I have a project running on tindie.com for a real claw machine kit.
Here is a video of it in action:
Step 1: Get Stuff
I've posted them on amazon here:
Claw Machine / Crane Game -- Actual Claw (note: this is a link to my own thing on amazon.com)
The other parts are:
- 1" PVC pipe
- Stiff wire
- A spring (optional)
- A nut and bolt (size 10-24, length is not critical, a little smaller diameter is okay)
- Electrical tape
- Thin strips of wood - for handle (or something better)
- Plumbers strap - for handle (or something better)
- Black spray paint
Step 2: Take apart claw
- Undo the two screws
- Pry off the top cover
- Remove the solenoid coil and string
Step 3: Remove center post
Step 4: Replace with wire and new bolt
- Cut a length of stiff wire, maybe 3 feet, it should be longer than the final length of the picker upper.
- Thread this through the hole created when you removed the center post and screw
- Put a bolt in the hole
- Loop the wire around the bolt, such that it is held in place at the crux
Step 6: Fit the pole
The pipe has to fit snuggly in the body of the claw. Wrap the end of the pipe with electrical tape until is is thick enough that you can jam it into the claw body and it will stay put. Thread the wire through the pipe so it comes out the end away from the claw. When you pull the wire the claw should close.
Step 7: Make a handle
Step 8: Add a loop to pull on
Step 9: Test it out
If anything falls apart, add more tape.
Step 11: Kickstarter?
Here is a preview link: preview
Let me know what you think.