Friday, 18 October 2013

Replacement Nuts and Bolts

There hasn't been much progress on the table to report in quite a while.  This has been largely due to the need to get two of the central components re-milled to accept some new linear bearings in place of the existing bushings.  At long last we got the part fixed and got some new washers and the linear bearings to install.  This of course necessitated disassembling the entire table to send the parts out to get fixed and a complete reassembly. 

The new linear bearings will allow the existing rods to slide up and down better than the originally used press fit bushings.  The most common use of bearings is in a pair or rings which allows for rotational movement.  Linear bearings allow shafts to slide through tubes.  In this case the tubes have five tracks of bearings on which the steel rods will travel. 

Bushing Holes Enlarged to Accept the New Linear Bearings
Linear Bearing and Retaining Ring

Central Components with New Bearings Installed
You may be able to see some plugs in the centers of the linear bearings, these stay in place to keep the ball bearings in place until assembly when the rods push them through.  

With the bearings in place we are able to re-assemble the rest of the table including all the support and actuator arms and then proceed on to the panels. 

The Mechanism Re-assembled and Ready for the Panels

Central Star and Arrow Wedges in Place

Pie Wedges in Place, the Star and Arrow Wedges are Stored Underneath

In Transition Between Small and Large

Small Configuration, Loose Assembly of Panels

Since this is a table with moving parts it would be wrong to not include at least a little video of the piece in action.  

This first video shows the center star and arrow shaped wedges in action.  You may be able to catch a glimpse of some of the mechanisms underneath.  

This video shows all the panels in action.  Hope you like it!

It has taken us a long time to get where we are now, and there is still lots to do.  Two notable tasks will be the final alignment of all the panels and the installation of the apron ring which will conceal the mechanisms from view.  I imagine it will be quite a while before everything is actually 100% done, it feels like we've been sitting at 99% for months.