Instructables
Picture of Making a Powerful Linear Actuator
I looked at buying a Linear actuator but they are too expensive for the project i wanted to do so I thought i would make one and document it for Instructables so that others can follow what i do for their project or improve on it.

I have 2 options for you guys here, the frist option I tried and a slightly improved model.
 
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Step 1: What you will need


You will need the following materials and tools

Tools:-

Welder - Optional

Hacksaw - a junior hacksaw is fine

flat head screw driver

vice - i used a hobby vice which was fine

Mitre block

Hammer

a metal file

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Materials : -

Epoxy Resin - Araldite is what i used

threaded rod - M10

Nuts - M10

piece of clothes rail

clothes rail holder

DC Motor or a Cordless Drill with forward and reverse

Petroleum jelly

Step 2: Picking your drive method

You need to choose your drive method well, my original plan was to use a sewing machine motor to drive my actuator figuring i could reverse to polarity to reverse the motor. it turns out a sewing machine motor uses AC current and a AC motor will only spin one way regardless of which way round the polarity is. to get it to reverse you would have to use gears which i wasnt prepared to do.

However a DC motor will spin the opposite way when the polarity is reversed, so i broke up a cordless circular saw for the motor, it wasnt very good as a saw anyway, i cut the cashing up and kept the gears that are in it in place.

Your other option is what i have ended up choosing which is a cordless drill, the advantage of this is that it has a chuck so what ever you put in it will be centered.
Quistie10 months ago
This is awesome, btw. Do you think this would work for a TV lift? I want to build a cabinet to house my 47inch TV and all it's equipment. Thank you!!
Muyi Quistie5 months ago

What your TV lift output? Now we have a IR remote system for TV lifts open/close that control by your TV remote, but no need extra remotes.

n1cod3mus (author)  Quistie10 months ago
yes I think it would work, but I think it would be slow
Quistie n1cod3mus10 months ago
Ok perfect. Thank you! This is going to be great- now to convince my dad to help me build it!
farazjz5 months ago

i just advise that DO NOT GET IT NEAR FIRE because epoxy can not sustain fire heat

Costarus made it!7 months ago

A good thing! I do linear actuators. Use motors 30-60 rpm and motors of drills with gear. Apply actuators for automatic airing of hotbeds and greenhouses. Much better hydraulics.

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Thanks for the instructable! Say, what's the estimated cost of the total unit? It would also help if you posted the make/model/part no. for any components if possible.
n1cod3mus (author)  carnotricecooker1 year ago
I estimate about £15 not including the motor which was salvaged.

It hard to give makes and models as it was just an old circular saw which I had kicking around originally from B&Q but they dont make it any more.
n1cod3mus (author)  n1cod3mus1 year ago
to be honest most of this was just junk I had laying around at the time. I have since decided that this actuator Is not going to do what I need it to do and I'm going to build a scissor lift arrangement.
trey7101 year ago
Just curious. What would something like this lift. I'm wanting to lift about 30 lbs and i'm not sure if something like a drill will do that.
n1cod3mus (author)  trey7101 year ago
you might want to put it though a gear box first to get the torque, you could use a wheel chair motor, or washing machine motor.
n1cod3mus (author)  n1cod3mus1 year ago
you would also need a bigger thread and nut, as you dont want the thread to be stripped off. my one lifted about 5kg with out issues.
Thanks for the feedback. After I saw this I was digging around a bit more and found a scissor lift idea I liked.
In the end I'm trying to build a standing desk kind of like the Wallaby standing desk. I think I can take an old car jack, weld a pole to it vertically and place platforms on the pole. A simple drill attachment to the scissor jack would raise and lower my desk.
Another weekend project....
n1cod3mus (author)  trey7101 year ago
excellent, do you have the link to the scissor lift project as I too am building something which would be quicker and more stable with a scissor lift.
n1cod3mus (author)  n1cod3mus1 year ago
another idea might be to make a scissor lift.
I was wondering if there's a way to actuate this linear actuator by way of infrared remote control like in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLodZGNvV9k
boston75131 year ago
Wicked cool instructable I would not have thought it was so easy. I was thinking about how linear motors work before I did this search and I hadn't thought to do it this way Thank you!
n1cod3mus (author)  boston75131 year ago
no problem
heathbar642 years ago
You will find some very useful gears in an old kitchen mixer. they have a worm gear and two ring gears to go on it. this could mount the motor perpendicular to the screw.
n1cod3mus (author)  heathbar642 years ago
I've actually changed my mind about using this in my former and i'm opting for a scissor lift type setup
espdp22 years ago
I like it. I have some ideas that could use that. What have you used it for? And roughly how powerful is it?
n1cod3mus (author)  espdp22 years ago
I havnt used it yet i was intending to use it to raise a vacuum platform for a vacuum former i was going to build but i have found another method.

i expect it could lift a fair weight as the motor is an 18v that came from a cordless circular saw.
zack2473 years ago
very cool!
n1cod3mus (author)  zack2473 years ago
thanks man, i'm sure there are ways to imporve on the design, i am still lloking at a way of gearing it so the motor is beside the shaft, but i cant figure a way using cheap materials where the gears wont give out to quickly.
If space isn't a problem, what about using bicycle sprockets and a short piece of chain? Heck, by using two different sizes, you could change the speed of actuation at the same time. You could also try stopping by a garage or photocopier repair place. Either should have junked strong gears that would do the trick.