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DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 14, 2021 03:11PM

Shortly after after Christmas both of my AC synchronous motors had gear failures on the same night when I had rod to finish and deliver the next day. I took the opportunity to upgrade my drying system and convert to a DC gear motor that can double as a finishing and drying motor. The motor and voltage controller I went with are these:

DC Gear Motor: [www.amazon.com]

Voltage Controller: [www.amazon.com]

The gear motor is quite nice and should serve me well for some time. The speed controller gets the job done, but not quite as well as I would like. It's description is 1-24 V, which should have allowed me to slow the rate of speed down to about 8 RPM, which would be great for drying. It turns out that the lowest voltage output is about 4 V and turns the chuck at around 30 RPM. I was a little disappointed, but I found that once I added an elastic band across one or two of my v-blocks that the mechanical resistance brought the speed down much closer to my old 18 RPM motor. At the end of the day, it will work out fine. If you want to turn slower using this inexpensive voltage controller, there is a 120 RPM version of this motor that will give up a little on the top end for applying finish, but would be a bit better suited for drying duty.

One hurdle I needed to address was the chuck. With a finishing motor a slip clutch can make ones life way more easy. The rear grips on most of my rods either have a mushroom style butt cap or a similar flare at the end to promote hand placement for two-handed casting. To deal with it, I upgraded my dryer chuck from a PVC chuck and rubber bands to the wire CRB chuck from Mudhole when they were on sale on Black Friday. For a dedicated drying motor, this made a lot of sense to me, and at the time saved a few bucks over buying a diaphragm chuck with a slip clutch.

Wire Chuck: [www.mudhole.com]

The design of wire chuck doesn't lend itself to attaching a typical slip clutch, but I had an idea for a magnetic slip clutch to test out. I picked up a 6mm to 1/4" coupler, a piece of 1/4" 304 stainless steel rod, a set of neodymium ring magnets, and cut some washers from EVA strips.

Coupler: [www.amazon.com]

Stainless Rod: [www.amazon.com]

Magnets: [www.menards.com]

The design was simple. I epoxied one ring magnet to one face of the coupler and one to the back of the chuck, making sure that opposite poles were facing one another to provide an attractive force. Next I tinkered with placing different numbers of layers of EVA between the magnets. Playing with them by hand, it seemed like three 1/8" thick pieces would be a good place to start. I then cut a piece of stainless off of the bar that was long enough to fill the coupler and chuck when the foam washers were in place. I assembled the chuck and tried it out with a flipping stick chucked up and I found that I didn't have enough attractive force between the magnets to turn the rod in the v-blocks. After sliding the coupler out on the motor shaft and trying with two washers and a single washer, I settled on a single washer as being the best configuration of the three. I cut a little off of the stainless shaft, and now have a very nice finishing and drying machine. When I walk away from a rod on the dryer, I can tighten down the set screw on the chuck and be sure that the chuck won't slip or come off of the shaft.

The motor is attached to one of the CRB v-blocks by drilling a 1.5" hole in a scrap piece of 1x4. With a couple wraps of tape it slid in with a very snug fit. I then made use of the existing holes in the blocks to screw it into place.

Here is a pic of the assembled chuck:


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Re: DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 14, 2021 03:22PM

Thanks for the info Joe. I was looking into a different dryer also, this will save me some time and frustration.

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Re: DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 15, 2021 10:32PM

Impressive ingenuity/ fabrication. May I suggest you support the output shaft of the gear-motor as the small bearings/bushings within will eventually give-up to the weight of a rod constantly exerting downward force on them. I have experienced the same with MudHole’s dryer motors in a rather short period of time; supported, they are much better.

Mark Talmo

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Re: DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: Ron Weber (---)
Date: January 16, 2021 04:02AM

Mark, if you would check, you would see where he is using an upgraded gear motor, and nothing like the small synchronous motors like most of the dryer motors are

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Re: DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 16, 2021 09:58AM

These motors are inexpensive.

Just pick up another 30 rpm motor. Then, you will be able to dial the motor down to a speed of 4 or 5 rpm and everything in between.


I have used a lot of this style motors over the years and they work very well for this purpose.

It makes sense to keep a spare motor on hand, in case you ever get a very rare failure.

I noticed that the motor that you selected has a centric drive. i.e. the shaft comes from the center of the motor.

One thing that I have found using the centric style motor is that the low speed control is not quite as good as the motor style that uses the off set style output shaft.

For example:


The difference between the centric style motors - with the shaft in the middle of the motor and the eccentric style motor with the shaft on one side of the motor are the gears in the gear train.

In the case of the eccentric style gear motor, there is a set of three planetary gears that rotate around the center output shaft.

But, the eccentric style motor, uses a spur gear on one side of the gear train to drive the motor so all of the gears in the gear train remain in a fixed position on fixed shafts.


However, one can choose either style and get the job done. I have just found personally, that for these small inexpensive motors that many of them seem to have just a bit less precise very low speed operation in the centric style motor compared to the eccentric style motor.

But, at a normal reasonable operating speed, both style motors work well and are both equally quiet in operation.

Mark is correct with respect to motor bearing wear.
Yes, as Ron mentioned the sleeve style bearing that Joe is using is many times better than the very small motors with small shafts and small bearing wearing very quickly.

But, over time, the output sleeve bearings on the 37 mm bearings will eventually wear due to the load from the motor.
If one does choose to minimize the slight wear that happens to these motors over drying hundreds of rods, one can keep an extra rod rest just past the butt wraps on the rod to minimize the wear.

Or, if one wanted a dryer motor that would be good for thousands of rods, one could always select a small dc gear motor with a ball bearing supported output shaft. In the case of these motors, the rotating ball bearings will hold up for a much longer period of time that a motor with simple sleeve bearings as the bulk of these motors are.

But, the simple inexpensive way to keep the drying running at all times is to keep two or three spare motors on hand and you will be able to dry several thousand rods with no issues at all.

Take care

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Re: DC Finishing and Drying Motor with Magnetic Slip Clutch
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 16, 2021 10:28AM

Hi guys, thanks for the advice. The extra support of a bearing or bushing would certainly help things long term. I'm primarily a hobby builder, so my use case will fall in the range of 10s to low 100s of rods over the lifetime of the motor. So, it will likely stay as is. I got 8-10 years out of my cheap synchronous motors at my level of usage, so if I get that out of this one, I'll be happy. Roger, I'll grab an extra lower RPM motor at some point to keep on hand at some point, sooner if I start running into finish issues.

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