Topics

Mixing Media Within the Mechanics

Mike
 

I was wondering about the pros and cons of mixing media within the mechanics of our autuomata. For example could I use a brass, aluminum or steel rod in place of a wooden dowel rod, but then have wooden cams, cranks, gears and levels attached to the metal rod? Over a certain length I guess all rods tend to flex. Or would it be wiser to simply add support posts at the point of flex? I hope this makes sense.
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Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Automata Magazine
 

Hi Mike,

In my experience, mixing materials is fine. I always do. I started using only wood but found that climate and weather affected it to the point that, if you are working to fairly close tolerances, the whole thing would bind up in damp weather. Once I started using brass for the shafts, that problem was solved. I try to stay with wood when possible but also try to evaluate what will be the best material for the application. —Marc

On Dec 21, 2019, at 10:39 AM, Mike <smc5910@...> wrote:

I was wondering about the pros and cons of mixing media within the mechanics of our autuomata. For example could I use a brass, aluminum or steel rod in place of a wooden dowel rod, but then have wooden cams, cranks, gears and levels attached to the metal rod? Over a certain length I guess all rods tend to flex. Or would it be wiser to simply add support posts at the point of flex? I hope this makes sense.
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Mike

Wooden Curiosities


 

Hi MIke...
Interesting question.  It will be interesting reading the responses.
In my case:
  1. I like to work with wood...so start there.
  2. I like "smooth and quiet".
  3. I never rotate (or slide) wood inside of wood.  I always use either a nylon bushing (for a partial rotation) or a ball bearing assembly (for full rotation).
  4. The size automata that I create cause me to work with shafts 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4" diameter.  
  5. If I am doing something simple that is not high tolerance I will use a wood shaft inside nylon bearings.  The wood dowels are not the right size for the ball bearing assemblies...they are always too large...and a pain to install.
  6. I use 1/4" stainless steel shafting and ball bearings for things that rotate.
    1. When attaching things to the stainless shaft I normal clamp onto the shaft.
    2. The 1/4" shafting comes in a D profile.  I prefer using this D profile because it permits the clamps to get a better grip.
    3. Hubs are also available.
    4. I source my shafting, bearings, hubs, and spacers from ServoCity.com.
Good question.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
enjoying the 'sport' of automata near San Diego, California.


On Sat, 21 Dec 2019 at 09:39, Mike <smc5910@...> wrote:
I was wondering about the pros and cons of mixing media within the mechanics of our autuomata. For example could I use a brass, aluminum or steel rod in place of a wooden dowel rod, but then have wooden cams, cranks, gears and levels attached to the metal rod? Over a certain length I guess all rods tend to flex. Or would it be wiser to simply add support posts at the point of flex? I hope this makes sense.
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Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Gus
 

Hi Mike,
Purely based on experience,

Pros,
Tubes and rectangular sections telescope,  sliding elements can move with good precision, rotate also
Load bearing movements can be handled with much smaller sizes than wood
Looks good in conjunction with darker timbers especially
Can be precision machined
Does not loosen/tighten up with "normal" temperature fluctuations
Annealing makes it easy to form

Cons,
Expensive
Lubrication neccessary for moving /sliding parts
Oxidises
Good soldering skills are needed, sloppy work shows  :-(

Plastic,
Pros,
Easily machined
Available in "lubricant" grade
Good for wheels, pulleys

Cons,
Doesn't look  good 

Regards,
Gus

Mario Núñez
 

This topic, like some of the others, is like a crash course in automata.  Thanks, all.

Mario

Mike
 

Yes, thanks everyone. :)
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Looking forward to hearing about your automata adventures!


Mike

Wooden Curiosities