DIY woodworking machinery
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  1. #1
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    Default DIY woodworking machinery

    Youtube has contributed to a renaissance of shop built woodworking machinery, usually from mostly wood, with people making even, somewhat terrifyingly, jointers and table saws with wood and plywood housings . I think the making of shop-built equipment had slipped into a several decades long trough after the emergence of Grizzly and cheap Taiwanese and then Chinese equipment, pretty much killing the Gilliom kit making company, and sinking into obscurity things like shop-built wide belt sanders (with manual tracking, ugghh--I made one and it was no fun!) featured in old Fine Woodworking Magazines, but there's something in the cultural zeitgeist that now has many people fascinated with all things DIY.

    Wide spread availability and ownership of CNC equipment is helping to fuel this, with high accuracy now accessible to even hobbyists via their (often shop-built) digital tools.

    I'm interested in expert opinions (or even educated guesses) about the longevity of this construction: YouTube
    The builder uses plywood gears to transmit low RPM power, and sets ball bearings into plywood housing. It's use will be low speed, probably no more than 150RPM's. Is the use of baltic birch plywood rather than aluminum or something like acetal a false economy here? What would be the threshhold of hours (or speed, or torque) of usage that would come into play in determining this?

  2. #2
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    Default

    I suspect it will last a very long time. Wood gears were used with large, prime numbers of teeth for years to transmit windmill torque to grind grain.

    Here we have low tooth count, but also low torque. The gears will probably abrasively wear out given no hope of lubricating them. The strength of the gears could be doubled or tripled by making them from wood, layed up with the grain oriented in the correct direction.

  3. #3
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    A plywood disk and peg teeth or a lantern gear should last a long time at low speeds. Just use a good hardwood for the teeth. Maybe wax the teeth?
    Bill D.


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