Motorcycle chain oiling system

I have often been frustrated with the task of oiling the chain on my motorbike, I want a Scottoiler but I don’t want to pay for it. So I built something that would do the same sort of thing only temporarily. When you want to oil the chain, you fix it on, go for a small ride or spin the wheel a bit, then take it off again.

Requirements

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • will spread lubricant evenly on the chain
  • cost effective

The basic idea I came up with was to place a rag on the chain with oil flowing onto it at a slow rate, the oil would spread over the rag and onto the chain. This is how I built it.

 

I had intended to attach it either by using the rear stand thread but I didn’t have any bolts that size, but I found a piece of wood would very happily wedge into the swing-arm very tightly. I took an off cut, drilled a hole through it at 9mm then applied a piece of 10mm threaded rod to it (installed the thread into the wood very happily, the threaded rod was tightly stuck in there.

offcut with threaded rod insertedAn ‘arm’ was needed to reach down to the chain, so another off cut was attached with a couple washers and bolts. This also meant I could adjust the angle to suit when on the bike.

adjustable angle arm bolted to holder

Then I built the oiling base itself, I made two because the first one wasn’t large enough to be drilled again for the second rod. Basically its a small off cut with a 5m hole drilled in it for the hose.

block 1 drilled

Inserting the oil flow tube.

base with tube inserted

The “oiling system” is a folded up rag. I kept the rag and the block the width of the chain to keep the oil where it should be.

first oiling system ready to have the rag attached

I used electrical tape to keep it on. Electrical tape works here because of its ability to stretch. whilst it doesn’t stick to the wood etc. It’s basically working like a rubber-band in this instance.

first oiling block tested on the chain

Its looking good here, but because I cant really attach it to anything I remade it slightly larger, The threaded rod is the second arm between the first and the base, I used threaded rod again so I could adjust the distance.

block two with tube and rod inserted

This is the full mount set. The small block on the right is the wedge for the swing arm, then there is the arm that goes down to the chain. Then the rod that goes inwards to the right distance to place the oiling block where it should be. Bolts for Africa to keep everything in place.

Full mount set - dryInstalled on the bike:

installed on bike from side

chain and base oiler in placeI was a little surprised at how sturdy it is. you would expect with wood, tape, bolts, threaded rod, and something that’s just wedged into the swing-arm to be quite fragile, but its pretty solid.

At the other end of the tube is an adapter I had made earlier for a standard soft drink bottle. I drilled a hole that was 1m too small and  used a small off cut of another tube to make the base. some hot glue to seal and then inserted the smaller tube. I didn’t have any hose clamps handy so used some 20 gauge wire to make my own clamp sort of thing. works well 🙂

sprite zero connector

So now I have my oil input ready. for testing its just sitting in the pillion foot peg.

oil input readyIdeally I will have a small, thin, seal-able tube that has a screw thread on both ends that I can use to put the right amount of oil in, and maybe it has a gauge so I can see how fast its draining etc. but for now; the top of a sprite bottle will do.

ready to roll... and oil

So I put some oil in the “reservoir” and let it flow through. the tube thickness and oil viscosity control the rate at which oil gets onto the chain. and it was flowing through the tube at about 1cm per second, which was perfect. The oil goes through the rag and onto the chain as expected. I am a bit slow here, I was too busy taking pictures and musing to start rotating the wheel which is why that small drop is on the bottom. the idea is you pour the oil in and go for a ride around the street to drain it. Today I just tilted the bike on the stand and manually rolled the wheel, this worked just as well.oil through the chain

Full system off the bike (excluding reservoir)

full system off the bike

Overall, this was a resounding success. It does everything I wanted for very little cost (I had everything already) Its not too fragile, its not too bulky, and it actually works!

 

Possible improvements

  • I would like a better ‘wedge’ system perhaps some sort of clamp that fits on the underside of the swingarm
  • I should remake it with a better material than wood
  • I need to build a better tube style reservoir

Grass Cutter Mk II

Important Update: This doesn’t work! 🙁
I thought this was going to be an awesome re-purposing of my old hand mixer but turns out these things aren’t meant to be used for more than a few seconds at a time.
The second or third time I was using it, I went for about 10 minutes and it overheated and caught fire. I wouldn’t recommend going down this path. Read on if you want to see anyway

(<- Part 1 )

I present to you, the Grass Cutter Mk II

So a list of upgrades/changes

A new handle, taped up to keep it safter and secure. inside this is a lightswitch embedded in the wood for off/on and the control board.

