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Square Dowels

 

Not that many years ago  I had not consciously heard of square dowels.  Now I find them essential stock in my studio.
I keep 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" hardwood square dowels on hand.  Not only are they useful to use individually, they easily glue up to unusual shapes.

And of course I have round on hand...the above sizes plus 3/16".

Cheers
-Jim-
San Diego, California

BANOFALK
 

Following on from Jim talking about square dowels, I thought I would add some thoughts on handy available parts for automata (see photo).

 

In many of my automata I have used aluminium tubes for the main shafts. They are strong and straight (and do not warp!). In the past I have used old archery arrow shafts, 8 or 8.5mm diameter.

 

I have used bits of old Meccano in a couple of projects (found on Ebay.co.uk). The sprockets are available with 14, 18, 28, 36 and 56 teeth, giving some useful ratios. The wheel discs are handy for fixing a disc to a shaft. They sit on 4mm axles but I have sometimes broached them out to 5mm. I use clockmakers broaches to enlarge holes. I have a good selection up to 10mm.

 

I have used a lot of wooden slab wheels (my current project will probably consume 10!). Again found on Ebay. They are available in 25, 32, 38, 50 and 63mm diameter (1”, 1 ¼”,  1 ½”, 2” and 2 ½”). There is a half width version of the 25mm shown in the photo.

 

I am a junk collector! I have boxes of bits and bobs most of which will never get used. Most of my automata handles are bits of Ikea bed fittings.

 

The photo shows three RC aircraft wheel collets; I use lots – again found on Ebay.

 

The last thing in the photo is a doll’s eye removed from a rubber doll’s head. The type that close when a doll is inclined. They come in different sizes. I get them from old dolls but you can buy them new on Ebay. I found that when you pass a magnet across the rear of the eye it will open and close. I have only used this once so far, but the effect is great.

 

Regards to ALL

 

Barry

 

From: Jim Coffee
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2019 9:06 PM
Subject: [automata-forum] Square Dowels
 
Not that many years ago  I had not consciously heard of square dowels.  Now I find them essential stock in my studio.
I keep 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" hardwood square dowels on hand.  Not only are they useful to use individually, they easily glue up to unusual shapes.
 
And of course I have round on hand...the above sizes plus 3/16".
 
Cheers
-Jim-
San Diego, California

Automata Magazine
 

I cut my own square dowels. I start by cutting a slab on the table saw that's slightly larger than the finished dowel I want. Then I cut the dowels to size on my miniature table saw (Proxxon -- excellent). I made up a set of metal gauges in several common sizes. These are nothing more than bits of brass that are precisely cut to 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", etc. Using these, I can set up the saw in a jiffy, knowing that the dowels I cut will be accurate and consistent. Plus, I can make them of any kind of wood I want.

Gus
 

Square dowels are unheard of in Australia.  Are they sold in long lengths ? What do you use square dowels for in automata ? 

V Bass
 

On 9/25/2019 5:29 PM, klekner@... wrote:
Square dowels are unheard of in Australia.  Are they sold in long lengths ? What do you use square dowels for in automata ? 
_._,_._,

That term seems odd to me, too. I believe it refers to what is commonly known as "square sticks". I guess that's why Marc just whips them out on the table saw.

Use them anywhere you would use a square stick.

Vance Bass

 

So I was working in my studio after having read this thread and the question 'what do you use square dowels for in automata?'.
I am in the process of building a test stand.  The purpose of the test stand is to give me a chance to build and test the automata geometry and to test the fit and operation of the biped.  In other words this test stand will not meet the public...it's a behind the scenes tool.  The test stand is completed with the exception of the motor which I will be installing next.
As I looked at the test stand I realized that I had used much square dowling. I was actually surprised to see how much was in there:
  • The legs.
  • Temporary framing for the axles and etc.
  • The hub locks
  • The bearing carriers (the for nylon bearings)
  • The temporary hand crank.
I get the term "square dowel" from both my Home Depot (not a good source) and from Wood Craft Parts (my favorite source).

I also read that one of the forum members cuts his own.  As he mentioned, he can make the square dowels out of any wood that he desires.  I think that's a great idea.

Here are some test stand pictures.

Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
IMG_20190925_180114-1000.jpg
IMG_20190925_175952-1000.jpg
IMG_20190925_180019-1000.jpg
IMG_20190925_180033-1000.jpg
IMG_20190925_180052-1000.jpg


On Wed, 25 Sep 2019 at 16:44, V Bass <vrbass@...> wrote:
On 9/25/2019 5:29 PM, klekner@... wrote:
Square dowels are unheard of in Australia.  Are they sold in long lengths ? What do you use square dowels for in automata ? 
_._,_._,

That term seems odd to me, too. I believe it refers to what is commonly known as "square sticks". I guess that's why Marc just whips them out on the table saw.

Use them anywhere you would use a square stick.

Vance Bass

Automata Magazine
 

I was unfamiliar with the term, too, so I looked it up on the Internet (the source of all knowledge). Evidently, "square dowels" is in fairly wide usage.  --Marc

veeracer@...
 

I see I'm not the only one to use pvc tubing to keep dowels and such in place.
Also where do you source the band that you are using , I've been looking for some time and havent found anything that substantial.

 

Greetings...
Re the pvc holders...love em.  They are easy to make and do good work.
Regarding the Hollow Core Round Belting...I obtain it from McMaster Carr.  Here is a link to the top of the section.  Then click Round Belts, then click Quick Connect Hollow-Core Round Belting.
I use the 3/16" size with the Aluminum Connectors.  I've never had a failure or a disconnect.  The most stressful place that I use this belting is on the rewind mechanism for my street organ.  It gets heavy, fast, and a lot of use.  The belt is dirtier than it was three years ago...but no wear or weak spots.  And just FYI, here is a link to my favorite supplier page on my website.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
one of the Automata Group Moderators
I create automata near San Diego, California



On Thu, 26 Sep 2019 at 06:38, <veeracer@...> wrote:
I see I'm not the only one to use pvc tubing to keep dowels and such in place.
Also where do you source the band that you are using , I've been looking for some time and havent found anything that substantial.

Mike
 

I use square dowel rods for push rods. I like the square shape as round dowel rods are prone to spin depending on the installation. It's also easy to cut a square pocket/path, using the table saw, for a square dowel to slide through.