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Small parts treasure trove...

Post your favorite modeling 'tips' and 'tricks'

Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Apr 10, 2003 5:01 pm

On a hunch, I recently decided to tear apart an old, non-functional computer printer to see what kind of parts I could scavenge. What a find!

It's chock full of great stuff such as:

-10 miscellaneous springs in different sizes and configurations
-3 electric motors (not sure about specs yet)
-a long toothed belt
-7 toothed gears
-a stainless steel rod (10" long by 3/8" diameter)

...and that's just what 15 minutes of tearing apart could find.

If you're looking to make a gear reduction system for your drive motor, this may be what you're looking for. How about parts for a vent valve, or maybe the components for operational dive planes?

Best place to find might be a computer repair store and see if there are any scrapped printers lying around. I'm sure you could pick them up for cheap if not for free.

I've got access to two that I'm currently raiding for parts. Once I've got them all torn down I'll see for sure what's in the goody bag... :D
Bob Martin,
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Postby 101-1045847334 » Thu Apr 10, 2003 5:30 pm

Hi Bob. I've also torn apart printers. Don't overlook the tiny switches on the circuit boards. In most cases, you can forget about the motors with more that 2 wires i.e. those with 4 or more. These are stepping motors that require control circuitry. The power supplies from the printers can also yield voltage regulators and support components for BECs.

You may also try tearing down CD-ROMs for rack and pinion components (linear drive conversion for servos?) and 3.5" floppy drives for worm gear drives. Most of the motors from the drives are 3 to 6 vDC. Computer mother boards have fans and heatsinks which can be used to supplement speed controller cooling.

Ed Bynon
SC #1068

Postby Robse » Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:05 am

... and I can report that my old pile of old harddisk's (80 Mb --> 200 Mb) had ALOT of bearings and stuff in them, really worth the time to take apart. (My condolances to IBM, Conner and Seagate :D )

I ended up with an entire box full of all kinds of metal rings, ball bearings, brackets, spacers, a trilion bolts and screws etc. Between the disks are some aluminium rings, perfect for medium diameter tube supports. Also inside, some PRETTY strong but small magnets......

... just an idea. :;):

Edited By Robse on 1050049101
Yours Sincerely, Robert Holsting, Denmark
1/81 SSBN Ohio Class scratch builder, more at

"Never be afraid to try something new; remember that it was amateurs who build Noah's Ark, and professionals who build the Titanic"
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Postby raalst » Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:49 am

another target for demolition :

try an old VCR.
the loading mechanism is full of gears, and more..


Ronald van Aalst

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Postby Guardian » Sun Apr 13, 2003 5:07 pm

cd players yield small motors and gears ,fax machines yeild tons of gears and motors and led's,


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