A new adjustable angle handle, I can loosen the bolt and change the angle so if its not really comfortable where it is, I can change it.

The engine is now parrallel to the ground, much more ‘mower-like’ less ‘weed strimmer-like’.  Also I removed the rubber as it wasnt providing any vibration releif and was just making it smelly. The strimmer line (orange twine) is also attached in a more reliable way: I threaded it through a drilled hole in the shaft head, then tied a double knot on each side so it cant pass through either direction.

And a new height setting/adjustment pole. there will be a wheel on here soon, I tried a couch floor knob but it doesnt slide very well. The point of this is to make it easier to push around rather than having to manually hold it at a certain height. although doesnt mean you cant flip it upside down and go manual if you want to do edges etc.

String trimmer from a hand blender (Failed)

Important Update: This doesn’t work! 🙁

I thought this was going to be an awesome re-purposing of my old hand mixer but turns out these things arent meant to be used for more than a few seconds at a time.

The second or third time I was using it, I went for about 10 minutes and it overheated and caught fire. I wouldn’t recommend going down this path.

Read on if you want to see the original

I planted a lawn out the back of the property where the gardener couldnt get to without a key so I needed something to cut the grass. My lawn mower is a bit pre-occupied and my weed-wacker was wacked. So in the usual recycling manner I made my self a string trimmer (weed wacker) out of an old hand blender

Wow look at that, badly thrown together lense flare, a fluro background. This thing HAS to be awesome.

To be honest, the only reason I am calling it MK I  it because its rather hastily assembled and has some design uglies, I’ll probably never rebuild it because it works* (edit: not really see top of this page) and that’s all I care about.

So I started with an old hand mixer/blender motor I had lying about, and thought about strapping it to a peice of wood, without anything else more suitable I made a sort of wooden vice with two threaded steel rods and 4 bolts. This worked really well!

I basically just nailed the control board onto the length of wood for now, holds fine, but I had to wire up a switch. In the interim I have some twine nailed to the board, going over the switch with another small peice of rubber, then round a nail and back to the top of the board for a lever.

I also attached some twine to the end of the engine so I could cut some grass. simple; effective.

bill of components

* engine: from a hand blender like: * a bunch of wood I recycled out of an old couch.

* about a 1/4 of some threaded steel I bought a while back
* a 6cm bolt for the lever
* 5 bolts
* cut mains cable I had left from another project.
* some weed wacker twine for the controller and the cutting part.

 

(goto part 2 -> )

Macro Photography with a budget point-and-click camera

I wanted to purchase a new camera with some good macro options to get better project shots. I also wanted to experiment with a bit of amateur macro photography for a bit of fun. But my budget, as always, was about $0.

Project considerations

  • Low cost
  • Can’t modify existing camera
  • Can be removed or attached easily
  • Works…
  • The first thing I needed was a new lens. I picked up a Macro Zoom Ring +10 Diopter from trademe for $15NZD which was pretty similar to this :

    My budget point-and-click camera obviously couldn’t mount it so I needed to make some things….

    First I needed to make a small extension tube for the lens, and some way of mounting it to the camera. Conveniently, the first thing I laid my hands on, the cap of a bottle of degreaser, just so happened to hold the lens quite snugly. I secured it with black electrical tape, and also wrapped the cap with it several times to block out the light. Then, I cut a hole in the top of the cap, around the size of the existing camera extension tubes so that it could fit snugly on there.

    NB: Cutting through the plastic is much easier with the tape applied. It meants it doesn’t crack when cutting it.

    To mount it to the camera, I built a small perspex base that attached to the bottom of the camera and extended forward so that I could attach the lens and its extension tube to it. When I attached the camera and placed the macro lens onto the mount, it seemed to hold itself in there quite well. (although I may add another bolt to secure it firmly…)

    Now all I need to do is turn the camera on, the lens moves into the hole and I can take macro shots!

