided.

    Denis

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    You might attach weight directly opposite the handle until you find the desired balancing weight. Then add a weight to the back side of the handle.
    Some modern glues might be used to attach the weight....

    Agree the double handle likely would be OK/best because of using the same part and process..

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    Hopefully you only need static balance as you will never be able to dynamically balance that structure with out adding a protruding structure opposite of the handle. That also means that it can not be balanced using any form of spin balancing.

    As others have said you will need to either add material opposite the handle or remove material around the handle.

    To get "perfect" balance I would put an axle through it and then find "friction free" bearings, perhaps air bearings, to mount the axle.

    For balancing motorcyle wheels I have a static balancer that supports the shaft on small ball bearings using light oil for lube. There are two bearings on each end of the axle to cradle the axle. The OD of the bearings have been increased significantly by placing the bearings in large steel wheels. This greatly reduces the forces needed to rotate the axle.

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    Actually using rails should be less friction than the best of bearings.

    I think a combination of removing weight from the handle side and adding weight to the opposite side would be the easiest method.

    The handle isn't going to rotate very fast, especially compared to a grinding wheel. My guess as to why the handles need to be balanced is they spin very freely and will move on their own if out of balance. So I would think the balance doesn't need to be very accurate. Just ballpark should work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgfoster View Post
    Perfectly? Why?

    Firstly, Not trying to be difficult here, but the force inputs from the operator's hands are necessarily unbalanced and by quite a bit as the wheels are operated. So, just pretty close should be good enough for the dynamic part of their operation. Then again, a significant imbalance of the wheels could cause the hand wheels to seek a crankarm-down position if the wheels are attached to a very low friction axle. Ideally the axle would have some natural damping imparted usually by thixotropic grease applied to gears and or bearings. If possible, application of such a grease might be as important as balancing if such grease is not already in place.

    The second big question is what equipment do you have at your disposal to make modifications to the wehels and to measure their imbalance?

    So, as is quite common here, it would help if you could provide information to flesh out the problem so that better advice can be provided.

    Denis
    It has to be perfectly balanced otherwise there will be unwanted movement of the camera, if the operator releases the handle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptsmith View Post
    Actually using rails should be less friction than the best of bearings.

    I think a combination of removing weight from the handle side and adding weight to the opposite side would be the easiest method.

    The handle isn't going to rotate very fast, especially compared to a grinding wheel. My guess as to why the handles need to be balanced is they spin very freely and will move on their own if out of balance. So I would think the balance doesn't need to be very accurate. Just ballpark should work.
    You are correct sir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    The added mass should be very dense, like lead, silver or, carbide., so it is small enough to not interfere with the existing handle.
    Bill D

    The chemical elements of the periodic table sorted by density
    Tungsten is an even better choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    You might attach weight directly opposite the handle until you find the desired balancing weight. Then add a weight to the back side of the handle.
    Some modern glues might be used to attach the weight....

    Agree the double handle likely would be OK/best because of using the same part and process..
    I don't believe adding another handle would be acceptable to the operator. Though that would definitely be the easiest solution.
    I've added a couple pictures of already balanced hand wheels, showing how they are attached, and hopefully giving an idea of how they are used.img_0837.jpgimg_0836.jpg

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    Those pictures show a beautiful solution with forethought. For your specific issue, there are really no two ways to do it simply.

    Drill a hole diametrically opposed to the one holding onto the handle and stuff it with something denser so that you get close to the balance point. That along with Denis' suggestion to add something of a drag through application of some grease compound should solve the problem simply and completely.

    In other words, get close balance, not perfect, by adding weight on the other side. Any residual imbalance should be handled by the stickiness of the grease.

    Jacques

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    I did it this way:

    img_1378.jpg

    Regards.

    Mike

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    I appreciate everyone's input. While I cannot add grease, as that would interfere in the way the equipment operates, I will take y'alls suggestion with drilling holes in the handles opposing side and add some type of weighted material. Thank you all for your suggestions.

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    Looking at the photos of the balanced handwheels gives me another idea.

    Could you modify the design so the strap connecting the hub to the rim is thicker opposite the handle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    I did it this way:

    img_1378.jpg

    Regards.

    Mike
    Brilliant, but the customer is definitely not going to go for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    Looking at the photos of the balanced handwheels gives me another idea.

    Could you modify the design so the strap connecting the hub to the rim is thicker opposite the handle?
    I considered that, however I'm concerned with not knowing how to calculate how much to take off.

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    You can buy balanced handwheels, not terribly expensive.

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