This is a wicked fast way to create spur gears using pencils.  Making gears can be frustrating for many people.  This method creates reliable gears that do not bind.  It takes advantage of the hexagonal profile of a pencil to create a forgiving pitch and pressure line.

These gears are suitable for learning the basics of gears.  It is not intended to be a high precision or strength substitute.  It is, however, a great way to slap together simple prototypes, build a spirograph, hobo clock, or crane.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Dremel or equivelant high RPM cutting tool
Two permanent markers of differing colors
Hot Glue Gun
Adhesive Spray
Paper printout of attached Visio

Box of pencils.  For each 32 tooth spur gear, plan on using about 4 pencils.  I used #2 pencils from the dollar store.
2 Liter Plastic Bottle Cap

Cool idea! <br> <br>Doing two of these gears with the pencil pieces glued on at 45 degrees would also allow for a 90 degree direction change. <br> <br>It would be good to add a bit about how to calculate the size of smaller or larger gears, as one of the best things gears do is add mechanical advantage through gear ratios. <br> <br>Great work!
I really like that idea Alderin. I have family camping trips the next two weekends but will post after those are over. <br> <br>When I saw your post, I immediately thought how 4 gears at 90 degrees in a primitive slip-differential configuration would be pretty awesome. It would need a fairly rigid/sturdy support structure to keep the axis in alignment. I would only attempt that with a table jig saw. A hand held dremel would be too inaccurate.
The 45 degree cuts on the pencils could be done with a hand held hacksaw with decent accuracy. All of the cuts could be, for that matter, with the possible added bonus of reducing the &quot;coal miner look&quot;. :-)<br><br>I bought a yellow plastic miter jig at Home Depot for something like $5 that has a 45 degree 'vertical' slot that would allow several pencils to have their 45 degree slots cut at once (with care to keep the blade level for all pencils).<br><br>Hope the weather is good for your camping trips!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi. I am a Dad, software product manager and avid runner. I enjoy building projects with my kids which generally means approaching design using inexpensive ... More »
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