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Old 03-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default Wooden orrery

Hi folks,
Not been on here for a while (hmm, January of last year...), just been too busy to be honest, but thought that as I'd just started a new project it might be good to start posting progress shots and info on here. I thought that some of you may be interested in seeing my new machine grow out of the dust off my workshop, but it also works to keep me motivated and makes the build process just that little bit less lonely!
The machine itself will eventually be a fully functioning orrery (solar system model) featuring the first six planets all the way out to Saturn, and will include a separate mechanism to correctly incline the Earth as well as give us an orbiting moon. I've built several of these before, so hopefully this will be a relatively problem free build...
All the frames, and the 25 wooden gears to drive everything will all be hand cut on my trusty, cheap, bog standard Rexon scroll saw - hopefully it will inspire some of you to make some more mechanically inspired projects!
If I've got this right, then there should be a couple of photos of today's progress of the frames starting to be cut. If it hasn't worked then I'll add them to a second post in a bit.
Dave.
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File Type: jpg 20140309_134440.jpg (39.0 KB, 166 views)
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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I had to take the time to Google orrery. Now that I have I am even more impressed and looking forward to more progress pics in this thread. Please do keep us informed. What do you anticipate the over all outer dimension to be of the finished project?

Why only 6 planets? Size constraints?
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:57 PM   #3
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Hi Mike,
The machine is being built for a fella in the States and he's requested just the first six planets to stop the machine getting too big. I have built nine planet versions, but the gearing for the extra three planets almost doubles the total number of gears, adds an extra 6 inches to the height, and the support rod for Pluto is 22 inches long (and yes, I know that Pluto is no longer officially a planet, but it is in my world!). So purely from a finished size point of view we plumped for six planets which puts the finished height to the top of the Sun at around 16" , and Saturn's support rod is about 14" long, so it's still not small!
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for taking the time to explain and I am looking forward to future images.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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That is a very interesting project. Keep us supplied with updates.
I will follow along and want to see the finished project.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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First four main gear box frames rough cut, still one more to go but I've currently run out of wood! Hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow so that I can get it done tomorrow evening.
Once the frames are all cut they'll get sanded, stained and vanished, and after that it's gear cutting time. Sooo many teeth...
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:35 AM   #7
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I'm looking forward to seeing this progress as well.
Thanks for keeping us updated.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Okay, so this is the point where the sanity of this project always starts to look a bit doubtful...
So, all the gears are now correctly printed and ready to be mounted onto the wood prior to cutting - see the attached photo - thankfully I had nothing planned for the next week or so, so I should make good headway with them. I actually find the gear cutting part strangely therapeutic so I'm quite looking forward to getting started!
More photos as I start to plow through this little lot.
Dave.
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File Type: jpg 2014-03-10 21.09.48.jpg (67.8 KB, 83 views)
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:13 PM   #9
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Good progress today, mounted all the gear templates onto wood and centrally positioned each template onto a pre-drilled hole - saves lots of time later trying to drill perfectly central holes. I then had time to cut the largest 182 tooth gear - took a couple of hours but I'm really pleased with the result. This is probably the most important gear on the whole machine to get right, and because of its size the most difficult, so I'm relieved to get it done successfully this early on.
The photos show a few stages of the gear being cut and then a pic of the next batch ready to be done. Should keep me occupied for a while!
More progress shots when I have something more to share.
Thanks for looking.
:-)
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File Type: jpg 2014-03-12 22.21.15.jpg (51.4 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg 2014-03-12 22.22.18.jpg (38.8 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg 2014-03-12 22.23.17.jpg (61.2 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg 2014-03-12 22.19.46.jpg (53.8 KB, 57 views)
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Last edited by mechanism man; 03-12-2014 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:35 PM   #10
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Wow that's one heck of a project. Very interesting. I can't wait to see it finished.
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