Picture of Lunch Decider Wheel

The lunch decider wheel is basically a carnival-style wheel that spins every day at 11:45am and selects what is for lunch. It came about on account of my perpetual indecision on this very important culinary matter. In fact, this device does more than just decide what I should eat for lunch, but provides two very important public services. For starters, it selects what everyone will be having for lunch; eliminating the need for surplus cognitive work. Secondly, it prevents me from asking all of my fellow coworkers what I should be eating for lunch (much to their relief).

This project uses some serious hardware such as an industrial-scale magnetic clutch that I purchased directly from a Chinese factory and a 400w laser cutter that I used to cut up the plywood. Of course this project can still be built without these things. It would just require slight modifications to the design and construction process. I did not exactly reinvent the wheel; I just automated it and forced it to pick lunch for me.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff
You will need:

(x1) 12V DC car seat motor (or similar)
(x1) 24V magnetic clutch (aliexpress)
(x1) Arduino Uno (Radioshack #276-128)
(x1) PC Board (Radioshack #276-150)
(x2) 12V relay (Radioshack #275-001)
(x2) TIP31 transistor (Radioshack #276-2017)
(x1) SPST momentary pushbutton (Radioshack #55050585)
(x1) LM7805 5V regulator (Radioshack #276-1770)
(x1) 10uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-1025)
(x1) 0.1uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-135)
(x2) 1N4004 diodes (Radioshack #276-1103)
(x1) 10K resistor (Radioshack #271-1126)
(x2) 1K resistor (Radioshack #271-1118)
(x12) Quick connects (Radioshack #64-3131)
(x1) M-type power jack (Radioshack #274-1569)
(x1) 12V @ 2.5A power supply (Radioshack #273-318)
(x2) 12V rechargeable batteries (Radioshack #23-943)
(x1) DS1307 real-time clock module
(x1) Clacker
(x36) Pegs
(x1) 1/2" x 3" metal tube
(x1) 3" nylon pulley
(x1) 3D printed pulley (print file)*
(x1) 3' x 3/8" round belt
(x3) 6-32 x 1" spacers
(x4) 4-40 x 1" bolts and nuts
(x8) 6-32 x 1" bolts and nuts
(x12) 1/4" bolts
(x8) 1/4-20 x 1" bolts
(x2) 4 x 8 x 3/4 plywood sheets
(x1) 4 x 8 x 1/4 plywood sheet
(x1) Assorted shrink tube
(x1) Assorted zip ties

*If you do not have a 3D printer, you can get one from Radioshack or have the part printed using a service like Shapeways.
MakerManiac4 months ago

Nice work! This is really creative. I love it!

SparkySolar10 months ago

I wish I was an engineer

But I LOVE the idea good job

Eh Lie Us!1 year ago

Lunch decider, eh? Ah another, first world problem finally solved! I do thank you for posting a greatly detailed instructable, though. I've been thinking about doing one like this without the electronic element. What type of drill are you using to counter-sink in step 15? It's looks like a portable drill press??

wannashmig1 year ago

I like to blast the Price is Right theme when we spin ours.

Those who were wondering what consists of the extremely healthy diet of Instructable staff, here are the contents of the wedges:

Ice cream

Free lunch

Ferry building


Everything burrito

To the trucks

A holy slice of pizza-kinda-thingy?

$12 salad





I love this wheel! I'm wondering if when it spins on ice cream if it's the meal or the desert? I think broccoli and cucumbers needs to be added. And where is the bagel with turkey and American cheese? :-)

chrisnotap1 year ago

This isn't a project, it's a work of art!! Picture quality,steps, design......very impressive.

coopsie1 year ago

I will never make this but I hope that someday I can complete a project as complete as this, quite simply Brilliant!

supereric1 year ago

Solid work. Incredibly impressive to me.

aqua 121 year ago
aqua 121 year ago
haha i beed this

It's magnificent like an Arabian horse galloping through a snowy meadow!

Instructables truly must be the best place to work in the whole entire world. :D

randofo (author)  AngryRedhead1 year ago

Pretty much.

Kiteman1 year ago

So being programmable lunch-selector, has anybody hacked it to make every day a pizza day? (Yet?)

randofo (author)  Kiteman1 year ago

Thinking about it...

fozzy131 year ago

This is so cool Randy nice work.

randofo (author)  fozzy131 year ago

Thanks. It was a long time coming.

I really appreciate this Rube Goldberg solution to a Rube Goldberg problem! Nicely done.

I am an old school woodworker...not evolved to 21st century woodwork...could you use the laser to 'mark' your layout for the pieces you add to the base?...just curious

randofo (author)  paganwonder1 year ago

Yes you could. I did not feel like going that far with things, but that should be easily doable.

This is one of the most beautifully done instructables I have seen. You could probably also do one on how to prepare photos for instructable. Great job.


very good job.... i'm definitely voting on your ible