Hand-Cranked Golfing Automaton

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Project by DaleMaley posted 03-09-2021 06:47 PM 1040 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have built many hand-cranked wood toys for kids to operate and I display them at community events in normal years with no virus.

I got the idea to have a male golfer make an easy shot up a hill….....and a female golfer who makes a looping and much more difficult shot. After much testing, I found out the man could not consistently hit a straight shot…....just like in the real world with ordinary golfers !! So, I switched gears and had both golfers putt into a sloped green where the ball always goes in the hole.

I have built a lot of wood locks, and they use an Ash spring to operate. I borrowed the ash spring idea….where a cam bends an ash spring…...then when the cam releases the spring…......the golfer swings and makes the putt.

I used 2 nuts on a string… gravity… return the golfers to their home position after putting.

The model seemed to like to operate at about 28 RPM, so I designed a 4-gear set with a 4:1 speed reduction ratio. Kids like to cranks stuff fast, like 100 RPM, so with a 4:1 reduction ratio…..the output to the golf crankshaft will be about 25 RPM.

Designing and building a ball return chute that always works 100% of the time with 1/4” diameter ball bearings was more of a challenge that I thought. It took me 2 design iterations to get a design that works 100% of the time.

For more details on how I designed and built this golfing automaton, see my woodworking web site.

I made a YouTube video of the model in action. You can see it using this link.

I uploaded my design to the Sketchup Warehouse. You can use this link to access it.

I think the kids…........and probably some adults will enjoy this one :)


-- Dale, Illinois,

5 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


5395 posts in 3236 days

#1 posted 03-09-2021 07:04 PM

Another excellent machine

View splintergroup's profile


5877 posts in 2469 days

#2 posted 03-09-2021 07:24 PM

Nice “visual art”! As a kid I’d always gravitate to these type of displays, full disclosure on how it all works 8^)

View Ivan's profile


17018 posts in 4115 days

#3 posted 03-09-2021 08:25 PM

It’s always fun to play with it….to make it, especialy, I soppose

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View DaleMaley's profile


591 posts in 3483 days

#4 posted 03-09-2021 09:32 PM

Now if I could just find somebody to get on their hands and knees and find all those 1/4” ball bearings I accidentally dropped on my shop floor when I was de-bugging the model :)

-- Dale, Illinois,

View mtnwild's profile


4467 posts in 4774 days

#5 posted 03-09-2021 11:24 PM

That’s very interesting and fun! Nice build… Yea, for the kids in all of us. Great application…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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