Over-engineered Locking Advent Calendar

Kudos to all of the wonderful Advent Calendar designs, especially [designvh619] for his outstanding and inspirational locking advent calendar. He inspired me to take a run at creating one for my mom’s 80th birthday (which was this past Thanksgiving Day).

So here’s my creation, a terrific joy to design and a great way to bond with my parents as we assembled it together today:


We started with the arsenal of parts:

Parts1 Parts2 Parts3

The calendar features multiple gears that when engaged via a thumb-driven wheel turns a 25-tooth gear with each of the first 25 days of December engraved on each tooth. It also rotates the turntable which this year holds a Christmas tree fashioned from various-sized snowflakes. Brass axels add a nice look with the tips of the main wheels and a “click” mechanism that marks each turn of the day. Thanks Clayton Boyer (www.lisaboyer.com) for the gear drive inspiration (kinda like his orrery) - he’s got a very helpful guidebook for clock-making that I bought right before I bought my Glowforge.

But taking a cue from other designs, this calendar features the obligatory locking drawer that only opens on Christmas Day. It’s finished with a four-star overlay, snap-on sides and matching stars for the tree-topper and drawer pull.

Here’s a short video tour: Glowforge Advent Calendar

I’m hoping to create a kind of “subscription” for subsequent years for new designs for the turntable (maybe a manger scene, wildlife, three wise men, etc.) that can be swapped out over future years.

This is my third project, and I’m really having fun! I have to admit that the box is over-engineered and I will certainly make a few modifications to the design but I’m really happy at how it turned out and my mom loved it!

Advent-Cal5 AdventCal2 AdventCal3 AdventCal4


That looks great! Glad I could inspire! Love when I see others take an idea and run with it! Looking forward to seeing the other pieces!


Neat design.


Thanks for the video (I really liked hearing the clicks). Such a fun project by @designvh619! I am sure your mom will be over the moon when she turns the dial and hits Dec. 25. Super fun!



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Wow! I’m so impressed. My third project was probably a keychain…
Those chocolates are going to be hard to wait for.


Great family project. Happy Birthday to your mom.

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So cool! The clicks are very satisfying to hear - thanks for attaching the video!


Very nice indeed!


Nice job! I have this on my radar also. Just may have to be a January build.