Music Roll Hook and Take-Up Spool Fixing

by Melvyn Wright

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Music Roll Hook
Only a brief mention is made in the Busker plans about the music roll hook in the take-up spool, and no constructional details are given.  They just say to make it out of a piece of metal fixed on with a self-tapping screw.  I didn't understand this at all, because the hook has to be completely recessed inside the spool, and nothing can be screwed to the drainpipe.  The video doesn't show it either.  This is how I made the hook:

I used two small offcuts of MDF, one to go behind the 5/8" hole cut in the centre of the spool, and the other one to act as an internal support.  The piece behind the hole is about 1 3/8" square and a small panel pin is fixed at the centre so that the head sits just below the surface of the roller.  The panel pin must have a small head on it, to retain the music roll tab.  Make the support piece so that the whole is a reasonably tight fit inside the tube.  You will obviously need to drill a hole in the centre of the support piece for the shaft to pass through.  I Araldited the whole assembly inside the tube to ensure that it didn't slip round.  This assembly can be seen in the centre of the photograph below, which shows all my take-up spool components.

In operation, the panel pin works very well in providing a secure hook to wind the paper onto the spool, and also releases it instantly during rewinding.

Take-Up Spool Fixing
The above photo shows the components I used to fix the take-up spool neatly onto the shaft, without having to drill unsightly holes in the surface of the spool.  I used a pair of M10 bolts and drilled 6mm holes through their centres for the central shaft to pass through.  I drilled 10mm holes through the centre of the end cheeks, passed the bolts through, and secured them with nuts and washers.

All the circular parts can be easily cut out using my circle cutter

To fix the whole assembly onto the shaft I drilled and tapped the heads of the bolts to take M3 set screws.  There is no need to file flats or dimples on the shaft, as these set screws can be tightened much tighter than wood screws.  There was also no need to glue the end cheeks into the drainpipe, as both cheeks are fixed onto the shaft and the whole thing is held together by friction.

This same method can be used to fix the drive wheel onto the end of the shaft.  It is worth mentioning that some cheap nuts are not threaded accurately along their axis, so they 'wobble' as they rotate.  Either select the nuts carefully, or true them up on the lathe.

Completed Take-Up Spool and Drive Wheel

One thing that is not mentioned in the plans is that the inside edge of the spool end cheeks should be chamfered in order to help guide the paper onto the take-up spool.

It is very difficult to cut the 'drainpipe' cylinder accurately and to get the ends square.  If you don't get the ends absolutely square the end cheeks will wobble as the spool rotates.  Apart from looking bad, this wiill also rub on the edges of the paper.  My method of fixing the spool avoids this problem. The end cheeks are fixed perpendicular to the shaft, however badly the cylinder is cut. If the cylinder ends are not true, there will just be a small gap between the drainpipe and the end cheek, but that won't matter.

Neater Method of Fixing the Spool - Meccano to the Rescue!
A much easier and neater way of fixing the take-up spool is to use a pair of Meccano Face Plates.  Classic Meccano was a metal construction system up until about 2000 when it was taken over by Niko and mostly converted to plastic parts.  Meccano was previously known as 'Erector' in the US.  Despite not being made any more, classic Meccano was made for over 100 years, and the parts are readily available on ebay, or search for 'Meccano Dealer'. Make sure they come complete with the set screw in the boss as these screws are an obsolete thread (5/32" Whitworth)

Part 109 (Face Plate) is a flat 2.5" disc with a brass boss in the middle, and is perfect for fixing the take-up spool onto the drive spindle. The boss in the Face Plate fits onto a 4mm shaft.  This is perfectly strong enough to carry the take-up spool, but the boss can be drilled out to 5mm or 6mm if required.

The Face Plates are bolted to each end cheek using M4 bolts and nylok nuts (or you could use simple wood screws).

Note that Face Plates are also available in black, and many other colours!

A cheaper alternative would be to use Meccano Bush Wheels (part 24) but these are only 1.5" diameter and don't look so neat.  They would work just as well though.

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