Help with making a wind up mechanism for a large piece

I need to make a wind up mechanism for a large laser cut piece measuring 1m by 0.5m. I'm happy to try make, buy out right or re-use one from another item, any suggestions are welcome.

I have attached a simple diagram of the kind of motion I am after - the idea being that a a few twists of the wind up mechanism will spin the gears and wheels for 5-10 seconds or longer if possible! The motion is only decorative and the wheels and cogs would be made from laser cut plywood 6-9mm thick. This will go in the background of an illustrative, laser cut sign made up from layers of laser cut plywood, my work can be found here - www.tomsky.co.uk .

I am a beginner at this, so would gladly welcome to any suggestions, resources or alternatives to creating this kind of motion! The only thing is that it needs to be physical, old fashioned mechanics rather than using any kind of motor.



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rickharris1 year ago

I am guessing you might like something like these:

mtomsky (author)  rickharris1 year ago

Those are amazing.

He has been around a long time doing this. Many are gravity driven the others use a tortion spring mechanism that he makes. No laser cutter in sight! :-)

Kiteman1 year ago

How about a falling weight? Wrap a cord around an axle, weight on the end, let it fall and unwind.

If it falls too fast, use a simple escapement mechanism will slow it down.

mtomsky (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Thanks, I'll have to look into it!


The size is the biggest enemy here...
The large disks need to be well balanced and the axles should use two ball bearings for easy movement.
The easiest movement I can think off would be a spring loaded roller system.
Think like wheels with an angled tyre ;)
The spring pushes the wheel on the crank out of the system, you push and crank to get it going - let go and it runs free.
The wheel diameter makes the gear reduction.

mtomsky (author)  Downunder35m1 year ago

Thanks, I'll look it into it! I'm a real beginner here, do you happen to know any resources where I can read up on this?

How about the pull cord mechanism from a lawn moor or a weed wacker.

Pull the cord and coil spring locks into the gear, you would of course need to reverse the locking mechanism so it spins freely when you pull the cord and locks when you release the cord but it can be done.