Candy Dispenser from the junk pile

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Project by CaptainKlutz posted 05-08-2014 10:53 AM 4204 views 12 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yes, It’s a bubble gum machine. I needed to quickly make a small gift and in my search realized a candy machine might met the requirements.

Decided to use the plans from Steve Good’s scrollsawworkshop website (who is here on LJ). Used scraps from other projects laying around, even the dowels were dug out of the burn bin. The top and bottom are leopard wood, the middle pieces are jatoba and red oak. Had just enough leopardwood to make three sets of bases/tops, which worked out well since I had 3 idle mason jars. I dyed the oak thumb wheel burgundy to help draw your attention to the mechanism (the dye was also left over). Finished it with 3 coats of GF Salad Bowl finish since the inner parts will touch food.

Spent maybe 2 hours making the parts for all three units, but only because I spent an hour deciding whether to use a hole saw, forstner bit, or router circle jig as the best fit for the mason jar lid. My largest forstner is 2”, and ended up I had a 2.75” hole saw that was the prefect size. Used a 3.25” hole saw for the thumb wheel slot, and also used an oak plug from the same hole saw for the thumbwheel. Put a 1/4” radius on the top circle, and jar lid drops in tight and flush. Spent another 2 hours sanding them in preparation for final finish as captain klutz showed up just in time to mess up the glue alignment.

It was a quick, and easy project as hoped. Let’s hope the recipient likes it.

Story why I quickly needed to make a gift:

My 2nd grade son comes home last week, and proudly proclaims that next week is teacher appreciation week.
This is a good cause, so I ask for more information.

He hands me a photo copied half sheet of paper with a special daily calendar of homework and events during teacher appreciation week. There were the usual school spirit events; wear the official school t-shirt day, crazy hat day, bring school supplies day (teachers are always begging for glue sticks, art supplies, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, etc.), and then a couple of new surprises (to me). Thursday is bring a gift for your special teachers (librarian, physical education, and music). They suggest something small like a sweet treat, book, or gift card for a meal. [WHAT?]

Friday is bring a gift for your teacher day. Again suggestions are provided including a gift card to a nice restaurant, or a $100 pre-paid visa card. [WHAT THE HELL! ]

I ask my son if next weeks assignment calendar is only for him or the whole school. He tells me this is required by everyone as the teacher sent it home, and teachers must be obeyed, AND teachers are never wrong!
[He’s only 8 what would you expect?]
He then asks if we can go shopping before dinner. :(

At that point, I blow a head gasket over the fact that the teacher sends home a preplanned list of events where we are required to give a gift to all the teachers to be considered normal amongst his classmates.

My wife hears my steam whistle blowing and comes to rescue the moment. She promptly tells me this a normal event week towards the end of the school year, although this years list is a lot more specific with higher dollar gifts than last year. She informs me our other kids had the same event week in elementary school years past, and not to worry as she will stop by the store and buy some gifts.
An argument promptly begins…......and ends quickly.
My wife agrees to let me make the gift and not give money. :)

Don’t get me wrong. I know school budgets are tight, as we are constantly bombarded with emails all year from our 3 kids teachers for more classroom supplies (to enhance the quality of education is the story). Teachers deserve a lot of credit for what they do. They nurture our angels. They are angels for putting up with kids all day. They probably deserve more salary then they get, even though our district teacher pay is near the highest in the state. If teachers do well with my kids, then they do deserve a thank you gift from our family and we usually give one. BUT….
I take offense that the school uses social pressure to teach my kids that EXPENSIVE and/or CASH teacher gifts are REQUIRED to show appreciation. I also take offense that they ask for these gifts, right after they the school board just doubled the housing tax dollars collected in the latest special election! Ok, maybe I wouldn’t be as upset about requesting expensive gifts if I hadn’t been out of work for about a year now, and like the school have budget challenges at home too. BUT – IMHO – sending home a request for expensive teachers gifts is wrong!

So my response to the request for a gift is a candy machine. Has to be candy, since bubble gum is not allowed in elementary school.

Wife won’t let me put a note with the gift, so here it is in case she happens across this forum and recognizes her student in my other pictures:
- Thank you teacher for teaching my son, you’ve done a good job, he still likes school, and has enjoyed learning under your guidance. Sorry you are not getting a fancy dinner or cash as we don’t have these things to give; so please accept this pile of scrap lumber and clean used glass as it is all we can afford right now.
Hope you find it useful in your classroom. -

Hope you like the project and don’t flame me too much for the rant.

Warmest Regards

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

2 comments so far

View Pieter's profile


46 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 05-08-2014 04:13 PM

I think we probably all have a “teacher/school” rant in us, so no apology is necessary. I have a couple of grandsons who I think will like this candy dispenser.


View vetwoodworker's profile


104 posts in 2560 days

#2 posted 05-08-2014 08:19 PM

Great answer to a very rude demand! It takes nerve to say a 100 dollar gift card is an acceptable gift. Where I come from the giver decides the value, which needs to be appropriate to the event/special day. I love how you made this from scraps! Strong Work.

btw, I am not saying teachers do not deserve appreciation gifts, just they don’t get to say how much it costs…

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