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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


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. :)

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).

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!

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?).

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!

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