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?

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  3. #2
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    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.

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  5. #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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    I've made several shop made tools. First was a treadle lathe from a Roy Underhill book. Worked very well til I got old and converted the lathe to electric. Still use it occasionally today. Next was a panel saw.
    I had a job for a local college that required cross cutting 40+ sheets of oak plywood. The pieces were made into display boxes on wheels. I had about 200+ cuts and a straight edge and circular saw would take forever. Somewhere on the web I came across plans for a DIY panel saw. I used some of the ideas and added my own. The rails were from Stanley Sliding Door Hardware. Installed about 12 rollers at the base for sheets to roll on. Mounted a PC saw with the bent aluminum tube to direct sawdust into a vacuum hose. Vacuum and saw on same switch.
    Even though the panel saw worked perfectly I wound up taking it apart several years later. Had not used it since the display box job and it took up room in the shop.
    I then needed a drum sander. Made one with 4" x 20" roller for the paper. I cut 4"+ HDF with a hole saw and once on the 1" shaft I turned it true on a metal lathe. Shaft on pillow blocks, table was hinged at the front and two threaded bolts and nuts at rear adjusted the height. Motor 3 hp from a old compressor.
    This set up worked lousy at first. Needed a power feeder. I had a 1/4 hp feeder and tried that. Now it worked as intended. Sold it to an employee when I retired.
    The largest machine I made was a sash saw used to cut logs into boards. The saw could cut up to 26" diameter logs 12-1/2 feet long. Depending on how many blades I installed I could cut at least 8 boards 1-3/4" thick at a time. My grandfather used a similar saw driven with a paddle wheel over a fast moving stream in the early 1900's. I was told sash saws were common then.The saw works on reciprocal motion. Pitman arm converted circular motion from a Kohler engine to up and down to drive the sash. When I built mine I was told that there was only one sash saw still operating on a diesel engine. When I retired and sold the shop the saw and other large machines went with it.

    mike

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  9. #5
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    This guy knows what he’s doing. Using wood for the housing. Metal for bearings and shafts. Wooden gears may fail, but this is a prototype. He can either remake gears or buy metal gears. Wood here is much more cost effective than getting custom made castings, and he could send out his prototype and have aluminum castings made. As a woodworker he is making an advanced jig with material on hand. Alternatives for the drive would be a belt drive or a bicycle chain drive. A small motor with a VSD would work, too. I was amused by the hand drill speed control.

    Check out this music “mill.” YouTube Looks like an old Linotype machine. Bigger gears on this bad boy.

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  11. #6
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    If discussing DIY home made machinery is not allowed everywhere else on this site, why woood it be allowed here ?


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