July 14, 2022
[starbox] We are starting our second year of this blog and are pleased that it was named one of the Top 50 Design and Development Blogs on the Internet. Only #48 on that list but it is a big Internet and we are the only gear-oriented blog mentioned. Most of the credit belongs to the magazine’s searchable archives, in my opinion. The blog is just the gateway in. Our initial hope was for the blog to feature an active comment stream. Unfortunately this plan has been ruined by spammers posting inane remarks with links to their scams. We have had a few legitimate comments that I will respond to here. Matt Poulter asked about Stress Coat. When he Googled it, all that came up was an additive for tropical fish tanks. Now sold under the name StressKote (one word), Stress Coat was/is a brittle spray-on coating for use in testing castings and fabrications. Back in the Dark Ages, before Finite Element Analysis (FEA), we had to apply Stress Coat, load the part up statically, and “read” the cracks in coating to properly orient the strain gages. If you are doing development work scientifically, you still need to do these things in parallel to your FEA work. Without real-world modeling to back it up, FEA might be just pretty pictures. Robert B. Price noted that he uses reverse engineering to replace damaged or missing parts on 1901-vintage motors. Many restorers and modelers face this challenge — the older the machine, the bigger the challenge becomes. As noted in earlier postings, gear geometry didn’t even standardize on the involute tooth form until 1921. Mr. Price’s motor could have had cycloidal teeth in any number of “systems.” To the casual observer, once the restored machine is up and running, the use of “modern” gears would hardly be noticeable. To an expert like Mr. Price, however, it would be an irritant worse than squeaky chalk in the lecture hall. Oh, wait a minute; some of you may not have ever suffered through an actual chalk-on-blackboard lecture. Perhaps a better analogy would be wearing an Alabama Crimson Tide sweatshirt with an Auburn University hat. It just doesn’t work for high-end restorations. Both commenters raised topics that might merit further coverage in the blog or the magazine. If you have comments, please don’t let the spammers scare you off. We read all the comments and will respond in the blog. Editorial suggestions and contributions are best handled via e-mail. We enjoy hearing from you.