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Saturday, February 19, 2011

••◊ A New Handle On Things

I spent a rainy Saturday in the machine shop creating a new piece of gear for my shoulder mount camera rig. Recently the Red Rock microHandle Plus caught my eye. I said to myself, "I bet I can build one of those in an afternoon." This blog post shows how I did it.

I used the lathe (in the background) to create the handle, to which I mounted a bicycle grip (~$6 at local bike shop). It's hollowed out (not shown) for weight savings.

To create the handle mount I first cut up a chunk of 1" think aluminum to usable size (I'm making two of these).

Second, square up the raw pieces and cut them down to proper size. Drill tool mounting holes and counter-bore for the handle screw. Then mount the piece to a tooling blank to hold it down for further milling operations.

I programmed the CAM computer to do all the outlines - hand calculated! My junior high geometry teacher, Mrs. Hatcher, would be proud if she saw this. The mill cut the outline of the handle mount.

After a little more computer milling for the bottom outline and handle outline (circle on right), I cut the center section down to 15mm thick just for weight savings.

...cut a slot for the handle to mount into.

...then hollow out the center section for weight savings. After this the top part of the handle mount was pretty much complete. I had milled the bottom part of the handle mount earlier in the week.

Here's all three parts disassembled - still needed a little deburring and touch up.

...and finally, fully assembled with my design instructions as a placemat.

More importantly, here's a picture of it on my home brew shoulder rig. Note that the handle is not in the optimal position. I had to displace it for the picture.

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