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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started a project years ago and made a jig for cutting teeth on 1/4" plywood that was a good quality. I decided to restart the project and only have smaller gears left to cut and bought what I thought was the same type of 1/4" plywood I used years ago. The new plywood doesn't cut well with some chipping and inner layer chips. I had seen a thin plywood called Baltic birch plywood and wondered if I should order that. I have tried several new very thin 1/8" bits and they all chip the wood unlike the old plywood I cut years ago. This new plywood just doesn't seem as solid as the old Material. I would appreciate any help.

Charlie
 

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Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you. Add your location, as well.

I use 1/2" Baltic Birch all the time to make Longworth chucks. BB has a distinct advantage over box store plywood in that there are no voids and all the layers are Birch, so it is very strong and a much higher grade product.

Art stores like Michael's have small sheets of BB in 12"x24" and 12"x12" in various thicknesses. I buy the full 5'x5' sheets at a local supplier but have used the small sheets many times in the past.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you David for the quick reply and especially for the information about Michael's! There is a Michael's close to me so I'll go check if they carry that plywood. These last 4 gears are small from 0.880" up to 1.82" in diameter and their center hole diameters are all different and smaller than the larger gears that all had the same size arbor hole of 1/2". I'll probably have to make a separate Jig that can manage the small diameter blanks for the gears and be able to change the pivot point size to the match the requirements. I guess the last point is making the shafts or arbors and I have an old small lathe that I need to refurbish and add a motor. The lathe is an antique but probably just the right size for my needs.

One last question -- would you think that Michael's would also have dowels that could be turned on a lathe?

Have a nice day,
Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I will take some calipers to check the diameter -- been through that before. I haven't done any wood lathe work in years so I guess I need to do some cleanup work on my tools and get in some practice.

Again, thanks for that information about Michael's having that plywood. When I told my wife she said there are also other hobby shops here that might have what I'm looking for.
Charlie
 

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Welcome to the Router Forums Charlie. Most of the woodworking stores will also carry BB plywood (Rockler and Woodcraft). Some of the HomeDepot and lowes also carry it in some locations.
 
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........These last 4 gears are small from 0.880" up to 1.82" in diameter and their center hole diameters are all different and smaller than the larger gears that all had the same size arbor hole of 1/2". .......................

Have a nice day,
Charlie



I know this is a router forum, but I would use a Scroll saw for anything that small...
 
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Glad you choose to join the fun. Good first question, well answered. I didn't reaize Michael's had the thin stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know this is a router forum, but I would use a Scroll saw for anything that small...
James,
I do have scroll saws but with age I've developed a bit of a problem with my hands that won't allow me the accuracy needed -- I think. I built a rotary jig type device for cutting the gear teeth at exactly the right positions with a plate that allows the small router guide bushing to follow and cut the correct shape each time. My only real problem is I had started this project maybe 25 or 30 years ago and the plywood that I could buy was a much better quality at Home Depot and Low's. I restarted the project due to being a bit handicapped and needed something to help pass the time. I discovered that what I thought was the same quality of plywood was not even close so I ordered some Baltic Birch from Rockler that I hope is the same quality I found years ago. The fact is you could be quite right about the scroll saw. The last gears I need to cut along with the escapement are very small and I might be able to cut the wood to the correct size and trace the design on it and cut with the scroll saw and clean up with my jeweler's files or fine sandpaper.

I have two of the old Dremel scroll saws that use 5" blades with either the pinned ends or use the clamp-on ends for unpinned blades. What type of blade would you recommend? Cutting the teeth would require very tight curves -- not sure I have the ability to handle that but I feel the challenge might be fun. Routing the gear teeth has worked so far but these little fellows have me a bit stumped right now due to the quality of the wood -- always willing to try something different.

Charlie
 

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I worked for decades with optometrists who do something called vision therapy. My main interest has been looking at how it trains attention, and helps build the ability to develop and internalize concepts. For example, my first job was at North American Aviation in a plant that built the Apollo. Again and again, I saw engineering drawings in which the object was really a form of a table...Leg or support, flat top, sometimes a thick top with a hole in it for a bolt, but still a table.

I worked with a couple of engineers who kept using a table type structure to build their inventions. I still have the nested tables I grew up with (antiques now, like me), and realize they formed the concept of table-ness for me. But children today don't do stuff and touch and see, and imagine as we did in the past. So they suffer a dirth of concepts, which impedes their ability to invent. Not all children mind you, but for some, a handicap.

So I've been thinking of some therapy activities that would implant concepts and the ability to visualize and use them. Think of all the inventions and ideas that arrived from visualizations and even dreams--a form of visualization. Visualizing something that does not yet exist, is often based on simple concepts extended into new arenas.

This string has me thinking about a gear board with a simple crank on a gear that the child turns, and a series of various sized and placed gears that move with the first. You would have direction and speed changes, and the activity would be to have the child observe, then predict, then explain all the different speeds and directions of movement.

Is anyone interested in making something like this? If so, I will work on making it available as an advanced therapy device. Have no idea what it would cost, but make via CNC, it would be made in batches. I could probably get a doctor to endorse it and make presentations based on the device, and the idea of concept formation.

I would also be interested in any other basic concepts and ideas on some physical, wood, device to make the concept stick. Something you see, inspect carefully, play with, touch, will stick with you for life. Maybe we could even sell this to science teachers in schools (this already happens with some devices), and it would be a high end item. I definitely see Montessori type schools wanting a kit like this.

I'm going to post this as a separate string, so even non CNC folks can give it a read, think about and make suggestions. I believe this would be something of a revolution in education, where everything is ephemeral, theoretical, read about instead of do.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. This is a pretty ingenious bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tom,
Your idea sounds like stuff that most of the early learning toys are based on and helps children develope concepts of how things work. Problem today seems to be concentrating on cell phones to the point people don't pay attention to what's going on around them. I wish I could afford a good CNC router -- I just finished a book about doing the gears and chassis using a CNC router. The device used a program that was already written and just needed to be modified to work with the CNC device. I used to write programs too many years ago to remember any of that but it would be fun to try using a CNC device that made something that grabbed your attention.

Nice idea and hope you go with it,
Charlie
 

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When buying dowels, I drill a hole in a piece of scrap the exact diameter of the dowel I need and cut it down so it looks like a wooden washer that will fit in your pocket. Take that with you to the dowel supplier to check the dowel size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When buying dowels, I drill a hole in a piece of scrap the exact diameter of the dowel I need and cut it down so it looks like a wooden washer that will fit in your pocket. Take that with you to the dowel supplier to check the dowel size.
That's a really good idea. I already went and got the test dowel but I brought my calipers with me in my pocket and was that a pain. Years ago I did threaded dowels to use as wood set screws and also got one wood tap for making wood nuts. The dowel size is important and I've had problems in the past with their diameter so I even went to the trouble of using a small wood lathe and turn larger dowels to the size I wanted but your idea would allow me to hunt through the bunch of dowels at the store and get the sizes I need.

Thanks for that,
Charlie
 
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