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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Making wooden gears has always been a hassle for me. It involved transferring the pattern to my stock, drilling the shaft hole on the drill press, and tedious cutting on the scroll saw. Invariably, I spent a lot of time sanding the gear, after cutting, to clean up and correct errors caused by less than perfect saw work. It would require a minimum of 30 minutes to produce something like this 17-tooth ratchet gear.

Today, I embraced the new technology to make my gear. I designed it with V Carve Pro by drawing one gear tooth, and then using the circular array tool to generate the other 16 teeth, followed by placing a 1/4” shaft hole dead center.

I cut out the ratchet gear with a single tool path, and production of the entire gear took — wait for it — 52 seconds. Less than one minute to cut the gear and drill the hole! Plus, every tooth is perfect, and the hole is dead center.

Life is definitely better.
 

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Rick
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And for someone like me ,that would take days to get right . Although a cnc is not a replacement for all your tools, it certainly has its place .
Can’t wait to get one
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oliver, It took over two weeks to make my gear (22-1/2" Diameter). Makes me jealous. A perfect application for cnc routing. Nice job!
That's a beautiful gear. Is it part of a large mechanism?
 
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Oliver, It took over two weeks to make my gear (22-1/2" Diameter). Makes me jealous. A perfect application for cnc routing. Nice job!
You cannot really make EXACTLY that out of WOOD with a CNC router unless you use plywood or or some composite material or plastic or metal.

For precision gears CNC waterjet or CNC laser cutter or CNC Plasma (for metals only) would be better than a CNC router.
 

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Theo
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Define Exactly. Define Wood.
Herb
Gary's gear wheel done manually had all the wood grain in the correct directions,

If one just cut it from a sheet of wood by CNC router, some spokes for e.g. will be weaker because of wrong wood grain orientation.
So Plywood or other materials will be needed and so the gear will NOT be exactly the same.
 

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Rick
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Oliver, It took over two weeks to make my gear (22-1/2" Diameter). Makes me jealous. A perfect application for cnc routing. Nice job!
Gary , I wish you had some pictures of this gear from start to finish . I keep finding myself gravitating to it . The more you look at it, the more you realize just how labour intense and intricate this would be to build .
Pretty much a project for the master carpenters ;)
 

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Gary's gear wheel done manually had all the wood grain in the correct directions,

If one just cut it from a sheet of wood by CNC router, some spokes for e.g. will be weaker because of wrong wood grain orientation.
So Plywood or other materials will be needed and so the gear will NOT be exactly the same.
If he made the blank in segments just like he did, and then cut the teeth , spokes, and hub with the CNC it would be faster and more accurate than cutting the teeth and finishing the spokes and hub than doing it by hand is what he was pointing out. Also less hand work to correct any errors from doing it all by hand.

Herb
 

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If he made the blank in segments just like he did, and then cut the teeth , spokes, and hub with the CNC it would be faster and more accurate than cutting the teeth and finishing the spokes and hub than doing it by hand is what he was pointing out. Also less hand work to correct any errors from doing it all by hand.

Herb
Plus doing it by hand would still produce all the same errors if done with a single piece of wood. It would just talks a lot longer and be less perfect in symmetry.
 
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I wanted to make a large gear using some of the basic methods that pattern makers used to make the molds for large cast iron gears. It was extremely difficult to get the diameter exact so the spacing of each tooth could be fitted to the wheel. I routed the inner part of the rim pivoting from the center, but found I couldn't adjust it (fine enough) accurately enough to do the outer diameter. I ultimately made a jig to spin the wheel on my table saw to creep up on the right diameter. To place the 50 teeth, I had to make 100 teeth...50 to mount and 50 for spacers. Although it can't be used as a working gear...It now sits on my fireplace as a display.


These are all the photos that I took during the build.
 

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Back to the original post, I think that Oliver has made a good point comparing the amount of time required and the accuracy of doing this by hand and again with the CNC. Even drawing the gear with a CAD program is astoundingly faster than by hand, he can draw and cut the gear faster than sharpening his pencil.

I agree with Rick on Gary's gear, that is a work of art.

Herb
 

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Rick
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Back to the original post, I think that Oliver has made a good point comparing the amount of time required and the accuracy of doing this by hand and again with the CNC. Even drawing the gear with a CAD program is astoundingly faster than by hand, he can draw and cut the gear faster than sharpening his pencil.

I agree with Rick on Gary's gear, that is a work of art.

Herb
Yes I don’t mean to side track the thread . A cnc is the ultimate for making gears imo .
Look at all the math that doesn’t have to be done alone .
I think the perimeter pieces of Gary’s gear could be done with the cnc . I’m not referring to the teeth ,but the round sections
 

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Oliver, I am still Jealous, using the CNC method would make the spoke sections perfect. It would make the rim sections perfect. It could have made the teeth morticed and tenoned perfect. It could have made a working gear! I'm Jealous! Is your gear for a clock mechanism?
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oliver, I am still Jealous, using the CNC method would make the spoke sections perfect. It would make the rim sections perfect. It could have made the teeth morticed and tenoned perfect. It could have made a working gear! I'm Jealous! Is your gear for a clock mechanism?
Not for a clock, Gary. It's for another one of Professor Henry's Mechanical Marvels. Still trying to figure out some of the mechanical workings, but fortunately I'm making headway. Stay tuned. (There's a clue in this paragraph.)
 
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