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Are you clever with cardboard? I need a way to hang a weight from a cardboard rail *please*! Answered

Essentially I have a large cardboard container - approx 1m cubed (1m x 1m x 1m). I'd like to be able to move a mini-platform along the x and y axes i.e. side to side and back to front (not up and down) within the confines of the box. I had thought of two rails, one each along its axis, but I don't know how to make them move. I had also thought that if I were to use rails then a triangular cross-section would be strongest. Any thoughts, please? Thanks for stopping by! Kind regards Kevin

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Gorfram (author)2009-08-30

I have seen them elsewhere - the steel mill set-up just stuck my mind because it best displayed the workings of all the working parts. (That, and because anything involving a VW-Beetle-sized crucible full of white-hot molten steel just tends to stick in the mind. :)

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Gorfram (author)2009-08-18

Didn't get my not-as-helpful-or-relevant answer in before Sean's much better one, but that's partly because I ignored this question at first - Variations on "Find a Way to Hang a Weight from a Cardboard Rail" are a common school Science/Physics Class homework project, and I thought I'd just be telling some high-schooler how to do his homework (which I can promise you is dull enough when one's getting paid for it). Had I realized it had to do with some mad scheme to build a precison CNC rig out of cardboard and gum wrappers, I'd have been all over it (which I will be, if I can figure out just what the heck it is you're trying to do once I've referenced your other Question).

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kevinhannan (author)Gorfram2009-08-19

Do you remember my sun room? It's to hang the light fixture from so when my friend sits up or lies down the light can be over his face - (for SAD syndrome for those who have not read the other query). Thanks Gorfram!

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Gorfram (author)kevinhannan2009-08-19

Hmm... I've seen this done, on a slightly larger scale, in a steel mill for moving the crucible to where it's needed on the pouring floor. There, they had two rails along the x-axis, with a single y-axis rail running back and forth along them, and the crucible running up and down the y-axis rail. (I think propulsion was by electrical motors driving a mechanical gear-&-chain system, but I'm not sure - steel mills don't always let one poke around into things as much as one might like. :) But that was for a single (if rather large) point loading scenario, and (if I'm getting this right) your light fixture is a planar array that would need multiple (i.e. at least three) support points for stabilty. So we add a second y-axis rail, and then we're pretty much back to Sean's configuration - except that his y-axis rails are static while mine are mobile. As to propulsion, I wonder if we could combine Rick's pulley idea with the steel mill's chain drive system - I think I've seen those ball chains, the one you see on lamp pulls and military dog tags, used as drive chains for very light weight/duty assemblies. Pulleys could be improvised from wood or plastic (plastic bobbins from sewing machines, maybe?).

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kevinhannan (author)Gorfram2009-08-19

The time has come for action! I will make a draft/prototypeand see how it goes - combining just about everybody's input! I notice that only finished/completed projects are shown here so I might add it as a module type of thing so it is complete in its own right. Thank you everybody for your help - I really couldn't do it without your help and encouragement!

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kevinhannan (author)kevinhannan2009-08-19

I have now clicked on my age and added a profile photo!

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kevinhannan (author)2009-08-18

absolutley! The only difference I'm going to make is to provide a 'fail-safe' mechanism to prevent the rails being pulled off at an angle, which you didn't know as I hadn't alluded to it in my original Q. Thanks for doing the graphic; that is the dog's wotsits! And thanks for your time! I'll look out for your Q's! Kind regards Kevin

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