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As a member of CRASH space, I was asked to come up with a mechanical thwacker that would allow a solenoid controlled percussion "thwacking" against a makeshift instrument.

Here's what I came up with:

Disclaimer: CRASH Space, myself, and no one else in the world is responsible for what you do. Any damage or harm to others that stems from following this instructable is purely, entirely, completely, and totally your fault.

Not that anything would happen. Just sayin. That's why it's called a "disclaimer" 

Step 1: Procure.

This part may seem small, but this is actually the biggest part. For this instructable, you will need:

1x  Steel Dowel Pin 3/32" Diameter, 5/8" Length
8x Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 4-40 Thread, 7/16" Length
12x Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 4-40 Thread, 3/8" Length
1x  Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw 4-40 Thread, 1-1/8" Length
1x thwacker stick, preferably plastic, approx 14" in length,  ~.40" diameter
1x solenoid, part number CII/A1464 available from Jameco Electronics
12"x12"x..220" thick acrylic plastic 
12"x12"x.125" thick acrylic plastic 
1x hair band (yes, really, a hair band) 



Step 2: *pew Pew Pew*

The first thing you gotta do is use a laser to cut out your parts. 

Not that laser pointer you got from your uncle last December. I'm talking about a REAL LASER cutter.

In this case, an EPILOG 45W CO2 laser cuts acrylic just fine, CRASH Space has a wonderful handy dandy laser available for usage.

Remove the protective film after cutting, push out any of the unwanted bits, and save them for some other cool project.


Step 3: Tab A1 Goes in to Slot Q7c...

This is the tricky part. Assembling this bad boy.

Start small and work your way bigger.

Starting with the thwacker mount, put these three pieces together and screw them in. Depending on your laser cutter, the screws may self-tap themselves in, or you may need to use a 4-40 tap (attach it to a drill, it goes MUCH faster, it's just plastic). 

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.

1) Align the pieces as shown in the image.
2) Insert the 3/8" screw into each of the six (6) holes on the flat surface. The orientation of these doesn't matter, the alignment of the holes is key.
3) When tapping the laminated material, clamp or pull the material tight to prevent swarf (that's a fancy technical term for the chunks of cut material that you throw away) from getting between the laminate.
4) Admire your handy work

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.



Step 4: Assemble the Shuttle

The shuttle is the part that I call that slides back and forth. It can be called a number of other things such as slider, the mover thingy, or the even the slider mover thingy. 

These technical terms are all OK to use.

The shuttle is assembled in the same way as the mount, note the order of the stack, but most importantly, the steel dowel pin and end of the solenoid will be encapsulated in between the first and third layers.

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS.  YOU WILL STRIP THE PLASTIC THREADS.

1) Tap all four (4) holes using the same method that worked for you on the thwacker mount. 
2) insert the pin in the solenoid pivot hole
3) align the three layers of the laminate together and ensure the pin is trapped inside.
4) Screw the parts together using four (4) of the 3/8" long screws
5) make sure the plates align and are tight

(this part is tricky, you will probably use some colorful language as you try to trap the pin in between the layers as you tighten the screws

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. YOU WILL STRIP THE PLASTIC THREADS.

Step 5: Assemble Solenoid

Doesn't a solenoid sound like something that the sun does to you?

"I was at the beach, and the sun was so strong, it made me solenoid.. I hate that sun, what a jerk!"

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.

1) tap the two center holes on the base plate
2) use two (2) 3/8" screws to hold the solenoid down.

*dust hands* that was easy.

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.

Step 6: Assemble the Side Rails

This is probably the most confusing part of the instructable. 

You will need to do several things at one time, and you may experience some discomfort due to frustration, small sweaty hands, and an overzealous belief that you will do this right on the first try.

You have been warned.

1) Holding the assembly of the Thwacker mount and Shuttle assemblies between the side walls, you will then slide the solenoid plunger into the solenoid housing.
2) the side walls will need to be held at angles to the base, this will facilitate the assembly of the solenoid plunger.
3) once assembled, straighten the sides to vertical, and push the side wall's tabs into the base's slot.
4) insert  four (4) 7/16" long screws into the side wall holes into the Thwacker mount mounting holes and tighten until the sides do not wiggle. 
6) Insert four (4) 7/16" screws in from the underside of the base and tighten until the side walls do not wiggle.
7) look at the above numbering scheme and wonder where 5) went.
8) You're almost done!


5) DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.
 
Oh, there's 5)

Step 7: Thwack Thwack Thwack!

It's time for the Thwacker TM..This is the most important part of the design! Without this, you have a really cool looking slider mover thingy that doesn't do diddly!

1) drill and tap a 4-40 hole 1 3/8" up the thwacker.
2) Loop the hair band into the two notches on the base plate and loop the other end over the shuttle
3) Slide the Thwacker into the hole in the thwacker mount and into the hair band.
4) Using the uber long screw, put them through the side hole of the Thwacker mount. (this should tap itself)
5) Hold the thwacker in the middle of the hole in the thwacker mount assembly and screw the screw past the thwacker.
6) dust your hands, because you're done, son! errr, daughter! errr, whatever.

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE SCREWS. THIS WILL STRIP THE THREADS IN THE MATERIAL.

Step 8: Get a Jameco Catalog

Because the rest of the instructions and the hardware needed to complete this project are available in their August issue.

Admire your handy work. Go get a 12V battery and thwack something!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm an engineer. I problem solve all day, problem solve all night. I LOVE learning, and I love teaching what I learn. I want ... More »
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