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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed a lot of folks are hesitant about making an Axworthy because of all the work that is involved. I myself have been sitting on the fence about this props as I was intimidated at the prospect of building one and having it fail.

Well after years of watching others display the fruits of their labor, one particular design caught my attention. Rather than using bicycle wheels, gears and chains, it used a simple ice cream maker motor, PVC and plates as pulleys.

It's plain genius in it's simplicity and it got me thinking. When I went to the store, I not only found black plates, I found bowls and thought, those might work for smaller pulleys. So I bought 6 to try out. At $2 for a 2 pack, it was worth a try.

I wanted to try something other than the ice cream motor as it was good, but too slow for what I want to do. I then remember the supply of windshield wiper motors I had from Monsterguts and figured with a 12 volt 5 amp power supply, I could get the ghosts going around at about 53 RPM.

I've included pics of the plate assembly and the Drive Pole. I was going to use PVC poles for the satellite poles but they bow too much so I am changing to 2X3 studs which I am going to put together today.


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The motor has a 6mm screw and you can buy a coupler you can attach to add a bolt on the other side to attach the plate pulley. Be careful when drilling out the hole. Go slow so you don't crack the plate. Also, it is being held to the wood by a Simpson Strong Tie and a few bolts. Some lithium grease will help the plate pulley move around.
 

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You need a way to keep tension on the line when the ghost is in motion.

I really like how you have the motor under the plates. It protects them from some rain. Great job.

You may need to keep the ghost very compact so that it will not snag and tangle on the post as it goes around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found the bowls don't work very well as the cheesecloth gets caught on the wood. I might add some fabric around the wood to see if that helps with it. I'm going to get 4 more sets of plates (I have one set I haven't used yet that's already glued together) and I think I will hammer the bolt in upside down in the 2X2 post so that I can use a nylon locking nut on the top. That should avoid the plates unscrewing themselves. A little liquid nail in the hole should keep the bolt in snug. The speed of the motor works great though. Once I make the changes, I'm going to take some video.
 

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If you wrap black plastic drop cloth around the post and motor, the ghostie will just slip on by. If there's one thing cheesecloth won't snag on, it's black plastic. I use it in my setup and have never had a problem. How sturdy are the plates? It is a great pulley that you've made but I would worry about putting too much tension on the line and cracking the plates where they bolt to the motor. But then I am using aircraft wire rope for mine and maybe fishing line does not need as much tension. Besides, with the size and depth of your pulleys, line jumping may not be much of an issue. All in all, this is a great pulley system. One other thing to consider is to mount the whole rig upside down. With nothing under the plates, there's nothing to snag. Sort of like a hangman post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The one good thing about this is the whole time I did the test run, it didn't jump the track once. The hourglass design kept the line in the middle.

I have a roll of weed block that I will wrap the poles with tomorrow. I hope Target still has some black plates left so I don't have to spray paint them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found that Lowes had 5/16th threaded rods that are 3 inches long. Perfect for this project. I'll liquid nail the little suckers in the 2X2 posts and then attach the plates and put a nylon locking nut on the top. That way it wont unscrew from the top like the current bolts do. Found some plates at Wally World for $2 each which was cheaper than the plates from Target that were on clearance. I just need to spray paint them black and I got the black spray paint today too. Just need to liquid nail the plates together and let them dry tonight then I can drill them out tomorrow and attach them to the poles and then spray paint them. I may have this project going before the end of the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
YouTube - Axworthy Trial Run

I changed out the bowls for plates and replace the bolts with the threaded rods and nylon locking nuts. The line is a little loose only because I needed to get the poles more level in the ground. Just need to make the ghosties and this project is done. It's quieter than I thought it would be.
 

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The plates/bowls are they plastic/PVC or ceramic?why those instead of nylon pulleys?I'm missing something.
 

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do I need a ceramic drill bit or does a standard one work?
 

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The plates/bowls are they plastic/PVC or ceramic?why those instead of nylon pulleys?I'm missing something.
Using the plates provides a much bigger surface area to support the string. It makes it much easier to keep it on track. It also negates the need for high tension. The enlarged rim provides great support to the weight of the ghost.
A bicycle rim or pulley have very little lateral support and derail easily.
 

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I made the original unit using "Charger Plates" from Hobby Lobby. They are bigger and made of softer plastic that is easier to drill.
 

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A charger plate is for very fancy parties where the actual dinner plate sits on the charger as the courses are changed. They are big enough for a regular plate to sit inside.
 

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I made one out of an old sewing machine motor. You can pick up an old sewing machine sometimes at a thrift store. Took the motor off which already has a drive sprocket to turn the rubber belt on the sewing machine. I cut the electral cord ( standard 120V house cord with plug ) that is attached to the motor in half. Inserted a standard ceiling fan dial control in the middle of the cord. Used metal L brackets/braces and attached it to one of those on the side. Then I got however many I needed small bicycle rims, bolted to each of the L brackets. Ran a black cord around the one rim with the motor and then around the motors drive sprocket and it works great. Then you can install the L brackets with the rims whereever you want. The ballbearings in the rims makes it flow smoothly and with the fan control you can get the speed just right.
 

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I found some black plastic plates at Hobby Lobby as Aquayne mentioned. I paid $2 for them a couple days ago. I had a question about how to join them. I thought that I would stay away from the gorilla glue because it would expand and possibly leave rough spots where the twine will be. I also noticed that when you place the plates together by their bases there will be air between the bottoms of the plates which can give when you tighten the bolts. I considered placing a round piece of wood in between so that there would be less chance of the plates cracking when the nut is tightened against it. I could then seal the edges with caulk or other glue. What do yall think about using rubber bands on the pulleys. Would that provide too much traction?

How have others put the bolts in the middle of the plates? I am considering placing a bolt from the bottom with a nylon nut on top. The bolt would first go through my L bracket, then a spacer, nut, washer, collar same depth as the plates (acting as the bearings), plates, washer, nylon nut. Also thought I may need a few small holes in the plates so rain doesn't store on top (thoughts?).

I could attach another bolt downward through my bracket to attach a piece of metal used for my small guide pulley. The brackets would be attached to a 2x4 attached to a few trees and to the corners of my house (square ghost path with two points higher than the other for a swooping effect).
 
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