Youngster's simple electric motor

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chucketn

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When I was a young man (I'm now 71), my Dad, an electrician, built me a simple dc electric motor. It had sheet metal stator cores shaped like inverted #5's, a commutator and brushes, both made of copper wire, and hand wound stator and commutator windings. It was mounted on a piece of pine board. The motor was probably made in the shop at his work, as I don't remember him making it at home. Has anyone seen plans in a magazine such as Popular Science, or Popular Mechanics, in the 1950's-60's or even earlier for such a motor? My Dad was crafty, but I don't think he designed it, though he could have. I spent many happy hours watching it run on 6vdc lantern batteries. I burned up a bunch of those batteries with the motor. I remember having to tweek the copper wire brushes often to get it to run, as the motor was not well cared for by me. I don't know what happened to that motor, but I wish I had it to play with in my second childhood... I don't even have a picture of the motor.
 

Tim Wescott

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I have a couple of 3D drawings. Unfortunately, they're in my head. Nails, or pieces of welding rod, tin cans, masking tape to build up the commutator form, and if you want to get fancy, brass sheet for the brushes and commutator.

Dunno if I could sketch something up, though.

Do you want any home-built motor, or are you looking for that very one?
 
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chucketn

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I built a functioning motor a while ago from a coil of wire, a couple of paperclips, and magnets, as seen in an online Science Class or maybe a youtube video.. I just finished another from a coil of wire, screws in a wood block, washers, and magnets. I don't have batteries on hand to test this latest one.
The one my Dad built was a bit more fancy. I remember there were phenolic and fiberboard parts as well in Dad's version. It would have made a nice family history hand-me-down.
I may try to reproduce the one from my memory updating it with Fusion 360 drawings and 3d printed parts.
 

CraigLD

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There was something like this that was popular as a Boy Scout Merit badge project. I remember something like this back in the 60s, but must have been extremely simplistic.
 

awake

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I remember making one, many moons ago. I seem to remember using cut up food cans for the stator cores, and making them in a sort of dumbbell shape.
 

awake

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A quick Google search shows several different designs ... none of which are anything like what you describe or what I remember making. This design seems to be very popular: How to Make an Electric Motor

But that seems way too simple to me. Where's the fun if you don't have the danger of cutting open your hand on the sharp edges of the can as you try to cut them to shape??
 

packrat

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I remember making stuff like that, there were plans for motors and crystal radios in Boys Life magazine and Poplar Mechanics also.
 

Tim Wescott

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That one Scott just posted looks like my starting point when I was a kid. I think I built half a dozen of them, starting by following the directions, then experimenting from there. (Oddly enough, I'm now an electronics engineer, and while I don't build motors, I've got some expertise in selecting them, and making them do what they're told).
 

mnay

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Which book is the above motor from?
thanks
Mike
 

Jasonb

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I made a solenoid one based on an old image that I found, has variable speed as well as fwd/rev

 

awake

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Which book is the above motor from?
thanks
Mike
Mike, I don't know - it came up as one of the results in a Google search. If you click on the picture of the book above, it will take you to the link.
 

l.dullum

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Mike, Awake's posting of Crowley's motors appeared in The Boy Mechanic, published by Popular Mechanics magazine. My copy is a 1952 copyright. It had lots of fun stuff to build.
 

priceyk

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The photo looks a lot like ones I had as a boy from a book called The Boy Mechanic. First published in 1913, the one I have is the New and Revised edition published in 1960. It was published by Popular Mechanics.
 

Steamchick

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Nicely made Jason.
The double solenoid motor in the video looks like it runs on 5V. DC.? What current does it draw?
When I read the description of a solenoid motor, I expected an armature drawn into the solenoid, not just drawn to the end. I guess that the energy transfer of magnetic field (created by the current) to force on the con-rod is very low. A clever commutator wire arrangement.
Good toy!
K2
 

stanstocker

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Not an answer to the exact plans, but I recall books written by Percy Blandford and Alfred Morgan that were full of "gee whiz" projects. Nothing that appears to relate on google books for Blandfor (or Blanford), but "Electrical Projects For Boys" turned this one up:


The motor plans start on page 289.

Best of luck finding what you seek!
Stan
 

James Barker

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This thread has brought back memories of a time I long ago forgot about. In shop class we all were to build an electric motor. The coil was a piece of 1/8 x 1/2 inch bar stock that we bent into a "C" shape with ears on it to mount vertically to the wooden base. the support bearing stand was made from the same size bar stock and was a shallow "C" with out ears and was fastened to the base with wood screws and at a 90* angle to the coil. On each of the legs of the bearing mount we deeply center-punched a divot. Now, we took a 10 penny nail and ground a point on both ends. This was to be the shaft of the motor and it had to fit comfortably between the two punch marks in the support. We then had to do a triple fold over of a piece of tin sheeting and drill a hole centrally and solder this to the shaft we just made. This formed the armature core. We had wrapped the top section of the coil and the two wings of the armature with masking tape as a an insulator and proceeded to wind magnet wire around these pieces, We then built up a commutator on one end of the shaft by wrapping masking tape tightly until the desired diameter was reached. Two copper tabs we affixed to this with thin strips of tape and the ends of the armature windings were soldered on. Strips of copper sheet were formed into a set of brushes and screwed to the base, Fahnestock clips used to make the connections to the power source. Doggonit, now you have me thinking about this I am going to have to go find it and post up some pictures....

BC1
JIM
 

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