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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

Gallery

Comments

· Premium Member
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Interesting and fun build. Nice work.
 

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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!
 

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

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113 Posts
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
 

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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
 

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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
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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
 

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Amamizing and fun project!
 

· Premium Member
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once again it is proven that a wood worker is not just a wood worker - mathematician and design engineer come to mind
 

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

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

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

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4,507 Posts
That's really cool. Next project is to drive something with it like a marble game!!

Cheers, Jim
 

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i think it's pretty damn cool for what it is,doesn't need too do anything imo,it's just a great conversation piece!
 
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