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  • Universal Joint

    This is something that's been coming for a long time. Every model machinist, wants deep in his heart of hearts to make a universal joint. You have to reach a certain point of confidence in your ability to machine things and be bored enough to consider a project like this. The worst thing is that one universal by itself isn't much good. To really show them working properly, you need two of the darned things working together. I'm kind of dancing from one customer to another on small jobs with free time and wait periods in between spots of real work, so I think I'll try and make a couple of these.
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    Sounds like an interesting project. I never thought about machining any but I sure have had enough of them apart during my many years of working things mechanical.
    They can be a real pain sometimes depending on how there were built. I will keep an eye on this one to see how you are coming along.
    Larry - west coast of Canada

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    • #3
      Ok I give up.
      What is the fascination?

      -D
      DZER

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
        Ok I give up.
        What is the fascination?

        -D
        Cabin fever.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
          Ok I give up.
          What is the fascination?

          -D
          If I had to explain it to you, you probably wouldn't find it fascinating.
          Brian Rupnow
          Design engineer
          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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          • #6
            Looking forward to another Rupnow project! Always interesting!

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            • #7
              Brian, the small ones I've seen in the size range shown in your drawing usually have just a cube with clipped off corners or a shorter square instead of the "+" shape you've shown. The "+" shaped core seems to be more common in the larger sizes.

              I'm not sure if this is a labor saving step or if there is a reason they are done that way. It would certainly be less fussy than making up the little cross shaped cores though. And if you'll be using pins pressed into the core from outside to assemble the joints the bigger amount of metal remaining would take the pressure a little better without a risk of splitting.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #8
                Brian: you took the hard way. Not too long ago I made some repair parts for the u-joints on some clock handshafts.
                The cross pieces were cast and too expensive and time consuming to replace so I made rings of the right size to get the job done. Tools needed: lathe for sizing and profiling. Indexer for the four pivot holes and a suitable drilling machine.

                Much simpler, but not quite as much of a challenge as your work. This style joint was somewhat common in the 1800s, but I'm not sure how much of a torque load they would manage.

                Regardless, your work is fascinating.
                gvasale

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                • #9
                  We had an old edge banding machine at one time, and the u-joints went bad- and were not available. I made them myself, hardening the parts and finish grinding the surfaces to suit. It was a rather satisfying project besides saving the day for the machine.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    Brian, I wish you good luck! You might try searching some of the miniature bearing suppliers for suitable bearings. For example, fishing reel bearings or, if you can get a few, the bearings in hard drives might work. (That requires scrounging/salvaging!) I can recall seeing packages of 10 for about a dollar each.
                    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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                    • #11
                      Duffy--these universals will never see enough hard work to need bearings. The outer ends will be made from solid steel. The spider will be made from bronze.
                      Brian Rupnow
                      Design engineer
                      Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                      • #12
                        Universal joints are very interesting devices. They can be made in many configurations and combinations, all doing the same thing while meeting different requirements.

                        I'll be watching this space to see what cool thing you come up with Brian!!

                        Pete
                        1973 SB 10K .
                        BenchMaster mill.

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                        • #13
                          Probably not what you had in mind Brian, but I found this one interesting. Had not seen this style before, it looks like it could be challenging to build.




                          Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                          Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                          Location: British Columbia

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                          • #14
                            I made a start today, then got busy with a bunch of "real work" and that eat up the rest of my day. At any rate, this is the drawing I'm working from, and this is how far I got on the part. Taken down from 1" stock to 0.890" diameter, taken down to 0.562 over part of the length, drilled and reamed as per drawing, and 60 degree taper machined in, all in the same set-up.

                            Brian Rupnow
                            Design engineer
                            Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                            • #15
                              For some reason i thought you were going to be making a constant velocity joint. That'd be pretty neat too!

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