Routing Gears for Gear Toy - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing Gears for Gear Toy

I've been working on a gear toy project for my granddaughter, for over a month now. I have a full set of gears cut using a bandsaw, belt sander and scroll saw sanding blades, from medium density fiberboard (MDF) (see photos below). But, even though I have been very careful to sand "to" the lines, the gears don't mesh right. I've even sanded the lines away and they still don't mesh right. (Last photo should be first, showing bandsawing the gear. Second photo shows how the bottom of one tooth was cleaned up and squared off using the bandsaw and the following photos of the completed gears.)

The gears mount on peg board and I found it difficult to figure out how to locate/position the gears at first. I figured out a handy way that I think young kids like my granddaughter can work with (they may be able to do it better than this old f*** anyway) that I may comment on later. The problem I'm having with the gears is that they should mount directly in line in the 1" peg board hole centers (I think). But they are too tight that way. So, by shifting over one hole, I can get the gears to not bind, but then there is more "clearance" than there should be - again, I think. I've set up full gear trains this way, but it is just not satisfying for me.
You may notice that few of those gears are mounted with their centerlines "inline".

Plans for the gear toy are out of Wood Magazine and are available for purchase for $7.95.

I want to remake the gears from Baltic birch plywood (BBP), but want to get the gears meshing right before investing anything more in time and materials, etc. To that end, I found a gear program that allows for creating and customizing gears for this sort of thing. Woodworking for engineers
There are also quite a few plans for gear toys/machines available from this site.

I've designed the exact same gears in that program with 1/32" "slop" and they look like they should work. I've imported the gears designed with that 1/32" slop into my CAD program and have worked up "patterns" for printing and mounting up for hand-cutting in the manner described above. I want to cut some trial gears, but it is almost no extra work to cut a stack of three or four, so then I get sucked into remaking multiples, and then into remaking all of them.

That is when CNC comes to mind. I mentioned this in another thread and David (difalkner) PM'd me about that, mentioning a thread he posted about making some gears using CNC.
https://www.routerforums.com/show-n-...her-gears.html

I am now interested in learning more. The balance bike project that I posted about would have also benefitted from CNC, rather than the pattern boards that I used. But I was no where near interested enough then.

Rick
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:16 PM
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Wow nice work Rick . I have no idea why I find gears so fascinating , but I do .
Impressive looking gear when done in the capable hands of someone with a bandsaw .

For a kid, I think there’s a lot pinch areas with all those gears though lol.

You’ve given me an idea . Done right , a small gear reduction motor turning the gears slowly could potentially make for some really cool wall art. Some plexi and LEDs etc ?
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Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 01-01-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Wow nice work Rick . I have no idea why I find gears so fascinating , but I do .
Impressive looking gear when done in the capable hands of someone with a bandsaw .

For a kid, I think thereís a lot pinch areas with all those gears though lol.

Youíve given me an idea . Done right , a small gear reduction motor turning the gears slowly could potentially make for some really cool wall art. Some plexi and LEDs etc ?
Thanks.

The bandsaw work was made easier by using the Carter Stabilizer guide, which allows use of blades down to 1/8" for scroll-like work on the bandsaw. WAY easier than using a scrollsaw.

Yeah, the "pinch" thing for kids has risen as an issue. My granddaughter is a newly minted 5yr old and she was only mildly impressed with it and showed no interest in playing with it once it was "given" to her as a gift. Hopefully, that changes as she gets older.

No matter however. When I first started with the gears, she saw stacks of the two smaller ones on my workbench and started playing with them. When I showed her a couple mounted on the peg board she said "Cool. What are you making? A machine?" That was just about enough to make it worthwhile.

I have just the motors for that wall art.

Rick
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:46 PM
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Thanks.

The bandsaw work was made easier by using the Carter Stabilizer guide, which allows use of blades down to 1/8" for scroll-like work on the bandsaw. WAY easier than using a scrollsaw.

Yeah, the "pinch" thing for kids has risen as an issue. My granddaughter is a newly minted 5yr old and she was only mildly impressed with it and showed no interest in playing with it once it was "given" to her as a gift. Hopefully, that changes as she gets older.

No matter however. When I first started with the gears, she saw stacks of the two smaller ones on my workbench and started playing with them. When I showed her a couple mounted on the peg board she said "Cool. What are you making? A machine?" That was just about enough to make it worthwhile.

I have just the motors for that wall art.

Rick
I’m really amazed at the labour that went into that project . It’s unfortunate a child can’t comprehend the work and love that went into something like this .
But with any luck that will be around for decades to come , and they’ll be showing how it works and talking about how grandpa made that

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:59 PM
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Generating gears in Fusion 360 is actually pretty easy and you can print the results if you like. Which CAD program are you using, Rick?

David

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Generating gears in Fusion 360 is actually pretty easy and you can print the results if you like. Which CAD program are you using, Rick?

David
A no longer supported version of AutoCAD's AutoSketch (ver. 10). It imports and exports common formats and is easy to use. I have TurboCAD 2/3D 18 but have not put the effort into learning it as it seems much less intuitive, but that probably is just a familiarity thing.

I'm not familiar with Fusion 360. Sounds like a 3D program.

What format(s) does your CNC router work from?

Rick

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 04:17 PM
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Your patience is amazing. What you might also add is something that turning one gear set moves, such as clock hands or an iris (think old fashioned camera gear) mechanism. I grew up with Erector set kits given to me at Christmas time several years in a row by my grandfather (an architectural engineer). The joy in them was that after playing with them you ended up with (usually) a working toy that also was fun to play with. They also encouraged my imagination to make my own designs with the parts. The lasting box-of-parts toys typically had a destination reward for succeeding to put the parts together in a certain way.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 04:58 PM
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A no longer supported version of AutoCAD's AutoSketch (ver. 10). It imports and exports common formats and is easy to use. I have TurboCAD 2/3D 18 but have not put the effort into learning it as it seems much less intuitive, but that probably is just a familiarity thing.

I'm not familiar with Fusion 360. Sounds like a 3D program.

What format(s) does your CNC router work from?

Rick
Fusion 360 is an Autodesk product like AutoCAD. The big difference is it's free for hobbyists or small businesses making less than $100k per year. Sadly, I qualify...

It is a very good CAD and an even better CAM program and if you're already familiar with the other Autodesk products your learning curve is likely short. And yes, it's a 3D program.

I'm using Mach4 to run the CNC and it takes the G-code generated by Fusion 360 just fine. You just have to pick the right post processor (built into Fusion 360) for your CNC.

There's a huge support community for Fusion 360 and tons of how-to videos.

David

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 05:03 PM
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Fantastic project!!


I used Mathias's program to make gears, you can export them as DXF and import them right into aspire. My gears were much bigger, your little ones took a heck of a lot of patience!

Doug
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Fusion 360 is an Autodesk product like AutoCAD. The big difference is it's free for hobbyists or small businesses making less than $100k per year. Sadly, I qualify...

It is a very good CAD and an even better CAM program and if you're already familiar with the other Autodesk products your learning curve is likely short. And yes, it's a 3D program.

I'm using Mach4 to run the CNC and it takes the G-code generated by Fusion 360 just fine. You just have to pick the right post processor (built into Fusion 360) for your CNC.

There's a huge support community for Fusion 360 and tons of how-to videos.

David
I have downloaded Fusion 360 and have uploaded a couple gear drawings. It will take me a bit to get familiar, I think, as it all seems very strange.

Rick

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