Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

How do you get two from one?

Unlike Duke Senior in As you like it who talked about “sermons in stones” (I confess; I had to look up his name) my horizons are set on much lower, far less spiritual horizons. Take this banal piece of kitchen equipment. According to our resident Director of Culinary (and other) Affairs this is a beater – perhaps a hand beater even though it is powered – used for cake mixes, egg whites and batters, frequently pre-empting the food processor because it’s easier to clean. It cost £8 back in the early eighties.

No sermons here but there is room for techno-speculation. Basically it’s a 100 watt electric motor shrouded in plastic. The more interesting part is how the rotation provided by the motor armature is taken through 90 deg (making the beater easier to use) and then split in order to drive the two beater blades.

The first part is easier to understand and is probably based on a much, much simpler variant of the crown wheels found in a car differential. In effect two open-faced gears engaging at right-angles.

Splitting the drive is more mysterious since the most obvious solutions are mildly complex and potentially expensive. Given the price and the fact that the beater was made in China these seem unlikely. I can’t wait until the thing fails and I can pull it apart and find out. Alternatively, if there’s anyone out there….

6 comments:

herhimnbryn said...

Hallo there,
Here from Lucy's blog.
Can't tell you about the guts of a mixer, but thought these images might appeal to you;)

http://swissmiss.typepad.com/weblog/2008/08/dissasembled-ap.html

Barrett Bonden said...

Attempting to pronounce your blog name I'm reminded of a Steve Martin movie in which he falls for a disembodied woman's brain called something similar. Perhaps it's better to cling to the concept of a virtual world.

Thanks for swissmiss. I visited, was delighted and paid my compliments. And linked. I may well pay her the ultimate compliment: plagiarism.

Julia said...

Here's the closest equivalent to a diagram that I could find: http://www.mendingshed.com/k45map.html

It seems to roughly correspond to the same layout as our manual mixer - two horizontal gears holding the whisk arms plugged into one large vertical gear that is itself attached to a hand crank.

herhimnbryn said...

Her, him 'n' Bryn ;)

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: So it is a crown wheel (called a hub bevel in this instance) to take the drive through 90 deg, followed by an epicyclic (or planetary) to provide the split. Terrific. The sentence of execution can now be lifted from our ageing beater and I look forward to it providing another 24 years of uncomplaining service.

herhimnbryn: I'd worked out the origins of the syllables and was merely playing around with the pronunciation. Now I look more closely the logical emphasis is on the second beat "him". In the interim I checked your profile and find to my delight I'm dialoguing with Perth, WA, a town (city?)with which I've always had an imagined affinity without being able to explain why, knowing nothing at all about it. Is is the sort of place where the polar opposites of "The Railway Children" and "Eddie Izzard Standup" are appreciated? They're appreciated in Hereford and that's where my tent is presently pitched. Can thoroughly recommend other E. Nesbit books, esp. The Bastable Family. Cheers.

herhimnbryn said...

Having moved to Australia (Perth) seven years ago I can say that I could not live anywhere else now.

However Hereford, is beautiful is it not?

I shall look for the E Nesbit book you describe, thank you.

As to Mr Izzard, his last visit here was a sellout. Bill Bailey will be with us soon and Steven Berkoff is coming to terrify and delight.

The 'him' thanks you for the emphasis;)

I will stop now, as am rambling...