Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wheel modifications

After many a night of waking up to the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) noise of "squeeeeeeek" from the wheel in Victoria's cage, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Vic uses the same type of wheel as Lizzie did (the Wodent Wheel, which is supposed to be one of the more quiet wheels out there and super safe for little hammy feet), but she runs faster for longer periods of time and I guess the cheap bearings on the wheel just couldn't take it. Temporary relief could be had by liberally applying vegetable oil to the axle, but that would often only last a few days at best. So finally, after a couple weeks of seeking relief at my boyfriend's place (much to the detriment of the hammy, who as a result wasn't let out as much to play), it was time to make some fixes.

The main causes for the squeaking were probably the following: 1) metal rubbing on metal and 2) loose tolerances in overall wheel design. So what is a MechE to do? I decided to replace the crappy bronze bearings with new PTFE (better known by its brand name, Teflon) ones. I figured going with a plastic would help reduce the squeaking and PTFE is super low in friction, which should hopefully reduce the amount of oil I'll need to put on and compensate for the increase surface contact with the shaft. These were flanged to replace the old plastic washers and much longer in length to get better coverage on the wheel shaft to compensate for the bad tolerancing. A hand drill, a hammer and a screwdriver later and it was good to go! Victoria seems to like her modified wheel and has been running happily at night.

2 comments:

Tommy said...

I demand a picture!

:)

Steph said...

A picture is posted up on my personal blog here: http://files.posterous.com/sklprojectsblog/ugxDQ6JKaOSASD1fsGsRlG6neft1Gc29aeyFU6gbyySoa1OVAaRFLvpTO9NZ/IMG00020.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=1C9REJR1EMRZ83Q7QRG2&Expires=1265999732&Signature=Vq3tARIhk%2BZyrTGYp2mhwzg0Wb0%3D