Wheelhouse #3

Lever nuts, linkages, stripped screws, and melting holes.

Wheelhouse is a newsletter for makers that covers new materials, techniques, and tools.

Wago Lever Nuts

Lever Nuts let you connect and disconnect wires without tools. This can be very helpful when prototyping. They appear to be rated for relatively high power usage as well. It doesn’t look like they have as many connectors available as barrier strips, though.

Linkage Design Software

Linkages are a mechanism built using rigid bodies connected via hinges. They are capable of very intricate motions, but designing those motions can be extremely difficult. David Rector’s Linkage package, and MeKin2d (paper) before it, allows the creation of amazing and intricate linkages. It’s a bit like a parametric CAD tool that is designed specifically for rigidly connecting moving systems.

Phillips vs PoziDriv vs JIS, or: Why you keep stripping screws

There are several types cross-slotted screws that look similar, but using the wrong driver on the wrong screw will easily strip it. Phillips screws were originally designed as a torque-limiting that causes the driver to cam out when too much torque is applied. In some applications, the superior PoziDriv is used instead; watch for the four tick marks around the screw head offset by a 45 degrees. The JIS design, sometimes seen in Japanese electronics and cameras, is similar but uses yet different angles.

Drilling Holes with Friction

Instead of removing material like a normal drill, the Flowdrill uses a conical tungsten carbide bit that melts the material and deposits it around the sides of the new hole. Theoretically this makes for a stronger hole in the material that can then be tapped, thus replacing rivet or weld nuts.

Upcoming Issues

Please send in your tips and tricks of all kinds, but especially on any of the following subjects: Epoxy, Glue, Adhesive Tape, Electrical Connectors. And who are your favorite vendors for getting the good stuff?

Thanks to @kane for editing help! Follow us at @wheelhouselist.