Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to the project list

Like so many other gnomes, I have an extensive project list.  Well, more of a project directory.  Many years ago I started to keep track of all the little ideas I had.  When I get an idea I create a directory then add notes, images, sketches, sketchups, etc.  As a result I have record of all those cool little or big, ideas that I used to forget.  But now I have a record of everything I have not finished.  Well it is spring and it is time to clear out some projects.

First one to be finished will be the last one I started.  Last August I promised a friend that I would make her some motorized steampunk wings for Halloween.  Well, I tried, but didn't quite finish on time.  Don't worry, she was sick on Halloween so it didn't matter. ;)  Then winter hit and my shed is not heated so work stopped.  Now I have heat again (thank you sun,) I want to get back to work.

I managed to get a lot done before winter.  Most of the structure and joints are complete.

Wings expanded.  About 36 inch span.

Wings in folded position.
They are dragon wings.  The holes on the left of the block are for mounting curved rods that extend out a few more feet.  I'm really proud of this joint design.  It moves incredibly smoothly.

I made pillow blocks that support bearings on both sides.

So what is left to do?  I had to rethink the power system.  Originally there was to be a motor mounted in the bottom of the center section that world turn a threaded rod.  There was a block that moved up and down on the threaded rod and some bars that pushed and pulled... Well that all failed.  The motor is a big 24v DC but it just did not have the torque.  My leverage ratios were way off.  The joints like to bind.  It was sad.

So now that I have had a few months I think I can fix it and not have to rebuild the whole thing.  I plan to add PFTE/Teflon washers to all the binding joints.  The motor was originally to be mounted at the bottom but by flipping it and mounting at the top, I can push and pull the "elbow" joints.  That would improve my leverage a lot.  I still might have to get a new motor with a built in gear box.  Now I just have to wait for my Teflon sheets to arrive.

Some more detailed images of the wings.

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