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Hand-Cranked Wood Chain Model

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Project by DaleMaley posted 04-21-2021 09:39 PM 680 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I always wanted to try making a chain drive from wood, and I saw a model in the book shown. The book had the hand-cranked model in a vertical gear configuration….......I changed this to a horizonal gear set-up.

Every project has a few key things which must be right. In this project, I think the key is using 1/2” diameter semi-circles to drive the 1/4” dowels. If you use a smaller diameter semicircle, like 5/16”, the chain tends to jump out of the semi-circles.

Another key item is the chamfer or radius on the edge of the drive gears. There is nothing to keep the inner 2 chain links in the open position except being driven out by the edge of the drive gears. With no chamfer or radius on the gears, my model bound up all the time. Once I put an 1/8” radius on both edges of each gear, it ran a lot more smoothly. I would have put on a 1/4” radius, but I was afraid there would not be enough material left in the center of the gear teeth to let the bearing ride on when you routed the 2nd side.

I made a Youtube video of the model in action. You can use this link to watch the video.

I had to make a special fixture to round-over the edges of the chain links on the router table. It worked pretty well.

To see the whole project and how I made everything, use this link to see my woodworking web site.

Thanks

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/





18 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1130 posts in 403 days


#1 posted 04-21-2021 10:05 PM

Interesting and fun build. Nice work.

-- Ron

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2674 posts in 1675 days


#2 posted 04-21-2021 10:21 PM

Cool. But you should add a fan blade or some such so there’s a reason to be a crank.

Lots of persnickity work done well!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Eric's profile

Eric

1381 posts in 960 days


#3 posted 04-21-2021 11:37 PM

Nice project, very time consuming, and I see where it is tedious. Great job and a great write up.

-- Eric, building the dream

View rtbrmb's profile

rtbrmb

760 posts in 3475 days


#4 posted 04-21-2021 11:47 PM

That turned out awesome.

Thanks for providing the extra detail on how you got the chain not to bind & also not jump off the gears.

Thank you for posting.

Bill in MI

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

578 posts in 3322 days


#5 posted 04-22-2021 12:12 AM



Nice project, very time consuming, and I see where it is tedious. Great job and a great write up.

- Eric

Maybe on a future hand-cranked model, I will incorporate a wood chain to drive something in the model.

thanks

Dale

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

578 posts in 3322 days


#6 posted 04-22-2021 12:14 AM



That turned out awesome.

Thanks for providing the extra detail on how you got the chain not to bind & also not jump off the gears.

Thank you for posting.

Bill in MI
==========
If one made “stepped” diameter axle pins on the links, that would keep the inner links forced “open” all the time, but boy a lot of work to make that many stepped pins on the lathe.

thanks

Dale

- rtbrmb


-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5249 posts in 3075 days


#7 posted 04-22-2021 01:51 AM

Another great and interesting project.

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

16796 posts in 3954 days


#8 posted 04-22-2021 08:51 AM

Amamizing and fun project!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

3555 posts in 4273 days


#9 posted 04-22-2021 10:38 AM

very cool.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

5412 posts in 2709 days


#10 posted 04-22-2021 12:00 PM

once again it is proven that a wood worker is not just a wood worker – mathematician and design engineer come to mind

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View PapaGary1's profile

PapaGary1

123 posts in 74 days


#11 posted 04-22-2021 12:38 PM

Apparently I got the same idea from where you got yours https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/419252
Good Job.

Gary

View ohwoodeye's profile

ohwoodeye

2620 posts in 4240 days


#12 posted 04-22-2021 12:47 PM

Just as I did when I was young and riding my bike, I would probably catch my pants leg in this.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8050 posts in 4440 days


#13 posted 04-22-2021 01:46 PM

Wow! Nice! Sometime when I see complicated projects such as this I wish I had the patience to give it a try.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5249 posts in 3075 days


#14 posted 04-22-2021 08:10 PM

Great write up on your web page showing how you built this.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26214 posts in 4192 days


#15 posted 04-22-2021 08:33 PM

That’s really cool. Next project is to drive something with it like a marble game!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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