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"[Flow] is so beautiful. It is amazing to have a real piece of rock instead of that ugly 'fake' rock that fountains are built out of these days. I am so glad I discovered Kevin's work online."
--Anita Rockett, Rockett Advertising executive, El Paso, Texas



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How to Remove a Stuck Part Without Damaging It



Kevin wheels a "new" tool into his work area. He's working with some 3D printing bronze filament to print sculptures, and one way to clean up a 3D printed bronze piece is to tumble it.

Most rock polishers only have a 6" deep drum. Kevin found an old silver burnisher on Craig's List, though, that was made in the early 1900s or maybe 1910s. It was used for polishing silverware, and is 12" deep, plenty big enough for what he's 3D printing.

Unfortunately, the motor on the tumbler is not working. So Kevin is going back to his automotive days to take the motor apart and figure out why it won't turn. He's starting with the reduction assembly, where he thinks the problem is. The first thing he needs to do is get a metal collar off of a shaft so he can get the screws out. For that he needs a gear puller.

What is a gear puller? Kevin holds one up. It has an H-bar and quick disconnect pins tht let you put different length jaws on the opposite ends of the H-bar. Depending upon what you're trying to reach around - a short shaft or something longer that you have to reach down into or around to pull it off - there are many different sized jaws.

There's also a bar that goes through a hole in both jaws and is secured with nuts to help get a nice firm grip on whatever you are trying to remove. You then turn the center screw to pull whatever you are trying to remove off of the shaft. That's what Kevin is going to do now - he hopes.

He did get the set screw out, and did get some slight movement, so it's kind of broken loose, but now we'll find out how much force it takes to remove the collar from the shaft.

Kevin turns the main screw on the gear puller, but the collar won't budge. The jaws are trying to pop off, so Kevin adds the bar that improves the grip on the collar.

He tries it a second time, but again, the collar won't move. Kevin looks more closely and realizes that the plunger that was supposed to press against the shaft is bigger in diameter than the shaft, so it won't go down into the hole.

Kevin gets an extension that should work. He's using a wrench, but you can also use a ratchet with a socket, a pneumatic impact ratchet or anything else to help drive it in quicker. He cranks a few times, and the collar pops right off.

What was the extra extension that helped Kevin do the job? A 5/16" deep socket was just the right size to fit up against the shaft on the screw but small enough to fit down inside the hole and allow him to push off the shaft.

Kevin shows the collar, noting that there is a flat spot milled into the shaft that met up with the set screw, yet there also is a keyway to go with the flat spot. The manufacturers had two different ways to hold things in place.

So that's a look at a different kind of tool, a gear puller. If you have something stuck on a shaft, keep it in mind.

Kevin is going to go back to work on the tumbler, so you have time to go to Facebook and search for "Kevin Caron, Artist" so you can like his page, where he shares what he's up to daily. You can also go to http://www.kevincaron.com to see more how-to videos and his wild sculptures.

Well, you might want to stick around one more moment to see him handle his tools with ease ....

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