Another day, another four gears. And tales of woe.

So one downside of the superglue arbor is that you really need to clean up the end of the arbor holding your gear–and you need to apply enough glue to get the gear to stick to the arbor. More than once today I had wheels fall off the arbor–and that led to… well, complications.

I also learned the amount of space above the swing arm of a Sherline lathe is… perhaps slightly less than an inch? This means it’s okay for doing small parts–and in fact, is much better at very small parts than the gigantic “Mini Lathe” that I also have. And in the future when I need to machine set screw spacers for my 2mm rods, I’m definitely going to do it on the Sherline.

But I have two gears that have 52 teeth; the outer diameter is (52+2)/32 = 1.6875″. Which means it can’t be cut to the proper diameter on the Sherline, since I’ve been cutting the blanks just a hair larger.

A quick search of the Internet coughs up a 3/4″ 16 threaded end which fits the Sherline 4-jaw chuck on one end, and has a MT-2 tapered end to fit the MicroLux 7×16 mini lathe on the other.

The good news is that I should be able to duplicate my process flow for bigger gears, but just use a bigger lathe.

And if it turns out the Sherline mill is too small for bigger gears–I do have the MicroMark “Miniature” milling machine.

Though after spending time with the Sherline, it’s hard to see the relatively gigantic MicroMark lathe and mill as “miniature”…

And I have all the other gears for my Earth/Moon Orrery “proof of concept.”

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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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