Washing machines, while fairly ubiquitous in the modern world, are amazing devices. Not only do they receive and remove water at the appropriate times, but are able to run year after year, taking the abuse of dirty clothes, soaked to make them weigh a considerable amount. As such, they’re a wealth of interesting parts, as Stephen John Saville (AKA Flowering Elbow) shows in his multi-purpose rotary table build. This versatile tool can be used for pottery, photography, welding, and even mulling — mixing sand and various other elements for molds.
The process involves a fairly extensive cleanup process, yielding a frame for the device, as well as a universal motor that can run on AC or DC power. There’s also a clothes basket, that while not used here, looks like an excellent piece of scrap for another project. After cleanup, the unit was reinforced with wood, and a 28-inch plywood platform was constructed for whatever Saville is working on. It’s solid enough that he’s even able to ride on it at 15:23 in the video below, though this is, notably, without power applied.
To get power to the rotary table, a clever mechanical assembly was used, allowing the motor to pivot to tighten the belt. Motor control is via a custom closed-loop system based on an Arduino Nano and an LM393 chip, and user feedback is implemented on a 16×2 LCD display with an I2C interface.