Gumball Machine!

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Project by CanadaJeff posted 05-31-2009 02:45 PM 14388 views 14 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this idea while surfing around the woodworking internet! I had some scraps of Oak and Walnut and thought it would be a fun project to use some of my left overs.

The design is basically a hollow oak box with a dado at the top centre for the dispensing stick to slide in and out. The walnut lid is glued on top and a hole drilled in the centre and a mason jar lid attached with small screws.

The toughest part about the gumball machine is the dispensing stick, I notched out the wood (a dado) so a couple of gum balls can rest on the stick ready to be slide out. The problem is that gum the gumball s tend to all want to rush into that area and that’s when they can become stuck. To offset that I chiselled a slope so any gum balls that would get would fall into the notch are gently pushed out of the way. To make sure that when the stick is pulled it doesn’t slide out all the way (letting loose all the gum balls into the inside of the oak box, I inserted a 1/4 inch dowel that stops the hits the box walls and stops the stick from sliding.

9 comments so far

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4851 days

#1 posted 05-31-2009 03:28 PM

My little man would love that….....but would be a clever cloggs and just keep keep pulling the handle.
Nicely presented and finished.

View Miket's profile


308 posts in 5261 days

#2 posted 05-31-2009 03:32 PM

That’s a great idea! I wish I had thought of it.

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View a1Jim's profile


118333 posts in 5067 days

#3 posted 05-31-2009 04:06 PM

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5736 days

#4 posted 05-31-2009 04:09 PM

Boy would my grandson like that. Pretty cool idea.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View joey's profile


396 posts in 5393 days

#5 posted 06-03-2009 10:09 PM

I use to make at the summer camp I taught at with the kids, bring back lots of memories seeing a gumball machine, them and the fold up canoe seat where their fav projects

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5218 days

#6 posted 07-29-2009 09:30 PM

This is a great little project that I plan to build in the future. I made one that dispenses M&M’s when I was in cubscouts, but it was a gift for my mom and she still uses it. You asked for critiques, so I’ll try to give you a quick suggestion if you ever make one again. It might look better if you can inset the jar lid into the top. I think it would give it a more polished look (although yours is 10x more polished than mine was.).

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 5099 days

#7 posted 07-29-2009 09:40 PM

Hokie, thats a great idea. I never thought of that. There might be some issues insetting it and still making the dispensing arm move freely, but its something that I will definately try and work out.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5218 days

#8 posted 07-29-2009 10:01 PM

I’ll certainly admit that the crowning achievement on this project (in my opionion) is the dispensing arm. Mine was admittedly much simpler as it was just a hole drilled in the arm. If you just pulled the handle and didn’t keep your hand right underneath to slow the flow, the m&m’s would pour out everywhere until you stopped the flow.

View devann's profile


2260 posts in 4182 days

#9 posted 03-12-2011 08:36 PM

Pretty sweet. Now I know what to do with the one gallon pickle jars I have. Great idea. My kid saw this and now it’s on a to do list. I think this would make a good parent/child project.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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