How To Build A Talladega Nights Inspired Six Cheese Fountain

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Step 5: Making Pulleys For The Cheese Pumps

Our fountain would need seven pulleys: six for the cheese pumps and one triple-groove pulley for the drive motor. To make these we choose laminated Baltic Birch plywood scraps from a previous project. Baltic Birch ply is very dense and stable due the it's multiple wood veneers and glue layers.

The first step was to mount a hole cutter in the Drill Press. The cutter we used is known as a fly cutter. A hole saw would also work, but the disk can be damaged as it is removed from the hole saw, which gets clogged with the disc after drilling the hole. To down-side of a fly cutter is it has an square shaft that holds the cutter, but also extends beyond the tools rim. This is a notorious knuckle buster as it is invisible as it spins around. To protect myself and to remind me of it's presence, I added a little masking tape to make it visible as it spins.

Next the board will need back-up. This is something you learn quickly after you drill your first hole through the table of your drill press. The other reason for this is my drill press (Shopsmith Mark V) has a fence/straight edge that will be impacted by the knuckle-buster mentioned above. By raising the board off the table the cutter will do it's thing long before it reaches the height of the fence.

The photos below show this process, which goes quite quickly.

One last tip when using a fly cutter; Stop the drill press as soon as the cutter penetrates the top board, and without raising the cutter. Again, forget to do this once and you'll learn that the fly cutter is an excellent discus thrower!

Next the plywood discs are mounted on my Mini-Lathe. I've turned a scrap block "Jamb Chuck" out of sacrificial pine, and have drilled a 1/4" hole through the center using a drill bit held in a chuck. I've turned a tight recess that matched the diameter of the discs and from the faceplate side of the "chuck" I've driven a 1/4-20 Tee-Nut. A loose Tee-Nut is shown in one of the photos below. Tee-Nuts are a simple hammer-in threaded insert that provide excellent strength, just make sure that the Tee-Nut is BEHIND the wood that it is driven into, and not on top. Under stress the Tee-Nut will be pulled tighter into the wood.

The plywood discs are now attached to the jamb chuck using a 1/4-20 eye bolt with a nut mounted near the top to act as a stop to keep the eye bolt from sinking-in.

The disc is turned true using a round nose scraper, then a small round nose scraper is used to turn the groove for the drive belt. Because I didn't have a small scraper on hand I modified a cheap scraper from a set my son trained on as a kid. (Yes, it runs in the family) By the way, a flat-blade screw drive is another excellent option for a small scraper.

This step utilized a Shopsmith Mark V as a Drill Press, a Fly Cutter, a Jet Mini-Lathe and Lathe Scrapers.

Don't miss the VIDEO of the Six Cheese Fountain in action on Step 9!