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Meccano Helical Gear Cutter by André Théberge  

This is a homemade machine built almost entirely out of meccano, used to cut meccano helical gears (14 teeth up to 35 teeth) out of a brass blank cut previously on a lathe. The machine is mounted at 45 degrees angle on the table of a regular horizontal milling machine. Before the cut, the table was initially adjusted to center the blank on the cutter, and then locked-in. The meccano machine does all the work. It uses two stepper motors, one for feeding the blank into the rotating gear cutter, the other motor to rotate the blank. The motors are synchonized with electronics, to achieve a 45 degree cutting angle. This angle could be changed by programming, if needed. The whole process is automatic; the blank is fed to the cutter, cutting one tooth at a time, then it is retracted. Then, the built-in dividing head rotates the blank 1/14 of a turn in this video, (because we are cutting a 14 teeth gear), then feeds it again, then retracts, and so on. It takes about 10 minutes to cut a 14 teeth gear. It took me 2 months to build and tune-up the meccano model, and about 2 weeks to build the custom electronics out of Microchip microprocessors and public domain stepper motor controllers (LiniStepper, by Roman Black). The end result is a gear that can be used in a meccano model. This is meccano making meccano.  

Image by Rob Thompson, viewed 3313 times.

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Rob T      (at 1:49am, Fri 6th May, 11)

Hello Thomas,
Thank you for the compliment!

It would be 7/8 inch shaft diameter, so based on the info from your website, it is part number 1-204-110-X. X remains to be found, will a 14 teeth gear require a #7 cutter, and a 35 teeth gear a #3 cutter? I am not sure, I guess there are no other way but to try…

Best regards,

Thomas Lawry      (at 7:58pm, Sat 30th Apr, 11)

Hello André
If you follow this link;-
you will see that a 36DPI cutter is
available in No.1 through to No.8.
What diameter is the shaft 1" or 7/8"?
Where are you located?
Can I organise one for you??
You've gone to an incredible amount of trouble
to make one fantastic machine!!

Rob T      (at 2:29am, Fri 15th Apr, 11)

Hello Thomas,
The cutter pressure angle is 14.5 and I used a 40DP, #6 cutter, which is close enough (eyeballing it, holding the cutter into a groove of the gear) to the meccano helical gear pitch.
The recommended cutter by Mr. Wenbourne is on the link below, which is a 35 DP at 20 degree pressure angle. I could not find a 35DP cutter locally.

An initial study of my pair of Meccano helical gears indicates that they are 20-degree pressure angle, of involute tooth form, having a pitch of 35 DP.) Reference: http://www.meccanoscene.co.uk/html/articles/gears/Helical%20Gears.html

Yes, the dividing head opening has enough clearance to cut a 211b. As a matter of fact the software allows any gear from 12 teeth to about 38 teeth.

Best regards,

Thomas Lawry      (at 9:01pm, Tue 12th Apr, 11)

Fantastic André !
What size (DP) and pressure angle is the involute cutter?
Can it cut a 211b yet?

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