Motorizing the Shutter Door


In my spare time this week, with the kids’ help, I was able to build the motor-drive system for the shutter door.  It’s a simple system, using a windshield washer motor and a wood gear and rack designed with Matthias Wandel’s excellent gear template generator.  (Side note : I highly recommend Matthias’s YouTube channel and website.  Wood gears are only one of the thousands of cool tricks and projects he offers.)

This phase of the project started with designing a gear and rack system that could fit in the gap between the door and the shutter arcs.

The gear template was then cut out, glued to some 3/8″ Baltic Birch ply, and the gear was cut and sanded to a round shape.

Somehow I utterly missed getting a picture of cutting the teeth out, but this was done on a scroll saw.  The process can be greatly simplified by drilling out the “bottom’ of the teeth to avoid having to make tight turns with the saw.  This was the rack being prepared for that process by centerpunching the drill locations.

The gear was mounted to the motor, and a cradle made to mount it to the obs.

The motor is the driven by an Arduino and Pololu motor controller.

A few adjustments, and then mounting the rack to the door, and YAY!  Motorized door!

Still quite a bit of finish work to do.  The rack “extension” (which allows the shutter to open completely) needs to be stiffened up quite a bit, limit switches need to be added, and so on.  But it’s a good start, I think!

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