My Gear Project

I hope they have fun! I purchased a pathfinder model from amazon and used it as a reference to put the thing together. I added the ‘wagging’ tail assembly so I would start by leaving that off. It can always be added later. I have the small x-carve and would usually import the large file and then just delete what didn’t fit or I didn’t need. Just remember to always do a simulated run to make sure that you don’t have some random part left on your workspace that is way outside your machines cutting zone. I had a few panic stops to keep the machine from tearing itself apart!

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Many thanks! I’m looking forward to making this now!

I sure appreciate all that you have done here. My experience with CNC is limited and this project would be a great challenge and learning experience for my students, but also for me. Questions… Wouldn’t it be easier to break up the parts in Inkscape and add them to X-Carve one piece at a time? That’s what I thought I might try, but then I worry about making sure the sizes didn’t somehow change and not fit together. Is everything made from solid wood?

That is amazing. What does the little gear at the base of the tail do?

Sure! - There’s more than one way to skin a cat :tiger: Probably safer to do that so that you only work in the space allowed for your material. The 1/4" and 3/8" is a mix of walnut, red meranti white oak and beech. The wings and other 1/8" are made of Baltic or Russian birch plywood. The exterior cuts are all designed to be cut outside the path and most interior parts are fills or inside the path cuts.

Not much - it’s just a press fit on the shaft so that the tail has some wiggle room. I just cut some small gear shapes to act as washers and press on nuts to keep things in place.

Dan, I’ve had a chance to try putting a few of your gears through Inkscape and then Easel just to see how this is going to work for a student, and it went well. I don’t think there will be much problem getting some eighth graders excited about participating in a more complicated project. I will start them out using MDF since we don’t have a lot of access to finer materials and I’m usually doing a lot of dumpster diving behind the cabinet shop. I made a mistake of not seeing that some parts of the gear are cut on the outside and some parts are cut on the inside. It turns out to be easier than it first appeared and I managed to get them finished in just a few minutes. Once I iron out everything that needs to be done to make it all work, I’ll move on to letting students tinker with it and we can eventually work up to trying hardwoods. I appreciate your willingness to share drawings and advice. Nicely done sir! The Franklin Phonetic Wood Shop, Prescott Valley Arizona

Glad you’ve had some success!

Dan, I want to know if it is possible… to change the hole sizes in the gears to 1/4" using Inkscape while keeping the center where it is and if it is… how to do that. If needed, I have Illustrator at home. How can this be done either way. Right now they are 0.18" and aren’t fitting anything I have in our shop.

That’s a good option. I’ll also use the scale feature to make things work. Be careful when scaling and make sure things are still aligned to center.

I don’t know which part you’re on. I don’t have any .18 holes. Maybe 1/8"? I used 1/8" and 1/4" dowels on most things. I’ll also sometimes cheat (probably a bad habit for students to use, and a bad habit for me) by using a 1/8" bit but calling it a .122 in the set up to have it drill. You definitely want to have an upspiral bit.

Here’s a link to the easel file for the right angle gear set up.
I did cheat to make in drill 1/8" holes. Anyone know how to get easel to drill i.e. make a 1/8" hole with a 1/8" bit?

OK… I’m new to these drawing programs, so there’s that issue… and I was expecting to be able to hit exactly 1/4". The closest I seem to be able to get the circle is 25.17 and when I put it over the top of your circle, it is a little bigger and I’m able to eyeball it into place, but so far I don’t see any place to actually adjust sizes by typing in numbers. I’m OK with that because I make my own dowels on the table saw and they tend to be a bit over 1/4". But in order to see through the circle, I had to adjust the background color because they were bright red. I also adjusted the outer line to look about the same as yours. Now if I try to draw another circle, nothing shows. Obviously I changed something. I guess I’m going to have to read the Inkscape material to figure out what the heck I’m doing wrong. Until then I’m thinking of copy paste the circle I was able to make and run a part and see what happens.

Good point, I’m also new to easel… so I would make those changes there if I could figure it out, but so far I haven’t even come close to figuring it out. Not that I haven’t been trying. Asking for help isn’t something I’m used to doing. My thought was that somehow the original drawing is shrinking a little when opened in Inkscape. Inkscape is all I’m going to be able to get at this school and I’m even lucky to have had enough donations to have an X-Carve. Of course if the drawing is shrinking down a little in Inkscape, would changing only the holes even work?

OK, got easel figured out and can make changes there. Any thoughts about if/why Inkscape is shrinking the sizes?

Sounds like you are going around the entire project with a 40" x 40" square, then importing the entire project. I have the smallest machine. I’ve been bringing in one piece at a time. I also had to eyeball the centers and try to recenter the hole when I made those changes in easel. Now… if I bring in just one piece… is it possible to make a smaller box, make note of the size, import it, then resize it? That may be my only option, unless I do this at home on Illustrator. Does Illustrator have the shrinking issue. If it doesn’t… it might be in my best interest to do this at home and then e-mail the SVG’s to myself.

I got my machine about a year ago and started with Easel. Then after a few months I subscribed to Illustrator and signed up for a tutorial about Illustrator. Very helpful. There might be an educator discount for, maybe also for Adobe Illustrator so you can use it at the school as well as home.

I come from a woodworking background so “EXACT” is a four letter work to me. Just about everything has a little bit of built in slop.

I have to thank everyone for all their input. After thinking about it… I finally figured it out and it was easier than I thought. Actually, your ideas all came to mind at one point or another and I simply started over by importing a gear, then setting the cuts inside/outside, then resizing the entire object… stopping here and there to check just the center until it was exactly 1/4". That kept the center hole centered. I’ll try cutting it later since we are testing all week and my schedule is completely out of wack, maybe even for a few more days next week. I think it should work, but now I have to account for oversized holes on other parts that the dowel needs to be free to rotate. Not too much slop and not too little slop. Haha! If Dan has an “exact” measurement to share, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would benefit.

that is amazing. good work

just awesome, liked it!

great work you have done.

Great work,…