Tag Archives: gears

Gears and Gravity, Day 3: Pinion Construction I

Center Punching

Center punching the pinion pin holes. I am impressed by how accurately these 4th, 5th, and 6th graders can punch these center marks. They did better than many college students I’ve seen. Perhaps their small hands and young, sharp eyes give them an advantage.

After Day 1, I knew that this group of students would benefit from the additional challenge of drilling their own holes. I drill all of the 3/8" holes for safety concerns but I'm confident that the risks of injury when drilling an 1/8" hole into chip board are minimal. Everyone has handled the drill press very well so far.

After Day 1, I knew that this group of students would benefit from the additional challenge of drilling their own holes. I drill all of the 3/8″ holes for safety concerns but I’m confident that the risks of injury when drilling an 1/8″ hole into chip board are minimal. Everyone has handled the drill press very well so far.

Cutting 1/8" dowel rod into 3/4" lengths for pinion pins using a custom jig. The Xcelite 170M flush cutters do a pretty good job and fit young hands very well.

Cutting 1/8″ dowel rod into 3/4″ lengths for pinion pins using a custom jig. The Xcelite 170M flush cutters do a pretty good job and fit young hands very well.

Each plate is a double thickness of cereal box chip board plus a paper pattern all spray-mounted together. The average thickness of this material is 40 mil so it's a bit of a challenge to cut through.

Each plate is a double thickness of cereal box chip board plus a paper pattern all spray-mounted together. The average thickness of this material is 40 mil so it’s a bit of a challenge to cut through.

We often emphasize the importance of cutting parts to a rough shape first and then trimming the last bits off.

We often emphasize the importance of cutting parts to a rough shape first and then trimming the last bits off.

Cereal Box Clock: Working Prototype

I’ve spent perhaps 150 hours working on this in CAD and less than 30 in the studio prototyping. Once all the patterns are printed and stuck to the double thick cereal boxes I think my students will have a shot at building their own in 12 hours of class time.

Materials include cereal box chip board, corrugated cardboard, wood dowel, hand-rolled paper tubes, recycled #1 plastic sheet, and brass grommets. Hot glue and quick set white glue are used for bonding as well as spray adhesive to mount the patterns. Tools include scissors, utility shears, snap blades, flush trim side cutters, sand paper, and a pull saw to cut dowels and paper tube. Class begins on Monday.

Cereal Box Clock

I finally have a complete design. There has been a lot of back and fourth between CAD and studio: design an element, build a prototype, redesign, tinker, second prototype, sketch, think about it for a while, third prototype. So even though I have yet to build a complete clock I do have some confidence that it will work.

But first a vacation back to the Fatherland to celebrate my Dad’s 70th Birthday!

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