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BigTallDad

Fanbelt tutorial

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At last, you can control your own destiny and make fanbelts just about any size you want.

OK campers. For those of you who built one of these, read on

Cradle.jpg
Cradle_Drill.jpg

For those of you who didn’t, shame on you. Here’s the article

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=102101

I started with plywood and made a disk, then put a nut & bolt through the center. Make sure the bolt is straight or you’ll get some wobble. My disk was 1/4"; a 3/4" thickness will reduce wobble, and a drill press (that's another story) really helps.

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Use double stick masking tape, found at golfing stores (they use it to put new grips on clubs) and mount a piece of rubber. I used a section from a bicycle inner tube.

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Start up the drill and use a pencil to mark a circle; this becomes the reference point to cut the actual circle. Measure the diameter of that circle.

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Now, measure the length of the fan belt you need. Wrap some thread around the two (or more) pulleys, cement it together (but not to the model). After the cement dries, cut the thread and measure the length. Divide this length by Pi (3.141592) and you now have the inside diameter of the fan belt.

Unless you have a very steady hand, you might want to use something for a tool rest. I prefer a fresh # 16 blade because of the steeper angle. Also, make sure that the cutting edge of the Xacto is properly oriented regarding the direction of rotation. Another, perhaps better approach would be the use of an Xacto with a blade that swivels.

Using the pencil-mark circle as a guide, turn on the drill and use the Xacto knife to make the inner cut, gradually working the blade into the rubber. I found that higher speeds work better. Move the Xacto just a little bit and cut a larger circle. Remove the newly created fan belt and install. This is a nice, flat fan belt, unlike those ugly round O-rings.

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If you’re really obsessive, you mount the fan belt inside out on a hole-saw and taper the edges just like the real thing.

Edited by BigTallDad

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This IS obsessive, but I understand it completely. Your tutorials are clear, concise and I always know exactly where to go and what to get/buy for all the materials you use. There never a question left in my head after reading through one of your tuts!

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Ray,

NICE work yet again! Sadly tho, wouldn't a drill press, a hole saw, to cut the round wooden disk help, and allow you to use a thicker wooden piece to cut back in wobble? Do you use this wooden disk once, and toss it out, OR do you use it for multiple cuts on the rubber inner tube?

I myself, love the simplicity here..... Allows those without a full shop set-up to make all sorts of things!

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Ray,

NICE work yet again! Sadly tho, wouldn't a drill press, a hole saw, to cut the round wooden disk help, and allow you to use a thicker wooden piece to cut back in wobble? Do you use this wooden disk once, and toss it out, OR do you use it for multiple cuts on the rubber inner tube?

I myself, love the simplicity here..... Allows those without a full shop set-up to make all sorts of things!

You might want to read the tutorial again; I used 1/4" plywood but suggested thicker wood might have less wobble...I also mentioned using a drill press.

I'm the consummate pack-rat, so I keep things like the wooden disks. and on rare occasions I can actually find what I'm looking for.

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You didn't mention it, but it might be a good idea to create the drill cradle in such a way that it could be clamped down onto your workbench somehow, like at the edge of the bench, say. If the base of the cradle had an extension or "ear" on it that you could take a C-clamp and clamp the thing tightly onto the workbench...

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You didn't mention it, but it might be a good idea to create the drill cradle in such a way that it could be clamped down onto your workbench somehow, like at the edge of the bench, say. If the base of the cradle had an extension or "ear" on it that you could take a C-clamp and clamp the thing tightly onto the workbench...

I like to keep the footprint small, so it doesn't take up too much space. Most of the time I use the cradle in a free-hand mode.

If I need to clamp it down, I'll first attach the cradle to an over-sized base and clamp the base down.

Plan B would be making the sole plate on the cradle a bit longer and/or wider, at the cost of taking up more space.

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5 hours ago, Twokidsnosleep said:

.....aaand I have two more things to make :P

Thanks guys all this

Glad I could (chuckle) help. BTW, I replaced that speed-adjustment crank on the drill cradle with a simple knob.

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What a great idea! If I had room for it, i'd make one!

VERY ingenious! I LIKE!

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Thanks Ray for the info and tutorial. I am just amazed at what some come up with on how to make things that work on this forum. I'll give this a shot and see how well I can make some.

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