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Help: Motor Question

Discussion in 'Sensors and Actuators' started by sitver, Apr 7, 2013.

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  1. sitver


    Apr 7, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm rather new to electronics projects, and I'm building the first real, original design of my own volition.

    I have a few small motors (1.5-3 v-powerwise) which I'd like to use to spin spools of thread for a certain portion of the machine, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to attach the spool to the tiny metal axel of the motor. I've tried sugru, hot glue, and wood glue (it was the only strong glue I had), but nothing seems to get the spool to stick.

    Since y'all have so much more experience with these things, I figured you might have some ideas.

    All help welcome,


  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    File away some of the axle such that it is no longer round in diameter but has a flat side. You can then use a small screw (e.g. a set screw) to clamp the spool against the flat part of the axle.
    If the diameter of the axle allows, you could, instead of flattening, make a hole through the axle and fix the spool by threading a screw through this hole. I doubt that's easily feasible for a 3V motor, just wanted to suggest this alternative anyway.

    Using glue you will have to look out for akind of glue that is suitable both for the metal of the axle and the material of the spool (presumably plastic?).
  3. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    Epoxy glue will stick to most things (but not grease).

    I have used wooden pulleys on motors (several watts) and all I did was to make the pulley hole a little small so that it was an interference fit.
  4. Merlin3189


    Aug 4, 2011
    I've no idea what size your "spools" are, but I often attach things to small DC motors, which commonly have 2mm diameter shafts, by sliding a piece of rubber or plastic tube onto the shaft. This requires a bit of trial and error.

    I also wrap plastic tape around to increase the diameter until it is a tight fit. This gets you up to an arbitrary size, but does not maintain accurate centering so well.

    You could make a shaft of the correct size and form for your spools, mount it and attach a pulley to that, then drive it with a belt (rubber band) from a pulley on the motor. Model shops sell pulleys and gears to fit 2mm shafts.

    The motors I have in mind are probably much too fast for direct winding of spools (they are several thousand rpm.) So you would probably want to reduce the speed with pulleys or gears in any case.

    I did a similar(?) sort of thing once, mounting my bobbin on a 3mm axle, fitting a 60 tooth plastic gear to that and driving it with a worm on the 2mm axle of the motor. It was still a bit fast, but I had a variable power to the motor to slow it down and I got a reasonable (for my purposes) 1/2 rev per second or so.
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