Chocolate Fountain Repair

Had our annual Yule gathering on the 21st (The Solstice). Part of the festivities was for a chocolate fountain.

Alas, turned out the fountain failed. Upon closer inspection, I found the drive gear had split in two.

Was told, “eh, you can probably get one on the cheap out there somewhere.” I have no idea what these things cost, as this one was a gift to the Lady of the House years ago. I am not inclined to buy a new thing to replace one that was used once every few years… So, I said “Nope, I’ll fix this thing. If for no other reason than principle.”

  1. This is the broken drive gear:

  2. Prototype Gear (3rd Iteration) Wood:

  3. Acrylic Repair Gears:

  4. Stacked gears in place on the drive shaft (x3):

  5. Assembled and operational:

Thought some may find this interesting. If not, I’ll slide back to the line of non posters avoiding the flack and flames.


I had one last year and it was dripping chocolate, probably from the same issue you had. nice work.


Love a practical fix!


If your fountain was leaking chocolate, there is likely a failure between the heated bowl (metal) and the housing for the drive transfer gearing (plastic). I haven’t taken that section apart, but there is probably a gasket between the two. One other option is a leak at the drive axle where there is probably an o-ring to keep it from passing molten chocolate.


You’ll find very little of this when sharing projects on here. It’s really a great community in that regard. I personally love seeing practical applications for the GF!


I’ve seen a few posts slammed by “community” / “forum” police. I’m not a fan, especially when the OP is simply answering a question or describing their process.

It hasn’t happened to me, but I don’t post much for that reason.


I wish i still had it. I threw it away. last year when it leaked all over, arggg
Thank You any way.

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Nicely done. I’m finding “practical” uses like this for my gf and 3D printer all the time. One suggestion: acrylic is very brittle and will probably break eventually. You might try acetal or delrin. it is much more robust for applications like this.


No…no! Don’t slide back into non-posting! I love this. I’ve done a few oddball repairs on this level myself, so I appreciate this a lot. You must have had a feeling of immense satisfaction when you got that fixed.


That’s too bad. There are definitely some rules that community members help enforce… “slamming” is generally frowned upon, but I guess it does happen. :frowning: Sorry you got a bad vibe.

Glad you decided to share.


Acrylic was the best I had on hand. Plus, this machine is so rarely used, I’m not concerned. It has very little tension on it and it is belt driven rather than gear meshing.

If it breaks again, I’ll get my water jet up and running and make the thing out of brass, especially now that I have the drawing fine tuned.


You have a waterjet?? #mikedrop

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I love this post. Nothing so satisfying as machining your own gear replacement - and it working.


I have a small “Desktop” water jet. The Wazer, I backed it on Kickstarter.

Unfortunately, I still need to plumb water out to my garage (detached, so it is a little more involved than running pex through a wall) to get it set up and running. No good place in the house to use it. Our maker space doesn’t have easy access to water and it is already filled with two 3D printers, the GF Pro and a Stitchmaster leather sewing machine with stacks of leather above it.


Satisfied? Yes, but I wouldn’t say immensely.

Getting 6 of these 25 ft. tall monsters:

Dismounted from the hull of a drill ship (subsea), on the pier, repaired / overhauled, and mounted back on the ship (again, subsea mounting) in less than a month.

That, was immensely satisfying! :wink:

Once the job was complete that is. During the job, stressful as hell running that mess in a foreign port where more than half the contractor hands didn’t speak English. 14 to 16 hour days, non stop. Probably one of the biggest tests of my Project Management skills.


Practical projects are my favorite! I’m glad you were able to fix the fountain.


Props for that also :slightly_smiling_face: Maneuvering that much weight precisely is tough enough without doing it underwater, but the frustration of having a very nice gadget of whatever sort but for one badly designed bit is probably a far more common occurrence for the rest of us whatever the monsters we confront in our careers. :upside_down_face:


A bit off topic, but do you have an example link? Curious what qualifies as a slam to you, I think it’s generally pretty civilized here.

If you don’t want to get into it that’s fine, just mildly curious.

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Good repair.


Nice work on the piece it’s always awesome when you can repair something you own. Most of the stuff I’ve made is similarly practical in nature.

Just don’t post a support question. I will say I share your feelings about people slamming others constantly in parts of this forum. However, I’ve never seen “Made on a Glowforge” posts slammed. They just have hundreds of positive responses generally led by the amazing @Jules.