DIY 1/4″ to 5/16″ shaft coupler


I want to add my Xylotex motors which have 1/4″ shafts to my mill which needs 5/16″ shafts.

So I need to cook up a coupler.

Guy was kind enough to offer the use of his mill to help get mine back on the road.

I cooked up some g-code to cut out the couplers (coupler).

I’ll go get some aluminum on Wednesday morning and go over to Guy’s with my box of endmills.

I figure once this part is cut out, I can then drill holes in it sideways and then thread them so I can run grub screws to fasten it to the shafts.


I’ve got a copy of this CAD/CAM program and have been using it to preview g-code that I generate using Sketchup and Platboyz plugin. It’s really great because you can spot problems before you run the job on a mill.

I just received some DXF files from a friend for a model plane project. For fun, I opened the DXF files in NCPlot. I was pleasantly surprised that it automatically converted the file to g-code!

Machining an XL timing pulley

timing pulley

I made my first attempt at machining an XL pulley this morning.

I decided that a 6 inch circumference would have 60 groves since an XL timing belt is 5 groves per inch.

I divided  by pi and got 1.9099 inches for diameter.

I then drew a 1/16″ x 1/16″ square which was the right distance from the center of the pulley. This would be a grove. I then copied it to 6 degrees and then replicated it 59 times (since 360/60=6).

I drew a circle and then erased the extra lines so I was left with a circle and the groves cut in it. I changed the circle to 300 segments from the default 24 segments.

I added a circle to the middle for the bearing and then some circle to create spokes. I changed all the inner circles to 200 segments.

I set the material thickness to .125 and the mill size to 1/32 and generated the g-code using phlatboyz plugin.

timing belt

The g-code came out to 7 Megs! It took about 5 minutes for it to load in Mach 3.

I used too many passes as it took about an hour to cut. I’ll know next time.

Also, I made the mistake of using the diameter as the radius so it came out twice as big.

I measured the bearing OD and got 1.255″. So that’s 1 1/4″. I made the center hole radius 5/8″ which is half that. The actual hole measures 1.245″ so it’s a little small.

The grooves are also a little small. I found a real sketchup of an XL timing pulley. I’ll open it up and steal the grove profile.

I was doing some research and lots of people are using a 4th axis for cutting gears and pulleys.