Monowheels are nothing new, first being patented in the middle of the 19th century, but never really went mainstream due to, well, quite a lot of obvious issues. We’ve got problems with forward visibility, stability, steering, especially at speed, and the hilariously-named ‘gerbiling’ where the rider can spin around inside the wheel akin to a gerbil in a wheel. Fun times! But obviously that didn’t stop [The Q] from adding to the monowheel corpus by building one out of wood.
Sometimes people take on these projects simply for a laugh, like this bright orange one we covered a while back. Sometimes they’re powered by a motor, be it electric or internal combustion. Some are hand-cranked, some are pedal-powered, its all been tried.
[The Q] is no stranger to interesting wooden builds, and this video from a year ago shows him building a very simple direct-pedal-drive monowheel. The vast majority of the structure is wood, glued and screwed the old-fashioned way, with a bit of metalwork where necessary. We particularly like the simple counterweight solution which doubles up as a parking brake. It may look a little ungainly, but we can’t think of a simpler solution that would make much sense.
The build video after the break is six and half minutes of well executed videography for your viewing pleasure.
Continue reading “Wooden Monowheel Build Is Simplicity Itself” →
Wood products have a long history in aviation even though modern materials have eclipsed them in many areas. But lately we’ve noticed several plywood satellites, including this one the ESA plans to launch. The WISA Woodsat is a test of WISA plywood, a particular brand made in Finland to show how it can withstand the orbital environment.
Why not? Plywood is cheap and easy to form. You probably don’t want to make a pressure vessel with it, but most satellites don’t need that anyway.
Continue reading “Good Enough For The Spruce Goose, Good Enough For Satellites” →
Wood can be the material of choice for many kinds of projects, but it often falls out of the running in favor of metal or plastic if it needs to take a threaded fastener. But with a little ingenuity you can make your own wood taps and cut threads that will perform great.
Making wood do things that wood isn’t supposed to do is [Matthias Wandel]’s thing. Hackers the world over know and use his wood gears designer to lay out gears for all kinds of projects from musical marble machines to a wooden Antikythera mechanism. Woodworkers have been threading wood for centuries , so making wood take a decent thread isn’t exactly something new. But doing it on the cheap and making the threads clean and solid has always been tricky. The video after the break shows [Matthias]’ method of cutting a tap out of an ordinary threaded rod or even off-the-shelf lag screws. He uses a simple jig to hold the blank so that flutes can be cut with an angle grinder. The taps work well in the materials he tested, and a little informal stress testing at the end of the video shows promise for long service life of the threads.
Wood threads aren’t suitable for every project, but knowing that you can do it might just open the path to a quick, easy build. This is a great tip to keep in mind.
Continue reading “Simple Shop-made Taps For Threading Wood” →
[Frank] sent in a link to this fantastic wooden clock. The design was dreamed up by [Clayton Boyer] and he’s got full-sized templates for sale on his site. We’ve marveled at his creations in the past, having featured his useless machine that was made from wooden gears. This “Bird of Paradise” clock steps up the complexity quite a bit, creating a timepiece without a case to show off the beauty of all of those teeth.
We wondered what goes into building one of these yourself. From the FAQ page it seems you could get by with a scroll saw, drill press, Dremel, and sander. That’s the medium-tech method, but you could opt to scan the plans in order to laser cut your parts, or just use hand tools. But in addition to building tips, there’s advice on how to fine tune clocks that don’t want to keep running, thoughts on finishing the wood parts, sanding, tweaking the teeth, and much more. It’s no secret we have a love for digital clock projects, but there’s something very seductive about a design like this that uses no electricity. Don’t miss the clip after the break to see what we mean.
Continue reading “Do You Have What It Takes To Make Lumber Keep Time?” →
[Matthias] built a wooden enclosure for his keyboard. He’s used to using a Commodore 64 keyboard and decided he didn’t need the num pad found on modern keyboards.
It’s not the finished product that interests us, but the methods he used to create such a nice looking enclosure. From the wooden binary adder he produced we know he’s a talented woodworker. He takes us step-by-step through the use of a scroll saw, table saw, and router tabled to turn out this one-of-a-kind. You may not own these tools but someone you know does. Follow his example and turn out your own wooden wonders.
Today we’ll be setting aside the circuits and solder for a little while in favor of good old fashioned wood and bungee chords to make this backyard catapult. Items needed include nine sections of 2×3 wooden beams of varying lengths, some screws and eye hooks, a bungee chord, a broom handle, and a few other things which are all detailed in the read link below.
Continue reading “The Backyard Ogre Catapult” →