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Problem with 57mm DIY Stickerless Zhanchi

soara33

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
4
I got my DIY stickerless zhanchi recently and when I assembled it, I was slightly disappointed. I was under the impression that zhanchis were very smooth but mine is extremely clicky when I turn it. It is so clicky that I can't turn a layer slowly with one finger without it locking up and clicking loudly at the 45 degree mark. Is this because I assembled it badly? Should take out the torpedoes? Is it my tensions that are too tight? Or maybe an error in the mold? Help! I have lubed and tensioned this cube using Crazybadcuber's tutorial. All sides are evenly tensioned. Thanks
 

Tempus

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
72
I'm kind of afraid to answer this question because if I were to give you advice and it were to go badly, you would blame me, so I will not give you advice. Instead I will simply relate a true story.

Do not take this story as advice. Proceed at your own risk. I disavow any and all responsibility for any actions you may choose to take.

I own three ZhanChis. My first was a stickerless one. It was my first speed cube, and I was very impressed with it. I lubricated it with Traxxas 50k and it was good. Then something happened that resulted in it being unclean. I forget exactly what it was, but I probably dropped it on the floor or something. Being a bit of a germ-phobe, I have 91% isopropyl alcohol on hand all the time, and I tried to sterilize the exterior of the cube with a little of it on a tissue, but some of the alcohol evidently got inside. It apparently cut through the lubricant and did something to the surface of the plastic on the bearing surfaces because the friction went way, WAY up. The cube became hard to turn for a while, and I was afraid I had ruined it, but I kept using it, and eventually the alcohol evaporated and the lubricant started to work again, although some had been washed away by the alcohol.

I found this intriguing, and so I decided to make a project cube. I bought a new ZhanChi, a DIY white one, and I tried repeating the process in earnest. First I tried the cube as-is and compared it to the stickerless one, and it seemed far more bumpy when turning than the stickerless one, far from buttery smooth. I then sprinkled a little 91% isopropyl alcohol directly on top of the cube, maybe a half-teaspoon of it, letting it seep down inside. Then I started turning it, working the alcohol onto all the bearing surfaces, and it was exceedingly hard to turn, like sandpaper rubbing on sandpaper. I kept scrambling it and solving it, scrambling it and solving it, until the alcohol evaporated and the lubricant started to work again. My hands and arms hurt from the exertion because it was so hard to make it move, but I kept going. Plastic dust would fall out of the cube as if I was turning a pepper mill. I was breaking the cube in at a greatly accelerated rate, permanently altering the shape of the pieces.

When it was dry, I stopped and disassembled it and cleaned all the dust and gunk out of the cube, and then reassembled it and re-lubricated it. It became my main after that, and it was for a long time until I got a stickerless WeiLong V2, as I prefer the tactile feel of stickerless cubes and I prefer MoYu's stickerless colors to Dayan's. To this day, my white ZhanChi remains a very good cube, with no bumpy feel while turning. It never corner-twists and never pops, as the tensions are very tight, but it is far different from how it was when it was new. My experimental break-in process was an endurance trial for my hand and wrist muscles, and I don't know what the long-term effects will be on the plastic, but the result was a very quiet, very smooth ZhanChi with which I have no complaints.

I repeat: Do not take this story as advice. Proceed at your own risk. I disavow any and all responsibility for any actions you may choose to take.
 

sneaklyfox

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Apr 10, 2012
Messages
2,846
Location
Ottawa, Canada
WCA
2013HUNG01
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My experience with Zhanchis is that they could be clicky, but what you're describing at the 45 degree mark seems excessive. Since it's DIY, I would probably take out all the pieces and make sure I pressed it all together good and tight. You can also try taking out the torpedoes to see if it would affect anything. Possibly there's a lot of flash on the ends of the corner stalks. Or maybe you didn't screw the centers in straight. At any rate, you don't need to try anything drastic yet.
 

soara33

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
4
Hmm interesting. I don't think I will be trying this though because I will definitely manage to screw this up bad haha.
 

Chree

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Joined
Jun 7, 2013
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1,233
Location
Portland, OR, USA
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2013BROT01
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I own 5 57mm zhanchis. 2 stickerless, 1 white, 2 black. And the all feel completely different. But yes, clicky is possible on a zhanchi but that sounds bad. My first guess is a crooked screw in the core. I did that once. Just got a new core and tried it again.

Sometimes edge pieces rub up against the center stalks too. You can smooth either the stalk or the edge point with a file or sandpaper to improve that. A lot of people do that proactively to all of them with the 48 point edge mod... YouTube it. But sometimes normal break in does the same job.

Definitely listen to Sneakly and make sure all the pieces are fully snapped together.

Some videos out there show people really going overboard to make their zhanchi good. Most times they don't need that much work. But sometimes they do need a little work.
 

soara33

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
4
I unscrewed all the centres and put them in straight (hopefully), I removed torpedoes, and checked any pieces that weren't completely assembled. These things seemed to help slightly but the problem is still present. I'm starting to think that I am just being picky, but I don't understand why it would be catching on one side and not the other. Could this edge catching on the corner be the problem? Would it be okay for me to sand it down a little?http://i.imgur.com/0iyfpyk.jpg
 
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