    Now for some example shots…

        Homemade Engine Clutch

    I found a problem with my engine; it wont start under any significant load. The second pulley I made meant it was extremely difficult to start.

    pulley = no startMain pulley off engine

    I needed a clutch at some point anyway so I started thinking about how I could resolve both problems at once, removing as much load off the engine on startup and being able to clutch the engine.
    My plan is to put a small disk on the bottom of the shaft, then create a method of being able to push the pulley onto it; a dry friction clutch, but with a few changes. The clutch control will be a nut that I turn remotely (Likely by another pulley). The reason for this is it means I will be able to apply more force to the connecting plates via the bolt, and possibly later I may be able to automate it (ie, mechanical clutch)
    Also it seems like it will be the easiest to build.

    This is what I imagine it would assemble like (click for big)


    first home made clutch assembly prototype design

    More detail on the bottom of the pulley:
    Clutch design prototype other views

    The pulley will turn freely inside the bolt, I may later replace the bolt and bearings with a real bearing perhaps out of a skateboard or something. The bolt pushes the pulley up using the two lower fixed nuts, turning the bolt inside them will push itself up up.

    Update 16 July 2010
    I started working on the pulley/clutch shaft and bearing. I spent most of the time trying to hammer, screw, grind some washers to the right shape. the most successfull was one that I ground down with an angle grinder except for the middle, then bashed the sides up a little bit. I found a aluminium ring which I think came from a hard drive and installed that and it seems to hold everything quite nice. Its not anywhere near perfect, not even near good, but its usable for now.


    Exploded pulley with shaft and bearingsassembled pulley with bearings and various bolts
    (Click for big)

    The left picture shows an exploded simulation of how the bearing fits together, surprisingly this doesnt work too bad. The right image shows what it could look like assembled. Note the bit that says ‘Clutch Control’ this is just a bolt and two washers for image purposes. I need to put some thought into how I will turn the shaft, without allowing the spinning pulley to have any control over it. if I used a smaller pulley down the bottom or in the middle (as pictured), I fear it would be too easy for it to slip and the engine would dis-engage the clutch automatically. I also found I will need to modify the holes that the top bolt and bearing fit into; they are too shallow.

    Update 17 July 2010
    Started building the new base, and resunk the pulley so I had more bolt to play with, I am pretty happy with it. then I sunk a bolt into a wooden beam to go under the engine shaft, I shaped it with a craft knife, chiseled it out a little bit, then wacked it in with a hammer. It feels really solid so I am happy with this part. I in the 3rd pic I have placed it roughly where I expect it to sit. But I noticed I will have to be quite precise, I dont want the too shafts to be mis-aligned because it will mean the clutch plates wont sit true.


    new base in progress

    bolt mounted in a small beam to hold the clutchPlaced clutch in base underside of placed clutch

    I still havent figured out how I can turn the clutch shaft without using too much bolt real estate and keeping it secure so its not able to be spun by the engine. although I am thinking about two small pulleys with some rope attached and wraped around a few times. buy pulling one rope, the pulley will spin the shaft and the height will increase, at the same time another pulley will be pulled and wrapped around the second pulley. I can then pull the second rope to do the opposite.

        Wooden Pulleys – Turning

    As per Part 1. I now have a working drill and hole saw that runs of an old computer power supply. I can turn wood with the same drill by mounting it in a vice and bolting the wood into the chuck.
    Power supplyDrill running off ATX PSU Drill Lathe

    Firstly I took an old piece of MDF that was once a set of shelves, then a speaker box, and now wasting away in the garage and cut two pieces out. One was 5″ the other 4″. It took about 10/15mins to get through the MDF, I thought the drill bits were a bit crap but I think the drill itself is probably still underpowered. (it was quite a cheap unit when I bought it) Also I found it was very easy to get on an angle, possibly the density of the wood was different nearer the edges but I found it was digging in quite a fair amount on one side or the other and I ended up with not very even pieces. The first one wasn’t so bad but the second significantly skew. I will borrow a drill press to try and get a better piece, at least until I build my own later.

    I put a bolt down the center shaft and tightened it up and placed the bolt into the chuck of my drill, then mounted the drill in the vice. To get foot control I tied a rope around the trigger, which travelled along my workbench to a nail then down and tied to a metal ruler/level at a height where I could push it down to pull the rope and as such, pull the trigger. I had some control over speed, but it could definately be improved.

