Plain or Peanut Pachinko

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Project by balidoug posted 01-07-2013 12:54 PM 3036 views 14 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My favorite posts are always those with moving parts; that, and with a purpose which is tenuous at best; or better still with no purpose at all. Candy machines, particularly in this day ruled by the health police, fall into both categories. I have “favorited” a couple, and remarked on a few more, and thoroughly enjoyed every one I’ve come across. It was just a matter of time before I tried my own hand at one.

One thing I noted of the machines I came across was that none offered a choice in candy. Not that there aren’t such machines out there, just that I hadn’t come across any. So as I sketched ideas, I decided I would make the “first” multi-source candy machine I’d ever seen on LJs.

That resolve produced a problem in that my education in design comes chiefly from old Rube Goldberg illustrations. Thus, my early sketches revealed a “solution” well beyond my capabilities, and in some cases the laws of Newtonian Dynamics. Hand weaving is still practiced throughout Indonesia, and it may be because of this that I settled on a shuttle device. Simple enough for a novice like me to construct, but with a clakity-moving part I find satisfying. It’s also possible that hand weaving had nothing to do with it, but who knows.

As soon as I settled on my design for a “first”, Vipond66 released his model – offering a selection of sweets. Gene’s work is always elegant, and the subject met well with his wonderful sense of whimsy, but I was enough chagrined to send him a pm reference to Tom Lehrer’s “Lobachevsky ”.

The piece is a Christmas gift for my son, now far away in the US attending school. It is receiving good use, in spite of the “leaks”, and I suspect it will continue to do so until the supply of M&Ms it came with runs out. Probably yesterday.

Peanut M&Ms make a very satisfying “plunking” noise when they hit the pachinko dowels.

Made from beberapa jenis kayu

Photography by someone else. Or at least it should have been.

By hand.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

13 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3578 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 01:03 PM

OK, now I am going to have to build a candy machine. Been on the list for a long time

I like some of your changes. Easier for me. Enjoy!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ChrisK's profile


2059 posts in 4321 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 01:04 PM

I agree, Nice Job.

-- Chris K

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4073 posts in 3491 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 02:43 PM

Nice layout and construction. Coupla questions: 1) do the candies get stuck on the second level, where the divider is horizontal (between the gate and the dowels)? 2) Would a gate that had Candy 1/Neutral/Candy 2 positions be practical, instead of separate gates?

I could see myself getting some peanut candies from that machine.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4574 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 03:49 PM

Great work on this fun machine, but after Christmas maybe a carrot machine would be more appropriate?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4962 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 06:08 PM

VERY FUN! I’ll take some peanut ones please!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 06:15 PM

Patterns and thought! Fun and whimsy ( don’t like that word, but it fits here.LOL) Betting your son was excited. And if he wasn’t he will be later. Nice work.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3930 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 02:39 AM

Very nice build! I built mine to dispense single M&Ms to try to slow my granddaughter’s comsumption down. She would love yours!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5175 days

#8 posted 01-08-2013 03:09 AM

A very cool version. I like the selection option. Becoming a favorite for when I can add something like this to the play room.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View emart's profile


445 posts in 3868 days

#9 posted 01-08-2013 07:35 AM

I’ll have to build a candy machine some day. will go great with my wooden soda machine

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View balidoug's profile


524 posts in 3718 days

#10 posted 01-08-2013 01:37 PM

Many thanks, everyone, for taking the time to view and comment. It was a fun build, with a lot of trial and error involved. Don, I’m afraid yes, there is some leakage – something more skilled and experienced hands could have easily avoided; the problem seems to be with fit, there is a gap small enough for plain m&ms to slip though. Better constuction, or bigger candy would solve the matter.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Brit's profile


8438 posts in 4082 days

#11 posted 01-08-2013 04:18 PM

What a fun machine. I want some M&Ms now. Well done on the action shots too. Looks like you designed it so people get a generous helping.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Daveswoodcraft's profile


17 posts in 3294 days

#12 posted 01-08-2013 06:23 PM

Great Job

I have been thinking about building a candy machine for a while, I think I may have to follow your leed!

Thanks for sharing

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3737 days

#13 posted 02-18-2013 09:18 PM

I love a two handed approach to things and it would certainly take two to gather up the bounty of a single dispensing here. No wonder they ran out yesterday.
What a great monster of a machine, it makes mine look quite dainty.
Also, you are too modest, pic 3 is fabulous.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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