While I’m prototyping the gears on my wooden automata I need to be able to assemble and disassemble the model so that I can experiment with designs.
I’ve tried all sorts of design variations. Brass axles, grub screws, flanges, perspex joints. Finally I feel like I have settled on a consistent design. I’m using 12mm dowel for the axles and a keyway in the gear’s axle hole to hold the gears in position.
I drill a couple of small holes in the dowel in the place where the gear is being fitted. The holes don’t go all the way through the axle. I then make a curve-topped staple from a short length of 1mm diameter wire.
The staple fits into the two holes, the fact that it is curve-topped ensures that the centre of the staple is raised above the dowel.