I need a laser level, but I don't need one very often so dropping a few hundred on something I might use once in a while was just not going to happen.
That still left me with out a laser level, and the only solution was to make one.
So with nothing more than a few hand tools and some odds and ends from my junk pile I got to work.
For my automatic laser level I decided to use a gimbal and because I wanted to make the most accurate device possible I needed to make it as smooth and precise as possible.
What I needed was a cheap and highly precise bearing assembly already made. That's when I hit on the idea of using the bearing assembly from a HDD.
Step 1: Manufacturing the gimbal - first axis.
First job was to strip the HDD down to its components.
For this I used a Torx drive 8H and 6H.
Once the drive was striped I looked at how to use the motor assembly as part of the gimbal.
Whats first noticeable about the drive motor is that the are threaded holes on a wide drum, this will make a good seat for attaching my aluminum angle.
Using a peace of 25x25x1.5mm aluminum angle I drilled holes to match the threaded holes on the HDD motor, this was done using the collar that holds the HDD platters in place as my drilling template.
Step 2: Manufacturing the gimbal - second axis.
For the second axis I used the bearing from the read and write arm of the HDD.
I cut a bolt down to size and using a couple of nuts as spacers and some heat shrink to keep the nut centered in the bearing I assembled the second axis on to the aluminum angle.
Now I was ready to assemble the second axis to the first axis to make my gimbal.