Relocating the Busker Hand Crank

by Dwayne Glanton

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Relocating the Busker Hand Crank
I have attached a neck strap to my recently completed John Smith Busker Organ and found the organ must be pushed out and to the right of the body while cranking.

To make cranking the Busker more convenient I decided to move the cranking handle to the side using two 90° nylon gears. The two photos illustrate how to relocate the crank handle.

The two gears were purchased from McMaster-Carr in Atlanta, Georgia, USA for $3.17 each. They are number 7297K16, molded nylon 20° pressure angle miter gears, 24 pitch, 30 teeth, 1.25" pitch diameter, with ¼" bore.

First I removed the ¼"crankshaft from the organ and shorten the rear of the shaft to be flush with the rear bearing or plate. Then attached the driven gear to the shaft with a 3/32" roll pin and reinstalled the crankshaft.

After holding the drive gear in place, measure for the location of the drive gear flanged bearing. The flanged bearing was made by drilling a ¼" hole through a 3/8" round piece of steel bolt cut to 1-5/8" long with a steel washer brazed to the end forming a flange. Since the RPM of the crankshaft is minimal, steel should make a good bearing after oiling. Brass or aluminum could be applied here.

Three screw holes are drilled in the flange for mounting through the side of the organ with an extra piece of wood glued inside to help hold the flange tightly in place. With trial and error the bearing length is determined by rotating the drive gear back and forth until the gears turn smoothly. After determining the position of the drive gear, drill the gear and shaft to install the roll pin.

The hand crank could have been installed in the middle of the side but the driven gear would need to be placed between the two crank throws during construction of the crank shaft. Metal gears could be purchased and used in place of nylon for $18.17 each.

Cranking it is much more convenient with its new location.


For questions please feel free to contact me:  email

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