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Old 01-26-2010, 04:46 PM
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magic magic is offline
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This mich works great
Old 03-19-2010, 06:34 AM
Greg Banet gregb is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5

I'd like to thank Chris for starting this thread and sharing the prototype file. This was a fun project. Its being installed in a door for a peep hole (that was a cool idea). And, I'd like to share these files with all.

I redrew the iris making some small changes and after three attempts I finally finished the project. I used 1/4" Masonite (actually measures a little shy like 3/16") and 0.09" aluminum and used a 1/8" end mill for all the cuts. 1/4" x 3/8" shoulder bolts hold the large gear. The holes for the small gears were drilled, 1/8" and fitted with a short lengths of 5/32" brass as bushings which accepted 3mm screws for good fits. 3/16" holes were profiled with the 1/8" endmill on the large gear and the leaves where the arms attach and fitted with #6-32 tee nuts which protruded slightly through the Masonite. On the underside of the aluminum arms, I countersunk the holes just enough to fit snugly over the tee nuts and #6 -32 x 3/8" screws secured them. I attached a piece of clear acrylic to cover the hole. I used thread lock on all screws.

No matter what fasteners you use, as long as there is no slop, this should turn freely. This was a problem in my first two attempts. The large gear would move left or right instead of turning.

These might not have been the best choices of materials but, it worked fine. I think the next one I build will be entirely out of aluminum.

Hope you enjoy.
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Attached Files
File Type: dxf Iris.dxf (152.6 KB, 1392 views)
File Type: zip Iris.zip (47.0 KB, 1199 views)
Old 03-19-2010, 09:17 AM
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John Ervin jdervin is offline
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One of the things I like about the wood/masonite versions is that the iris completely closes. I doubt that it's possible to completely eliminate the center hole with overlapping metal leaves (though it can certainly get quite small).

For what it's worth, here is a different version of a professionally manufactured iris -- this one is intended for use in a stage lighting instrument.

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Old 03-20-2010, 06:48 PM
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Chris Schaie shoeshine is offline
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NICE... Greg,

This project got "back burnered" due to a backlog of other work, but it has been itching at me the whole time.

I will definately incorporate the outside gear. Thanks for posting your files. I -have- to get at least one final piece made for the upcoming camp/s over here on the west coast.

I hear ya on the wood/masonite. I actually was thinking that the working parts on my final will be milled out of brass.

anyway yippee! I love seeing how others run with an Idea.

Thanks again for posting.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Old 03-20-2010, 07:10 PM
T.G. Marino tgm is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edinboro Hardwoods Ltd., Edinboro PA
Posts: 62

Did you actually use the files posted to cut the parts for the unit shown assembled?? Thanks for posting by the way, but there seems to be a problem with the size of the large gear component as the diameter appears to be too small. The radial slots seem to have a smaller bolt circle diameter than the shoulder bolt holes in the base.
Can you check before I resize and screw something up??

Thanks again,

Tom in PA
Old 03-20-2010, 10:11 PM
Greg Banet gregb is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Chris, I hope you get caught up with your other projects and give this a try again. I'm anxious to see some pics.
Tom, here is another file with the parts separated, nothing nested. All the holes mainly show location and I initially drilled all of them with a 1/8" end mill. I had changed the diameter of some of the holes when I changed the fasteners diameter and just drilled these out by hand. Don't change position of anything; maybe re-size depending on the fasteners you choose. Hope this explains what you need. If I can help with anything else, let me know.
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File Type: dxf Iris parts.dxf (163.4 KB, 1139 views)
Old 03-20-2010, 10:44 PM
T.G. Marino tgm is offline
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Location: Edinboro Hardwoods Ltd., Edinboro PA
Posts: 62

Thanks Greg, I'll give it a whirl!

Tom in PA
Old 03-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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Ken Zey zeykr is offline
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Location: Rogers, Arkansas
Posts: 953

Looks like fun. Thanks for the files.
Ken Zey
Lookout Mercantile / Digital Millwork
Rogers, AR

6x12 PRS alpha
Old 03-29-2010, 02:41 PM
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Michael P. Schnorr mikeacg is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Newberry, MI
Posts: 506
Default Something to keep the brains thinking...

As long as we are playing with mechanical designs, I remembered seeing this and being fascinated. I'm sure some of you have already seen this but it might be worth posting for those who haven't:


Mike Schnorr
Old 03-29-2010, 09:25 PM
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Russ Wood chiloquinruss is online now
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Location: Hobby-Tronics, Chiloquin Oregon
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Reminds me of the 'rhythm' clocks.



gears, iris

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