this instructable is for the steampunkers out there needing brass gears for projects, not acurate or functioning, purely decorative. My next gear project I will spend more time with the dremel tool instead of files and hopefully fab up a working gear set, using thiner brass stock.
Step 1: Find suitable image
google search gear images, found adding "silhouette" to my search found more stensil worthy images.
Step 2: Crop and print
i use arcsoft photo studio5 for most of my images, or paint works too. then place image in your photoshop or paint, crop and print to the size you want to make..
Step 3: Cut brass bar stock to size
i found some 2inch by quarter inch bar stock at home depot, and cut it at 2 inches for a square piece to work with.
Step 4: Time to start drilling a "few" holes
moving toward "stock removal" i began drilling numerous holes along the inside edge of the stensil where i wanted to remove to create the gear spokes. i used a one sixteenth bit. smaller bit less filing, bigger bit more filing. i used a drill press on two of the triangle openings, and a cordless drill on the third opening, and a hand drill on the inside of each tooth. i used the 3 different drills to prove to my self that even one with limited tools can make these gears.
Step 5: Chisel out the opening to create the spokes
after drilling series of 1/16ths holes as closely as i could, i ground a standard screwdriver bit into a chisel. laying the brass stock on the flat anvil part of my bench vise i hammered the chisel along the drilled holes on both sides weakening it. placing the stock over the jaws of the vise opened just a little wider that what i was removing i used a punch and hammer and knocked out the triangle shaped cutouts.
Step 6: Drilling the teeth
time to drill the teeeth of your gear, not the ones in your mouth. same drill bit as used b4 1/16th , with any drilling device you wanna use. previous pics show where i drilled. pictured is the 1st gear i started when my girlfriend asked me if i could do "the one that looks like the nuclear symbol one" CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!