Introduction: Custom Window Winder Using Skateboard Wheels

About: Graphic designer for almost 20 years. dirty hands = happy hands

i got tired of the limited choice of door window winders available for my classic british car, so i decided to design my own.

The "male" part of the winder mechanism is a hexagon with a threaded hole in the middle so it was pretty easy for me to make something that would fit. if your car has finer splines it might be a bit more difficult.

Step 1: Plans

first step consists of taking proper measurements of the male part of the mechanism and the existing window winder.
then find a design you like, could be anything but i went with simple chevron cutouts. make a line drawing in a 2d software - i used illustrator, but check with the laser cutters to see what file format they can use.

looking at the drawing below,  starting from the bottom up:
1 - Back plate with 3 threaded holes
2 - base plate, 4 holes. the hole will need to be beveled so the head of the screw doesnt stick out.
3 - handle
4 - spacer

Screws will go through the handle and the base plate, and thread into the back plate. the middle hole in the base plate will hold the entire winder to the mechanism. the idea was to have a minimal amount of screw heads visible, so being able to hide the middle one meant using a baseplate. this makes the assembly a bit tricky but i think its worth it in the end.

Measure everything again just to be sure. Now you're ready to get it laser cut!

Step 2: Laser or Water Cut

these where cut using water jet instead of laser because the screw holes where smaller than the material thickness, for some reason its out of the capability of laser cutting. Material is 3/16 thick stainless 304. i should've used alloy, stainless is a pain to polish, and its pretty hard on drill bits! but once you got it looking nice, it will always stay like this, no need to clear or paint it.

Step 3: Wheel

i used Autobahn "Aero" wheels because they have a car theme going on but also because its a pretty narrow wheel so it shouldnt get in the way of spirited driving so much.

Step 4: Final Assembly

like i said, stainless is a pain to polish, so i just used my belt sander and made a brushed metal finish instead.
here's the assembled results. it cost a bit more than buying off the shelf items, but at least i've got something unique!
now i need to make matching door handles....

i rebuilt this car as a homage to my teen years, using skateboard wheels, BMX bike parts and even the upholstery matches the cherry red Dr Martens boots i use to have...


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