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Picture of Pooping Reindeer Candy Dispenser
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A friend of mine has a "poop moose." It's wooden moose that poops out candy. It gets a lot of laughs, so I thought it'd be fun to make something similar for my kids for Christmas.

The moose I looked at spilled candy out its bum when you lifted its tail. the candy was on a slope inside the belly of the moose, and was held in with a simple flap attached to a pivoting tail piece. If you held the tail up long enough all the candy would come out, although it would often jam and you'd have to shake it loose.

I wanted to make the same sort of thing, only with a slightly more complex mechanism that would dispense a small, measured amount of candy. I also thought it would be a lot more interesting and, uh, "realistic" if you pushed down the head to get it to "poop" as well.

I designed it for M&Ms or Reeces type candies which I figured would be less likely to jam. And why not make it a reindeer so it would fit the whole Santa/Christmas theme too.

With that list of goals, here's what I came up with.

My kids think it's HILARIOUS (they're all boys), but their mom just rolls her eyes at me because of all the jokes, sounds, and comments that now go along with the dispensing of candy.
 
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Step 1: Material

Picture of Material
I began with an 8-foot long, 4" wide by 3/4" thick pine board. I cut it into two 4-foot pieces, and used a bandsaw to rip one of these halves into two approximately 3/8" thick pieces. 

There was quite a bit of trial and error involved with making this, but even so I've still got plenty of material left to make at least two or three more.

Step 2: Make some plans

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I drew out some plans, and then re-worked them over a few times until the mechanism looked like it would function the way I wanted. I still had to chisel, carve, and reshape things as I went. This one works well even though the insides look a little sloppy. The next ones I make should look better now that I've got the bugs worked out.

The pattern pieces were traced onto the wood, and all the pieces were cut out using a scroll saw.

Step 3: Internal mechanism

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The head section pivots downward, pushing a curved piece that shoves the candy out the back end. (Pretty much exactly like real reindeer anatomy, I think.)

You can get a pretty good idea of how this went together and how it works from these photos.

The head section and the candy pusher piece connected to it, and all the black shaded parts were cut from 3/4" pine. The back portion of the head as well as the pusher piece were sanded slightly so they were just a hair less than 3/4".

Dowels were used to create the pivots. I used a dremel to carve out areas to fit the connector piece between the head and pusher pieces.

Step 4: Assembly

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I wanted the whole thing to go together with no visible connectors. The legs on the reindeer's left side are held in place with dowels to a side piece that is screwed to the rest of the body. The screws are positioned so they are hidden when the legs are in place. The whole left side comes off if I have to fix something or replace the rubber band.

The legs on the right side are permanently glued in place with wood glue.

The antlers were glued into a notch carved into the top of the reindeer's head.

Step 5: Thanks

Picture of Thanks
I apologize for not including any printable plans, but I thought it would be beneficial at least to post this and share the mechanism I came up with. I like that it looks cool and dispenses a measured amount each time. It actually turned out and works better than I had expected.

Thanks for taking a look!
workislove1 year ago
I love this, if I find the time I'm gonna try and make this for my baby cousins.
Couldn't you have put the hole some where else
seamster (author)  partypanda23452 years ago
Where would you recommend?

The whole idea is that it's gross and silly! :)
agguilar2 years ago
I LOVE THIS ONE!!!! Congratulations on winning !!!!
seamster (author)  agguilar2 years ago
Wow, thanks!
Looks like something I would build! I love building dispensers of all types, its a bit of a challenge to get everything working correctly. Really cool project you got there!
seamster (author)  bobthebuilder7282 years ago
Thank you! I had a lot of fun figuring it all out.
triumphman2 years ago
Very cool! Could be a Moose! But a Moose's legs are so long and antlers are immense, he would always be falling over. Just an idea I had! Maybe I'll try a prototype and let you know. Very nice job!
seamster (author)  triumphman2 years ago
Thanks! If you get around to making one, be sure to post a photo here for me to see! Glad you liked this, thanks for the kind comment.
byarotsky2 years ago
Very nice and quite clever. The only thing it is missing are poop sound effects. Now that would amuse the kids.....

