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Project Information

Wood And Materials Used
Red oak and pine
Tools Used
table saw, radial arm saw, band saw, scroll saw, lathe, drill press, planer, lathe
Location
Fairbury, Illinois
I have built hand-cranked marble models that use two 4-bar linkages to raise the marbles, and another one that uses a Marble Pump. I decided to build a new model that uses 3 large gears with holes drilled in them to raise the marbles up about 16" before they begin their descent.

One surprise on this project was that the gear method of raising marbles only works at very slow RPM, around 5 to 10 RPM max!! So, since kids can crank up to 100 RPM for short time periods, I had to go with a 12:1 gear reduction ratio, using a wooden worm gear. I the child is cranking at 100 RPM, the worm gear set knocks it down to about 8 RPM since 12:1 ratio.

I used 2 divider blocks on this model. A divider block automatically alternates sending the marbles into 1 of 2 possible paths. On this model, the first divider sends them to the wiggle/waggle path or on to the 2nd divider block. The 2nd divider sends them to 1 of 2 chutes to a bowl.

The grandkids like ringing bells on my models, but the sound eventually drives my wife nuts. So on this model, the bell only rings on 1 out of every 4 marbles, plus it is easily removable:) It is a Walmart bicycle bell.



Looking at the top view.........



And the wooden worm/spur gear set.........



I made a YouTube video of the model in action. You can use this link to watch the video.

I documented all the fun I had on this project on my woodworking web site. You can use this link to read about my trials and tribulations :)

Some other YouTube videos I made as a result of this project, or previously made videos that I used with links is shown below:

How to Make the Marble Divider Block
How to Draw a Worm Gear in Sketchup
How to Make a Wooden Worm Gear

Now the model is ready for Endurance Testing by the Grandkids :)

Comments

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1,239 Posts
How fun! I bet that kids really enjoy this.
 

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Wooden Handmade toys and decorations using by engineering.
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good work. I like it.
 

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You are a man of many talents... and happy grandkids too no doubt
 

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I recently took a sampling (1 pick-up truck load) of my wood toys to our family Thanksgiving we have in a church because we have 60 people, including more than a dozen kids. The kids and adults had a ball playing with all the models. I usually suffer one casualty when I let the public play with them, and I only had 1 minor casualty from Thanksgiving. Since they are wood, they are all repairable :) I usually take out the toys several times a year to public events.

My grandson enjoying the toys at Marsh Park in Fairbury last summer.........
 
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Your projects are to be used...and enjoyed! Love the pictures.
 

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Outstanding project!
 
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