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Multi Purpose Rotary Machine - Mulling, Welding, Pottery, Photography Turntable

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Picture of Multi Purpose Rotary Machine - Mulling, Welding, Pottery, Photography Turntable

Welcome Friend!

We are going to make an upcycled multi purpose rotary machine. Something that has a large platter, that can turn at an adjustable, yet reliable and consistent speed. We will be using a old an washing machine for the motor and frame, a scrap microwave gives us an electronic timer, and other junk makes up the rest.

This instructable is quite big! Maybe I should have made it three or four separate ones - it contains details of how to wire and implement a few different methods for speed control of old washing machine motors (useful for any number of projects), through to rotary welding, green sand mulling, upcycled microwave timers, etc etc).

You could mosey through from the beginning to end, seeing how I built the whole machine, or you might rather skip to sections that are most appropriate for you. For that reason, hears a little quick-reference contents for you:

Steps 1-4 Dismantling stuff for upcycling

Step 5-9 General machine structure

Steps 10-13 The spinning platter

Steps 14-21 Re-using a series wound, washing machine motor, basic speed control & closed loop control with Arduino.

Steps 27-30 More mechanical speed reduction and why we need it (pulley talk)

Step 31-34 Microwave timer (a simple timing solution that would work for many projects

Step 35-36 Rotational photography - 360 degree shots

Step 37-44 Mulling machine details, (somewhat in process)

Steps xxx Rotary welding table & pottery wheel (very much in process)

Parting Thoughts

Step 1: Find Your Parts- Material Based Design

Picture of Find Your Parts- Material Based Design
rust removal saftey.jpg
washing machine parts removal.jpg

This step is where I encourage you to reuse junk that's broken for your projects. Material based design, as I call it, starts with taking stock of what 'rubbish' you have easily available, thinking about what you want your project to achieve, and tying the two together. 3D modelling and CAD is great, and I'm a big fan, but I am not so keen on the tendency to design in abstraction from the materials, and then use a prime fresh (and often expensive) material to make said design. Therefore I am a big advocate for having an intimate connection with the materials you plan to use (and an awareness of where they are coming from, environmental costs, etc.).

Getting tactile and hands on makes you a better designer, even if you mainly model in CAD. At least that's what I reckon. And a super bonus to upcycling is that as you take stuff apart, you get an in depth knowledge of how other people designed stuff in the past!

For this workshop tool, we are wanting a spinning action, and, like many people, I had an old washing machine laying about. It leaked but the main bearing and the motor was good, ... Perfect.

Lets dismantle and see what we can use.

jbrauer3 months ago
Nice. I've built a pottery/lap wheel from a treadmill motor and control, have a rotary table for my mill that I spin with a cordless drill, and have an unpowered lazy susan for painting round things. Nice work getting that speed controller going, I tried to make a stepper driver with a L297/298 combo but the ground bounce on the output pulses kept jacking with the digital IO. I finally just got a stepper driver from lightobject. I did code up an arduino with an LCD to a different stepper driver to run the tailstock on my lathe - that turned out pretty good, but I got a new lathe gear driven lead screw so I don't have the stepper wired up an more.
speedcraig.4 months ago
Excellent instructable. Lots of details, lots of learning. Bravo.
Amardes4 months ago
Wow!!! Simply fantastic !! You have taken lots of pains in building this.
Your tools are awesome as well...
Would love to see a video of the running machine you made
bongodrummer (author)  Amardes4 months ago
Hey Amardes, thanks for that. Am working on a proper video but there is a little clip of the first tests of it mulling green sand on my FB page here:
thank's a lot for shearing your good and intelligence idea and experience.
Ham-made4 months ago
The laziest Susan...what a fantastic evergreen project! (As in the ones that keep on giving!) Perpetual potential!
Mr. Ham
Mi_Tasol4 months ago
Lots of good thoughts put into this instructable (and more goodies to come even). I need a small rotary table for photography and I think (hope) I can adapt your plans to do the same project smaller by recycling a bread maker
bongodrummer (author)  Mi_Tasol4 months ago
Love that Idea! Let me know how it goes!
Mamvcivm4 months ago
Loving the Mancunian saw!
Bverysharp4 months ago
Great work, good detailed instructable. Thanks! I was especially interested in the stick on keypad modification. I will definitely use this one day.
misterxp4 months ago
Fantastic instructable and great re-cycle tips, I dismounted a washing machine a few years ago and have still got all the bits. I will put this on my to do list ! thanks!
bongodrummer (author)  misterxp4 months ago
Great, hope this is of some use then. Good luck! I would love to here how you get on. B.
crazypj4 months ago
What a great Instructable,can be made with hand tools although easier with some power tools. Re-cycled parts, re-purposed stuff, lot of links to keep you busy and maybe a bit safer. Seems to have all the information and details anyone would need to build it. I have no immediate use for a large turntable but as you provide several alternative uses I'm sure I can think of something? I like it and have voted for it.
EDIT :- Just thought of something, use a car or small truck tire with one sidewall cut off for mulling container? It should last longer than steel at the low speeds involved
bongodrummer (author)  crazypj4 months ago
Hey Crazypj. Thanks for so much for the vote :D Great idea with the tyre sidewall... I may well try that in the future!
PepperTree4 months ago
Ok, first off you are a bonafide smart guy! Very impressive mix of lots of skills. Great to see some recycling. Are you getting any kind of wobble with the unit while it is spinning?
bongodrummer (author)  PepperTree4 months ago
Haha. Thanks PepperTree! The heavy platter is almost certainly very unbalanced, but it runs true after the routing in step 24. For my uses the fastest it goes is ~50rpm which is really not fast enough to cause any kind of problems or wobble...
holla20404 months ago
Excellent project, I love the upcycling of both microwave oven and washing machine. You're right, you are 'in charge' here. Thanks for this detailed instructable.
billbillt4 months ago
Mag88914 months ago
you can make a potters wheel following this!)
bongodrummer (author)  Mag88914 months ago
That's next up, after I finish the rotary welding table :p