sneakyimpo continues: "These parts won't need to support much power or torque (probably less than 1 horsepower / 550 ft-lbs). Ideally, we could get a kit which contains a variety of bevel and spur gears, a few axles, and standardized connect interfaces — kind of like a box of Legos for tinkering and prototyping.
I found the Stock Drive Products site and it looks like an extensive catalog, but one really needs to know what one is looking for and I don't think we're there yet. I've also found custom gear manufacturers and cheap plastic hobby kits but these are either too outrageously expensive or ridiculously under qualified for the job at hand.
sneakyimp writes "My brother is an architect and sculptor and wants to create kinetic sculptures powered by wind, steam, and sun. He wants to avoid electrical systems and keep this mechanical. He's prepared to cast metals for custom parts if necessary, but is hoping to find a cheap source of gears, axles, and bearings for the internal mechanical workings of these contraptions. We'll need things like miter/bevel/spur/helical gears, standard and thrust bearings, and axles."
Read on below for more on the details of what sneakyimp is looking for — dismembered Capsela
units won't do it.
I was wondering if any of you robot builders or mechanical engineers could recommend a good starter kit with an assortment of gears or perhaps a supplier that deals in appropriately spec'ed gears rather than industrial-strength SUV transmissions."