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Using the winches set of the Maker Studio kit from ThinkFun I built a Tram that would carry small objects from one end up to the other elevated end. I wanted to use only household things and no power tools so any kid could build it.

Step 1: What You Need:

I used:

-Kitchen twine

-Marker

-Cardboard

-Tape

-Scissors

-Winches Set

-Empty plastic bottles

Step 2: The Bases:

I used three different bottles to build three different bases.
One base has the crank handle, one is a cable guide and one is the uphill end that pivots the basket.

I started each end base by punching a hole in the center of the cap with the hole punch provided in the Maker Studio kit. Then all of the bases were filled with water to anchor the system.

For the crank end of the system:

  1. A rod was pushed through the hole in the cap about half way and two black grommets were placed on either side with the flat ends flush to the cap.
  2. A large wheel was placed on the rod with a grommet securing it from underneath.
  3. using scrap cardboard two round wheels were cut out and then center punched and slid onto the rod for grip on the string
  4. The larger gear was placed on top of that with a grommet securing it.
  5. The handle was made up of a medium rod and arm secured with grommets.

For the pivot end:

  1. A long rod was placed through the hole in the cap and secured from both sides with the flat sides of grommets.
  2. a wheel was placed on top of the rod with the flat side of the grommet underneath and a gap on top to hold the string up yet allow it to spin and let the basket pull the string enough to rotate around it.

For the middle section:

  1. Two medium arms were secured around the handle of an apple juice half gallon bottle. It was secured from pivoting with a string through the arms and around the neck of the bottle.
  2. The upper arm is through a small arm attached to the top of the boom arm.
  3. Two grommets loosely hold the two wheels on the upper flat rod that keep the string on track and from pinching together. This base can be removed if you want the basket to go all the way around the whole track but would need heavier end bases to keep from tipping.

Step 3: The Basket & Line:

The basket was made from a small scrap of cardboard.

  1. Taking a rectangular piece of cardboard, each corner had equal sized squares cut out.
  2. Each side of the piece was folded up to create a basket.
  3. All four sides were punched for the string to pass through.
  4. A string was run through all four holes to balance the basket.

The string:

  1. First I placed all bases where I wanted them (creating a straight line).
  2. I ran a string from one end to the other, measured it and then doubled the length.
  3. I added about 8" to allow for some slack in the system.
  4. I cut the string and tied it with the smallest knot I could to allow for easy pass through on the bases.
  5. I folded one end of the string, pushed it through the hook and then over the hook to lock it into place.
  6. When the hook was on, the string was run through the bases and the basket hung.

Try to build it and see what cargo you can take up the tram!

<p>Very cool!</p>

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