    Working on first pulleyPulley being turned and carved

    This is how it came out, I was quite happy with this result.
    Finished MDF pulley

    I built a second but it came out quite skew, I will use a drill press to re-cut the MDF, and if its faster than the hand drill I might cut two circles, and stick them together to form a bigger pulley. something like so:

    plan for new wood pulleycross section new wood pulley
    This will also give me a wider groove so I can use thicker belts.

    Update 12 July 2010
    I also refined my drill/lathe technique a little over the weekend. I think I will modify it further to become a slightly more permanent fixture with a bearing on the other side. because its only fixed to the drill its quite easy to push too hard and bend the drill which alters the shape of the turned wood. to start with I may just buy a 30cm peice of threaded steel, grind myself a nice 3 sided head on one side so that it fits into the drill nicely, and smooth the otherside and it can sit in some sort of fixed socket to provide a more stable shaft.

    I also built the new pulley, twice as wide so it will accomodate more reasonably sized belts.


    Pulley 3Pulley 3

    Currently my plan for the belt is to use rubber from an old push-bike inner tube

        Wooden Pulleys – Equipment

    (5 July 2010) – Power and Drills

    First thing I needed for my generator was either cogs or a pulley/belt system to drive the washing machine engine. I thought about several different options from buying old car pulleys/belt, using a bevel/helical gear, or building my own cogs/gears/pulleys on the cheap.

    I decided the cheapest option (since all my projects try to be as low cost as possible) for me is to try manufacture my own pulley’s from wood.
    I needed a few things,

    * Hole saw
    * Reliable drill to run the saw
    * Wood turning equipment to cut the grooves.

    I had none of these so started with what I did have.

    I had an old portable battery drill that had a battery that was dead and generally ready for the trash, I figured I could wire it into the mains and turns out I was able to find an old ATX PSU that put out enough power, so I snipped all the ATX connectors down fit inside case, covered the ends up with heatshrink (didn’t want one accidentally touching something) and rigged up a switch and so on so I could run it like a lab power supply.


    Modified ATX Power SupplyModified ATX Power Supply

    (This PSU came in quite handy for other 12v (ish) projects like a peltier effect device I am playing around with.)

    So now I have power, then I removed the casing of my drill battery pack, removed all the battery’s and chucked them (they were quite corroded) then basically clamped two cables to the connectors that go inside the drill, unfortunately it wouldn’t let me solder them on so I ended up turning the metal sheet over to clamp the cable in. I tied a knot in the cables before the hole so they wouldn’t tug on the connection. Then ran about 2.5m of cable out to a Molex Plug I picked up from jaycar so I could plug it neatly into the PSU.


    Drill with modified battery pack to run off 12v powerportable drill running off power supply

    I ended up buying a hole saw, I didnt have anything I could modify to make that, but it was only $20.

    For the Lathe/Wood turner I found I could bolt the wood I wanted into work with into the drill, and mount the drill into a small vice and I used a rope tied around the trigger, around a nail, down to a metal level so I had it foot controlled. but I talk about this more in part 2.

    Wood turning and Pulley making with a drill in a vice


    (17 July 2010) – New Wood Turner

    Ive started working on a new wood turner (I cant really call it a lathe as its shaft reliant) pics now, further update coming later.


    taking the drill apart
    drill too far apartmaking the mount for the drill motor

    wood turner mount in progresswood turner mount in progress, side angle

    (click for big)

    the offcuts from the MDF I was using to make the pulley’s is used (leave no wood scraps behind) so its all odd shapes, its almost artistic! I just need to cut the bottom to a standard height, mount it to a small board, then figure out what ill mount that to. Probably make it like a vice that can be moved around, bench mountable, I also need to make another end that holds the other side of the shaft so that the shaft is stable, not able to move around, which is the biggest problem with the drill-in-a-vice “lathe”.


    (28 July 2010) – New Wood Turner: Wiring

    I finished wiring and testing the new setup. Power comes off the other psuedo drill pack and I’ve just hacked the bottom off the drill I am using for the turning. Power then goes too the jandal controller for analogue (ie: more presssure more speed) control of the motor. I mounted the original drill control into a recess into the bottom jandal and glued the jandals together. then it goes off to the drill in the mount.

    new lathe wired up
    Lathe jandal pedal
    lathe power 'wiring'