Yoke assembly, part 3

With it being a long weekend for Easter here in the UK (happy Easter all my viewers, BTW!), I thought I would get some serious work done and catch up on the last couple of months where I’ve done next to nothing. Hmm. Not so much, as it turns out. But I did get a few hours work done today, mostly cleaning the build area ready for another junk and offcut collection, and for the next phase of skinning the shell.

One thing I did do today was work on the yoke system. If you’ll recall, my existing system used a pair of sliders to which are attached pillow block bearings to allow the yoke shaft to rotate freely, with the sliders being mounted on drawer runners to allow for back and forth movement. This system works well enough but after due consideration I decided that side-mounting the runners, and the general construction of the sliders using waste wood, was not good enough, and so I set about replacing them.

The original sliders were made of thin (but stiff) MDF, with wooden side-rails to which were mounted the inside edge of the drawer runners. The outside edges were attached to further wooden rails which were then bracketed to the underside of two wooden slats. It was a working system, but it wasn’t pretty.

The yoke-holder assembly in place on the frame

By mistake, I had ordered some 18mm x 120mm width pine board (I had intended to order pine batons instead), and so I decided to make use of this. I cut two lengths the same length as the existing sliders plus a further 120mm (you’ll see why in a bit). I then removed the existing slats to which the sliders were bracketed and replaced these with a single slat on each side made with the 120mm board. I screwed one side of a single drawer runner to the underside of this slat in the right position, and then the other side of the runner to the back of the new slider board dead in the middle. The slider thus runs directly underneath the slat, supported by a single drawer runner. This reduces the weight of the system, while being rather elegant and easier to maintain.

Underneath the slider

Pillow block bearings slung underneath the sliders

The two yoke sliders are connected horizontally

I drilled 8mm holes in appropriate positions and bolted on the four pillow-block bearings. These are very heavy and so must be attached securely. These assemblies were then put in place in the right place within the console. Then I took a further piece of board long enough to bridge the gap between the two sliders, and screwed them down to the rear ends of the sliders, thus synchronising their movement back and forth. I had a similar arrangement for the old system but it was much more Heath Robinson.

Throughout this project, I’ve had a habit of re-doing pieces of work based on the lessons I’ve learned, and this is no exception. Sadly, it doesn’t really do much for my overall progress. Still, there’s another four-day weekend coming up in three days, so who knows? Fingers firmly crossed.