space saver hand crank compartment machine

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Forum topic by davidbenjamindix posted 03-02-2011 07:55 AM 1030 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View davidbenjamindix's profile


12 posts in 2889 days

03-02-2011 07:55 AM

Greetings. I am a woodworker, and i build lockboxes with hidden compartments and complicated homemade magnetic locks. On my current lockbox, i am trying to design a “box of compartments”, 16 compartments to be precise. included is a quick top view (looking down) design. there are actually 15 compartments and one empty space (the empty space is same size as the other compartments). what i want to happen is by turning a ‘hand crank’ or some type of similar device, the compartment to the right of the open space moves to that open space. as the crank continues to turn, the next compartment moves over. (e.g. 12 moves to slot 11, then 10 moves to slot 11, and so on). there are a couple of issues i am facing. what kind of trigger mechanism can i use? as the hand crank turns and the first compartment moves into the open space, i need some type of trigger mechanism to “tell” the next compartment to move into the open space? another issue is how to get these compartments to turn the square corners. i thought about using a ‘track’ that makes turns, and each compartment would have 2 points that fit into the track. as the compartment moves into the corner, the point facing the movement direction would jump to the next track. im stuck on this idea. i know there’s a solution, but i can’t see it right now.

4 replies so far

View sarahss's profile


258 posts in 2649 days

#1 posted 03-02-2011 04:33 PM

don’t know if this helps, but I googled “filing cabinets on tracks” and found this

maybe something like that?

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2971 days

#2 posted 03-02-2011 06:14 PM

I think you might be able to use a geneva drive.
Like here:

I don’t see how to easily use the internal spaces. Looks to me like you need to make it 5 positions per side, of which one space would always be empty per side. That would yeild 16 useable compartments.

View davidbenjamindix's profile


12 posts in 2889 days

#3 posted 03-03-2011 06:26 AM

i like the geneva drive!

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3089 days

#4 posted 03-03-2011 06:31 AM

the only way I can see is to attatch them all to one of the pivots of a roller chain ( like a bicycle chain) underneath, and have that chain follow the path you want, then you just need to interlock them in a way that stabilizes them.

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