Posts Tagged ‘McMaster’

Dancing Stands Get All ED-209

Monday, June 7th, 2010

So, because it isn’t actually in a show yet I can’t talk about what this new dancing stand is for, but it may or may not be capable of beating up Robocop. Suffice it to say, the old gearmotor has been removed from this stand and replaced with a two-pound tank which comes as a separate synchronous motor and gearhead.

This also continues the fascinating if slightly worriesome Spring 2010 trend of my clients viewing me as a one stop for assembly language and abrasives, but things are slow so I’ll take it.

The new gearmotor was similar in size to the old one, but not so similar that it didn’t mean cutting out a big piece of the steel doghouse, making some aluminum mounts to hold the motor, drilling out the timing pulleys to fit the new motor shaft, and putting a detent in said shaft to seat the set screw. I also got my first set of metric taps, so that I could use M4 screws in this guy and the hardware I put in would match the hardware from the factory. This, O art world, is the attention to detail you get when you hire C Programmers to get their thread-cutting on.

Here she is all buttoned up.

Though I have a sneaking feeling Cory doesn’t really care about what the bottom of these things look like, I kinda do. Plus I figure the dust cover, you know, keeps dust out. Plus I had just gotten these really cool carbide burs and I was excited about cutting more holes in stuff.

Perhaps one day, one of these things will have a stepper motor or optical encoder or SOMETHING with silicon in it and everything will come full circle.

Coffee Engineering

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

So my housemate has this really fancypants french press which is all like “she think she cute” but actually ends up making the siltiest coffee ever. You’d think that with all the video business going on I would let it slide but I ended up ordering a bunch of stainless steel cloth and some silicone washers from McMaster and going to town on that piece.

I made an additional filter with a piece of 200 x 200 mesh which according to McMaster is more than good enough to keep flour-sized particles out, and stood it off on said washer (compressed to keep particles from coming up around the shaft). The french press got a better but damned if there still wasn’t silt. I decided to worry about my job again.

Dancing Stands, Inappropriate Toaster Use

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

This labor of love and money was also for Cory. Basically, there are these two weird Chinese merchandise stands that get sold at places like Spencer’s, and Cory was like, make one go a few percent slower than the other one. I think originally he was thinking stepper motors or something which is why I got involved, but it was a lot more low-level (in a wedge-screw-pulley-inclined-plane kind of way and not so much an assembly language kind of way) than that.

Inside one of these things is a reversible synchronous AC motor with a toothed belt linkage. A quick test with the Variac proved that, yes, their speed was independent of input voltage. Turned out the easiest way to get the speed differential was to pull the original transmission parts and replace them with XL drive pulleys and belts. The OG stands use a 3mm (I think) Chinese pitch system which is kinda hard to find around these parts. McMaster saved the day as usual but now I get my goodies from my pulley people at B&B Manufacturing who have likely forgotten more about power transmission than I ever hope to know. One thing about McMaster, they aren’t shy about leaving other peoples’ labels on their parts :-)

Doing this meant a lot of cutting and tapping, which is fun for me because I rarely get to do it professionally. To wit:

I had to drill out the pulleys (they’re made for 0.250″ shafts and the shafts in the stands are 7mm) and got all noided about leaving tap magic on them because I was worried about the belts not liking it. This was part of the washing/drying process and won me zero points with my housemates.

Apparently A Slow Month

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The only thing I can find that I did during the month of October in 2009 that did not involve an NDA or corporate clients was apparently retrofitting my workbench chair with hot pink racing casters from McMaster and undoubtedly listening to this a lot.