@ellencadwell over here:
But could you submit the gear mechanism with something like a 5" sq box and maybe use a mason jar? Everyone has access to mason jars.
I successfully created a mini gumball machine using a 10oz mason jar!
The 10oz jar is cute, but definitely looks small. I will have to look for some different jars to try also!
(Made out of 0.125" Walnut Plywood, it is press-fit together, but I would probably glue it before giving it to the children.)
[Edited: add additional photos]
February 25, 2023, 4:08am
This looks great! I love the 10 oz. jar; it’s so cute.
Is there something in the base that locks the jar lid down, or is it just jammed in there?
My plan was to glue the lid in, but currently it such I tight fit that it is holding without glue. At first I thought it was just too small and the lid wouldn’t fit, but I was able to tap it in.
February 25, 2023, 5:19am
I love this, it’s so cute! My kids would love this.
February 25, 2023, 7:05am
Very nice, indeed. Thanks for sharing.
Any pix of the innards? I bet they were fun to design!
February 25, 2023, 8:58pm
This is so cute! I love it!
You can get a better idea of the innards from the original, over here:
This year for Valentine’s Day my daughter wanted to do a “Gumball Machine Box”. So my wife bought a plastic fish bowl and turned it upside-down. She planned to tape it to the box and fill it with little colorful pom-poms.
Then I open my dumb mouth and said, “why don’t I just make it work and we can put real gumballs in it?”
Here was the result (and it does actually work):
The mechanism that catches the balls is simply a gear that rotates and has room to hold six balls.
There are a few pics of the insides.
And this includes a model of the internal gear mechanism:
This idea of a mini gumball machine using a mason jar might work.
[3D Model - Mini Gumball Machine]
I will attempt to address some issues experienced with the original. Sometimes the gumballs get into a position where they won’t fall into the holes, so I am adding an “agitator” to keep the balls moving until they fall in.
If I can get this working, I will try to create detailed instructions and submit it to the catalog.
Some updated photos:
[Edit: added these photos to the original post]
Clever use of upside down jar. Very cool.
I cannot take credit. It was a suggestion by
February 28, 2023, 12:55pm
This very cool project just keeps getting better and better!
I am attempting to make one of these out of medium clear acrylic. It is thinner than the medium plywood or draftboard, so it is requiring glue.
Once it is dry and working, I will post more pictures.
I tried it with smaller candies (Skittles) and it works, just not as well I would like.
The acrylic version was a pain to assemble, but the mechanism is so smooth in acrylic. I might try a combination version with acrylic on the inside and plywood for the encasement.
This is so clever! I like both the wood version and the acrylic version. Using the mason jars was great as they are so readily available. I hope it makes it to the catalog - I will be looking for it! Thank you for sharing your pictures.
I just submitted it. Had a few revisions to it. I wanted to make sure it was just right.
The instructions took a while and had several revisions also. Hopefully it will be available in the coming weeks.