So, all the parts I have ordered have arrived a long time ago.
Let’s talk about the rail now… Mr. Chronos Chris Field has made some pretty useful videos explaining how to assemble it. You’ll find these on Vimeo, here are the links:
I think these should explain pretty much everything needed. I’ll just shortly sum up my steps. First one was to create the four threads at the ends of the rail with the 3/8 x 16 tap & die. This was kind of a pain-in-the-ass job and took quite some time, though it’s important to do it thoroughly and hold the tap & die really straight in order to get clean, straight threads. I got the screws for these holes at a nearby Harley Davidson garage, they’re pretty hard to find around here cause we have metric standards.
Next, I drilled some holes for the tripod head threads with a M5 drill and cut the threads with a 1/4 x 20 tap & die. This all worked like a charm and was done quite quickly.
After I was done with the holes, I could start adding the lexan parts. Screwed on the end bracket with the ball bearing to the rail first, added the carriage with its brackets, then the lead screw, threaded this through the anti-backlash nut, and finally added the other end bracket with the motor screwed onto.
The anti-backlash was quite a problem though… I ordered one from Igus, which came without flange, so I was not able to screw it to the anti-backlash nut housing that Chris/Kyle have made for me (or any other similar part). There are other flanged nuts for 8mm lead screws at Igus Switzerland, though the flange won’t fit the nut from Chris and Kyle either. I googled way too many hours, made lots of phone calls and wrote countless emails. I was not able to find an 8mm anti-backlash nut with a fitting flange though. I ended up drawing a part myself and ordering it online at Shapeways to be 3D printed in steel for about 80$ (including expensive shipping to Switzerland, not including super expensive customs fees and taxes).The part I’ve drawn is kind of a clamp that holds the flange-less anti-backlash nut. This should be screwed onto the lexan carriage I’ve ordered from Chris and Kyle.
Since the holes I had drawn weren’t big enough, I wasn’t able to cut the threads and messed the expensive part up by breaking the tap & die though. I was quite frustrated and didn’t do much for a while. Luckily, a German guy called Eugen commented on one of my posts and produced the missing part for me again, this time with the correct holes and some other improvements, and made out of aluminium. This solution seems to be working now. I’ve put everything together and run a few tests (without actually shooting timelapse). I still have to adjust some things on the carriage and get familiar with the Chronos software, but I think I’ll get there eventually.
That’s the part Eugen has cut for me:
I think there are way better solutions and I’d probably choose the same lead screw as Chris uses if I would build the whole thing again, but this solution works fine as well.