The Earth-Moon Orrery: another update.

So the biggest problem, apparently, when it comes to cutting gears, is just getting all the fiddly bits together to make your gear cutting system.

In my case, I’m starting with a Sherline mill, and I’m adding a CNC rotary table, a 90 degree table, and a 1 inch arbor to mount the gear cutters with. The gear cutters have showed up; and I bought gear cutters from #2 to #7; #1 is for the tiniest gears I will probably never need to cut, and #8 is for gears with 135 teeth and more. If I decide to make a clock, well, then I’ll buy the other cutters as needed.

(The CNC rotary table is for the simple reason that, unlike folks making clocks, an Orrary–especially one of my own design–has some rather odd sized gears. A dividing table that can help cut a 29-tooth gear or a 52-tooth gear is probably not all that common. But for a CNC computer, 29 or 52 is just another input.)

Well, all the parts have arrived, I’ve mounted the Sherline mill, everything fits, everything appears to be in working order–and I’m ready to cut gears, just in time to be out of town for a week.

Which is just the way things work out, I guess.

But I’m all set up for my gear-cutting debut–and when I get back we’ll start cutting the gears for the Earth-Moon Orrery.

I promise I’ll start cutting gears soon–just as soon as life stops interfering. And when I do, I’ll walk through all the steps I took–including the missteps–and I’ll also include a list of the stuff I ordered, so if you want to try to reproduce what I’ve done, it’ll be easier than squinting at otherwise well produced videos to try to divine the setup.

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William Woody

I'm a software developer who has been writing code for over 30 years in everything from mobile to embedded to client/server. Now I tinker with stuff and occasionally help out someone with their startup.

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