OK, I was bored, so I made this three axis connector thing. It works like it did when it was in my head, but now that it is in the real world I have no idea what to use it for. It pitches, it rolls and it yawns.

If you removed the two center pieces and replaced them with a single piece with holes at opposite ends and on perpendicular sides then I guess you could use it as a "universal" connector.

Anyway, here it is in case you ever need it for something, whatever that might be.

Step 1: Tubing and Fasteners

OK, the first thing you need is either a basement full of stuff left over from other projects, or some old metal furniture, or a nearby flea market, or a way to get under (or over) the fence at the junk yard and past the security guard dog around 3:00 AM (just kidding!).

You can buy 1" and 3/4" square tubing in 36" lengths at Home Depot for around 10 bucks a piece. Even if it were galvanized (You will also need some paint to keep it from rusting. Mine started rusting in the bag on the way home!) it would still be a ripoff.

OK, now that you are over Home Depot ripping you off you will also need a one inch length of 1/4"-20 threaded rod, four nuts and two small fender washers and two cut washers and two 1/4"-20 hex head bolts by 1-1/2" or 2" (whichever length has enough unthreaded area to prevent the nuts from getting closer than 1" to the hex head) and eight more small fender washers, two cut washers and four nuts. Out of revenge buy these at Lowes.

Step 2: Cut and Drill the 3/4" Tubing

First cut two, 1" lengths of 3/4" tubing. Then drill 1/4" holes through the center of the two opposite sides for the threaded rod connector.

Place a fender washer between each piece and insert a 1/4" approximate 1/2" threaded rod. On each end of the threaded rod inside the pieces of 3/4" square tuning add a fender washer, cut washer and nut.

Make whatever adjustments are necessary to the length of the threaded rod to allow the washers and nuts to be installed so that there is at least 1/4" space between the ends of the threaded rod and opposite inside wall of each piece of square tubing. (See picture.)

Step 3: Drill More Holes

The next set of holes is on the sides perpendicular to the holes for the threaded rod. These holes are off centered so that the bolt will fit between the inside wall of the tubing and the threaded rod and nut and act as both a stop and as a joint. (See picture.)

Step 4: Cut and Drill the 1" Pieces

Now cut two pieces of 1" tubing to whatever length you want and drill 1/4" holes through opposite sides about 1/2" from the ends.

On the sides that are perpendicular to the holes cut along the edge and remove a strip of metal about 1-1/4" long. (See picture.)

Now drill your mounting holes or whatever.

Step 5: Add the Hex Head Bolts

Now insert the bolts into a fender washer, then through one of the holes on the 1" tubing, then through another fender washer then through the holes in the 3/4" tubing then through a fender washer then through the other 1" tubing hole and then through another fender washer. (This may take lots of patients and some manual dexterity.)

Now mount a nut on the end of the bolt and screw it down to the bottom of the threads, add a cut washer and screw down the other nut.

Now repeat this prodecure using the other 1" piece.

Vah Wah Lah! Your three axis connector is now assembled.


...also please report any possible uses.

u joint?
Technically, this doesn't move in the X, Y, or Z (linear) planes at all - rather the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw (angular rotation) planes... Neat project at least. I need something similar to mount a projector.
absolutely correct. And I posted earlier w/o a close inspection of it. And I agree wholeheartedly w/ Hands w/o Shadows...in low speed applications or static mounting it will do fine. Otherwise oscillations in the joints will cause it to vibrate apart(think small scale impact gun). You get the idea. Also if you would like 2 make it easily adjustable. Look into seat post clamps @ your local bicycle shop. Quick release types.
OK, I'll change it then.
I think the term your looking for in you description is "3 axis gimbal mount". Hope that helps.
I've been trying to find a way to build a hitch for a camera cart pulled by a bike, and this would probably be the perfect solution (universal movement AND cheap). Congratulations, there is a use for this!
I did not use this for my bike trailer although that might have been the original idea because it does some kind of fold back binding sort of thing. I settled on another mechanism instead but also planned to test an extension spring from Home Depot, UPC code 030699156245
uh, you made a U-joint... heheh, I said joint, ehehheh
This will bind because the two pivot points are not on the same plane. Oscillation also has to be pretty bad unless the shafts are aligned.
i believe you made a universal joint. i have used similar things in small scale rc. the key thing is to make it easy to move.
cool, but i have no use for it if i were to make it. haha

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Bio: I'm an Emu. As a young chick my parents use to feed me watermelon and I loved it so much everyone nick named me ... More »
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