Plain or Peanut Pachinko

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Project by balidoug posted 591 days ago 1689 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My favorite posts are always those with moving parts; that, and with a purpose which is tenuous at best; or better still with no purpose at all. Candy machines, particularly in this day ruled by the health police, fall into both categories. I have “favorited” a couple, and remarked on a few more, and thoroughly enjoyed every one I’ve come across. It was just a matter of time before I tried my own hand at one.

One thing I noted of the machines I came across was that none offered a choice in candy. Not that there aren’t such machines out there, just that I hadn’t come across any. So as I sketched ideas, I decided I would make the “first” multi-source candy machine I’d ever seen on LJs.

That resolve produced a problem in that my education in design comes chiefly from old Rube Goldberg illustrations. Thus, my early sketches revealed a “solution” well beyond my capabilities, and in some cases the laws of Newtonian Dynamics. Hand weaving is still practiced throughout Indonesia, and it may be because of this that I settled on a shuttle device. Simple enough for a novice like me to construct, but with a clakity-moving part I find satisfying. It’s also possible that hand weaving had nothing to do with it, but who knows.

As soon as I settled on my design for a “first”, Vipond66 released his model – offering a selection of sweets. Gene’s work is always elegant, and the subject met well with his wonderful sense of whimsy, but I was enough chagrined to send him a pm reference to Tom Lehrer’s “Lobachevsky ”.

The piece is a Christmas gift for my son, now far away in the US attending school. It is receiving good use, in spite of the “leaks”, and I suspect it will continue to do so until the supply of M&Ms it came with runs out. Probably yesterday.

Peanut M&Ms make a very satisfying “plunking” noise when they hit the pachinko dowels.

Made from beberapa jenis kayu

Photography by someone else. Or at least it should have been.

By hand.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

13 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13735 posts in 964 days

#1 posted 591 days ago

OK, now I am going to have to build a candy machine. Been on the list for a long time

I like some of your changes. Easier for me. Enjoy!

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View ChrisK's profile


1087 posts in 1707 days

#2 posted 591 days ago

I agree, Nice Job.

-- Chris K

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1927 posts in 877 days

#3 posted 591 days ago

Nice layout and construction. Coupla questions: 1) do the candies get stuck on the second level, where the divider is horizontal (between the gate and the dowels)? 2) Would a gate that had Candy 1/Neutral/Candy 2 positions be practical, instead of separate gates?

I could see myself getting some peanut candies from that machine.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View stefang's profile


12873 posts in 1960 days

#4 posted 591 days ago

Great work on this fun machine, but after Christmas maybe a carrot machine would be more appropriate?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mmh's profile


3382 posts in 2348 days

#5 posted 591 days ago

VERY FUN! I’ll take some peanut ones please!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View DocSavage45's profile


4888 posts in 1468 days

#6 posted 591 days ago

Patterns and thought! Fun and whimsy ( don’t like that word, but it fits here.LOL) Betting your son was excited. And if he wasn’t he will be later. Nice work.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile


10721 posts in 1316 days

#7 posted 591 days ago

Very nice build! I built mine to dispense single M&Ms to try to slow my granddaughter’s comsumption down. She would love yours!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View clieb91's profile


3263 posts in 2561 days

#8 posted 591 days ago

A very cool version. I like the selection option. Becoming a favorite for when I can add something like this to the play room.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View emart's profile


234 posts in 1254 days

#9 posted 591 days ago

I’ll have to build a candy machine some day. will go great with my wooden soda machine

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View balidoug's profile


363 posts in 1104 days

#10 posted 590 days ago

Many thanks, everyone, for taking the time to view and comment. It was a fun build, with a lot of trial and error involved. Don, I’m afraid yes, there is some leakage – something more skilled and experienced hands could have easily avoided; the problem seems to be with fit, there is a gap small enough for plain m&ms to slip though. Better constuction, or bigger candy would solve the matter.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Brit's profile


5117 posts in 1468 days

#11 posted 590 days ago

What a fun machine. I want some M&Ms now. Well done on the action shots too. Looks like you designed it so people get a generous helping.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Daveswoodcraft's profile


14 posts in 680 days

#12 posted 590 days ago

Great Job

I have been thinking about building a candy machine for a while, I think I may have to follow your leed!

Thanks for sharing

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1123 days

#13 posted 549 days ago

I love a two handed approach to things and it would certainly take two to gather up the bounty of a single dispensing here. No wonder they ran out yesterday.
What a great monster of a machine, it makes mine look quite dainty.
Also, you are too modest, pic 3 is fabulous.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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