How to Make a Hand Crank

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Pedals on bikes are a type of crank you activate with your feet, but there are ways you can generate similar power using your hands, such as using a hand crank. The hand crank appears on hand-crank generators and other devices and has been used to start cars and power air-raid sirens. There are a few ways to make the actual crank part of one of these devices, which means you can make a custom crank for your device.

Things You'll Need

  • Foot-long 1/2-inch-thick metal rod with 1 inch threaded end
  • Table clamp
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Power drill
  • 3-1/2-inch length of 1-1/2-inch dowel
  • Washer
  • Two 1/2-inch Nuts
  • Place four inches of the smooth end of the metal rod in the table clamp and clamp the rod as tightly as you can.

  • Pull the rod down 90 degrees so that it forms an L shape.

  • Remove the rod from the clamp and flip it over. Place the threaded end four inches deep into the clamp. The bent part should point away from you.

  • Pull the rod down to form another L-bend. When viewed from the side it should look a little like the letter S. Remove the shaft of the crank from the clamp.

  • Clamp the dowel into the hand crank with the flat end pointing upward. Measure the exact center and mark that point on the top of the dowel.

  • Put a 1/2-inch bit on the drill. Drill through the dowel from the top. Push the bit all the way through the dowel rod. Tilt the drill slightly to widen the hole on both sides. This dowel is the crank handle.

  • Fit the dowel onto the threaded end of the crank handle. Slip the washer on after.

  • Thread both nuts onto the end of the hand crank. Place the first nut a few threads away from the washer and bolt the second tightly against the first.

  • Attach your hand crank to the device you intend to power. Hold the handle and spin it to power up your device.

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