Heart Container Planetary Gear

Hi Everyone! I was looking at the spare heart that I got out of the middle of the Heart Container keychain I posted, wondering what to do with it, and decided that it belonged in something steampunk-y with gears and movement. So I made a piece that uses planetary gears that rotate around the center axle when the wheel is turned.

Unfortunately, the movement isn’t as smooth as I would like and it keeps catching (you can hear a click in the video where I force it through). And I ended up re-printing the axle out of acrylic because the DB was just thick enough to be too tight for my cross-slots. So, while I doubt that I’ll actually give it a spin every time I walk past it, it does still have a certain aesthetic quality to it that I still like, even if I do consider it a ‘success in failure.’

Thanks for stopping and taking a look, and until next creation, Happy Forging!


Hey that’s a nice step above just “reusing” scrap.
Colored with pens?


I made your Heart Container Keychain and have the same center piece. I painted mine and cut a small circle in it, put some ribbon through the hole and I have a cute Valentine’s Day necklace for a teacher friend of mine. Thanks for the share and the inspiration.


Yeah, the gold is gold Sharpie, the iron/metal is a layer of silver Sharpie with a layer of black Sharpie over it, and red.


That would be so addictive for me:-) Great job!

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I designed a planetary system and found that if I assembled them out of alignment it would bind like that. Might be worth looking at if you haven’t already found the cause.


Yeah, I did notice after assembly that one of my inner gears shifted by a tooth while I was putting it together and I didn’t notice. It could be binding it. My gut is telling me something somewhere isn’t quite exactly circular or centered along the axis somewhere, maybe.

Two tricks that may help you:

  • As when doing inlay, flipping one of neighboring gears results in a more uniform contact between them. This is because the cut edges have a very slight angle.
  • A little bit of wax (I often use crayons) on any working surfaces makes a huge difference.

Ah, thank you for that! I knew about the slight angle, when I hold a piece I can usually tell which side is up and down…never thought about intentionally flipping one over. So I guess it would be the middle gear and the outer ring? And I will have to try crayon on the edges, not sure how I’d get it on to and in to all the gears, but there’s at least plenty of sliding stuff I do that could use it. Thank you!


Just add LED lights and you’ve checked all the boxes!