2013 Teacher Gift - Gumball Machine

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Project by DrDirt posted 01-07-2014 03:15 AM 1998 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well – short of having a special teacher in middle and high school – it is the last round for these, as my youngest is a 5th grader, not likely to make presents for all 8 teachers for middleschool each year.

Plans are from the Wood Magazine Issue 202 (DEC/JAN 2010/11)
A quite simple weekend project – Youngest is lucky he has a male teacher that allows gum in class!! Hence the project choice.

Body is walnut. finished with bullseye aerosol shellac (food safe)

Got to use most of the shop tools -(great project for scouts and tweens – fast and useful)
I prepared and 4 squared all the stock –
but he got to use the table saw to rip the blocks
Scroll saw to cut the 3 1/4 hole for the globe
Router for the ogee profile around the base plate.
Had a lot of fun with the youngest making this.

—-For those that want to make the same—————-
A couple of design flaws we encountered (at the very end naturally) for trouble dispensing.
The machine jams or comes empty quite often.
(1) the plans have you drill a 7/8 hole close to the edge for the balls to drop throuh into the copper cup.
Our glass globe has a rather pronounced lip which makes it more difficult to not be partly blocking the hole
(2) you use a 3/4 copper cap set in a 1 inch diameter 1 inch deep hole.
This is too deep of a cup—basically you can get 1 1/2 balls into the cup and have it jam and not want to slide out.
I remedied this by cutting a wood disk and adding it to the bottom of the hole, and then shortening the copper cap.

This design would bea much better dispenser for something like skittles or m&m’s as the cup would “fill” each time like grains of sand falling through the hourglass.

If I fill the globe more than 1/2 way the balls cannot shift easily to drop into the cup either.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

5 comments so far

View Boris 's profile


190 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 01-07-2014 03:49 AM

That is really nice, he did a great job, congratulation.

View DrDirt's profile


4381 posts in 3498 days

#2 posted 01-07-2014 03:57 AM

Thanks Boris – always a lot of fun working with an 11 year old and keeping their interest without frustration.

5th graders can be impatient! :-)

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 01-07-2014 05:56 AM

Nice project.
You can’t eat that much gum I found out.
Check this out. Me and my grandson last year…..................

-- mike...............

View MrNorwood's profile


180 posts in 1468 days

#4 posted 01-07-2014 01:19 PM

who was helping who with this project. Looks like he knows what he was doing!!! Cool job dad, cool job.

-- Remember, Jesus was a carpenter.

View DrDirt's profile


4381 posts in 3498 days

#5 posted 01-07-2014 10:58 PM

redryder – it is awesome – we used the same finish and gumballs on the bench.

Of course now that the Christmas building is done- – - the honey do list is demanding attention.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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