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[DPRG] Inexpensive gears

Subject: [DPRG] Inexpensive gears
From: Chuck McManis cmcmanis at mcmanis.com
Date: Mon Sep 22 15:47:01 CDT 2003

At 01:06 PM 9/22/03 -0700, Gordon McComb wrote:
>That would be Alumilite, of course.<g>  Alumalite is a signboard substrate.
>One of these companies should definitely sue the other...

Sigh, I always screw up the spelling.

>Agree with you here Chuck that most hobby robotics application don't stress
>  gears in a way that would require high precision. But when it is needed,
>the hobby metalworking magazines do have the occasional article on cutting
>gears with a lathe or mill (can be done on either; I prefer the lathe).

I've got both a Sherline mill and the lathe, and cutting spine gears is 
done more easily on the mill and worm gears on the lathe. The mill has a 
CNC rotary table for just that purpose.

>buy these magazines at the local Barnes & Noble, so I assume they can be
>found most anywhere. They have content that Web sites and even books lack,
>and they're written for the desktop mill/lathe user -- Sherline's, old
>Unimat's, etc.

The problem is typically access to machine tools. Unless there is a 
community college nearby or one of the members has the gear, its expensive 
to set up the tools. Cutting gears without an indexing head can drive even 
the patient to the edge of sanity.

Frankly I believe the mechanicals are the single hardest thing to acquire 
when building these things. Gears, motors, and other linkages are all 
typically "custom" to one particular application and difficult to apply 
elsewhere. Imagine that every integrated circuit was an ASIC for some 
particular function. It would be difficult to use them for general purpose 


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