Author Topic: How do I stick turning gears on a hat?  (Read 506 times)


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How do I stick turning gears on a hat?
« on: December 12, 2021, 08:36:55 am »
I'm hoping the good people here can help me. I want to modify a hat with gears and cogs but rather than just sticking them on I would like them to actually turn from a small electric motor.

Now, I am ok with basic electric circuits and gears, but I have no idea how to actually fit the stuff to the hat. I want to mount the motor and a small battery inside the hat, it's a tall hat so should fit nicely, but I have no idea how to actually fit them to the hat? Same with the axles, how do I mount an axle for a gear on the hat that will support it as it turns? Or am I on a hiding to nothing?

The hat itself is a top hat with stiff sides but would it need support to hold the gears? I'm planning to use plastic gear wheels painted mettalic for the actual geartrain but using proper small cogs stuck to them to get the look I want.

Thanks for any advice or pointing to guides that people could give me.
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Re: How do I stick turning gears on a hat?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2021, 09:26:40 am »
Well, you're going to be poking holes through the side of the hat, which will weaken it, and then relying on that material to support the weight of the motor and batteries and act as a bearing for the axles. 

If it were me, I'd be looking to start with brass sheet inside and out as stiffener plate, and I'd actually screw or rivet those together through the hat material (felt?) so that the hat keeps its shape.  Drill through for the motor keeper plate and the gear axles.  If the gear axles are large enough I might even be looking at model railway engine bearings to fit for the axles to run in. 
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  • Swab
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Re: How do I stick turning gears on a hat?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2021, 10:44:16 am »
It does depend on how elaborate you want it to be, running gears all the way round the hat is going to be more challenging than having a few gears in one place working together.  What I would recommend is something similar to the above, have your motor and gears all mounted on one reasonably thick piece of brass, so they are rigidly held in position relative to each other. You could pack a lot of gears on to a small piece if they are overlapping, i.e. have two different sized gears on the one shaft so they are driving different layers at different speeds.  The brass plate could be mounted inside the hat with the axles running through holes, or you could make a feature of that as well and have the nice shiny (or otherwise!) brass on the outside!  If you want gears on both sides of the hat it could be done with two (or more!) separate motors/assemblies which would be less complex than trying to drive all from one motor.  The possibilities are endless!

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Re: How do I stick turning gears on a hat?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2021, 10:42:14 pm »
Two things to bear in mind

1a) a rigid base IS a good thing for gears to mesh and  operate correctly

1.  A brass plate is rigid, but Brass (any metal) is relatively heavy

2. Heavy clocks IN A HAT lead to a less harmonious outcome.

One might consider a framework of a lightweight wood such as bamboo sticks ( is cheap chopsticks)
Made to fit within the hat, then the gearplate attached to the framework, then
Long enough gear shafts for them to stick out past the hat fabric.

Just thinking out loud

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Re: How do I stick turning gears on a hat?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2022, 09:53:59 pm »
hmm I wonder if you use a plastic like frame work sot build a secure framework inside to attach thing to the E2000 to glue everything together? If your cogs and wheels etc are a lighter weight non metal base it might work? It all depends on the actual items themselves you are planning to attach their weight etc. But definitely do-able.