Good work.
seamster (author)  byarotsky2 years ago
The kids provide the poop sound effects themselves. That's half the fun! :)
scoochmaroo2 years ago
This is my favorite thing ever. I would make it poop mini tootsie rolls for my enjoyment. p.s. when are you going to finally come and work here. I demand it.
Make it a kitty.
kukubee2 years ago
Lovely!

Make it 'poop' sugar into your tea or coffee. Or nicer - mustard on the steak.
sugarcubes might work
rocketguy2 years ago
I love how the internal mechanism actually approximates the usual internal workings, minus the piston.

Only one critique: Should be a unicorn, as they poop rainbows. It's a known fact! ;)
Then you have to fill it with Skittles.
seamster (author)  rocketguy2 years ago
This reindeer's mom was a unicorn.
zieak2 years ago
This is great!
seamster (author)  zieak2 years ago
Thanks! My kids love it.
Luny2 years ago
I love getting handmade stuff like this, beats store bought every time. I forwarded the link to a 75YO friend who loves doing woodwork and making fantasy metal yard creatures. I can't wait to see where he takes this.
seamster (author)  Luny2 years ago
Pippi! Yes indeed, handmade is always better.
sguarnieri2 years ago
I love it! I'm sooo gonna make one as a Christmas present for next year.
didakus81 month ago

Excelente, Hello Poppy Ann, could you please send the pdf to me also? didakus8@gmai.com

Thanks!

GWorks3 months ago

Hahaha, brilliant xD
I'd love to make this in a Moose-version for a Swedish friend...

Metalfist6 months ago

Haha this is hilarious! I wish I could poop candy x). It would be awesome if you could refill it through his mouth like he ate the candy. I would have liked to see some pattern templates of this though.

seamster (author)  Metalfist6 months ago

I'm working on another version of this (in my mind only, so far!), but for this one I plan to share some patterns and templates. This reindeer was kind of a trial and error thing, and I'm sorry I did't keep any plans for it. A lot of people have asked! : \

oldship7 months ago

Thanks for posting, a nice xmas break thing to make..

Coolcat355218 months ago

cool and i am going to make it pink

Motion FX 2013-02-03 at 10.30.30 AM.png
Coolcat355218 months ago

cool and i am going to make it pink

Motion FX 2013-02-03 at 10.30.30 AM.png
Coolcat355218 months ago

interesting

alcurb8 months ago

Congrats!! Looks like a fun project.

I have so many questions, but I'll ask you a few:

1. How did you draw your pattern? Was the shape of the animal all in your head and you drew it free-hand, or did you trace an existing image? I ask because I'd like to transfer the technique to a bear.

2. Having in mind that I have almost no woodworking experience: What tool did you use to make the notches for the antlers and how did you keep them symmetrical so that you don't end up with one antler mounted lower that the other and then keep them at the same opposing angle?

3. What was the most challenging part of this project and how did you overcome that obstacle?

seamster (author)  alcurb8 months ago

Great questions! Let me see if I can give you some good answers.

1. For the image I just did a google search, and drew it up based on what I saw. I didn't trace an image, but based it on a couple of decent side profile shots of caribou. I had to make various changes so the pattern would work in wood. For instance, the legs needed to be much more beefy proportionately than the real animal for instance.

2. For the notch, I made two parallel cuts about a 1/2" into the top of the head with a small pull saw, and used a chisel to chip out the ares between. For gluing the antlers equally... I just eyeballed it. They're pretty close, but probably not perfect.

3. Most challenging part? Probably designing it and getting it to work properly. I think I made at least 4 or 5 versions before I had one that worked how I wanted.

Hope that answered your questions sufficiently. Good luck as you attempt your onw! I'd love to see a photo when you get it done.

Great & cool idea! Waw!

AnastasiaN9 months ago

this thing would be awesome if I had it

tomfairweather made it!10 months ago

Done it. A bit rough and ready but it poops almonds and Grahams fish... Chocolate to come at Christmas. I used springs to keep the head up instead of rubber band. This could perish. The pusher needs some downward sloping to get the last little bits out but seems to work fine. The top loading action works well and the integration of legs makes the whole affair easier to get stable. This would work lovely with some nice wood like oak.

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seamster (author)  tomfairweather10 months ago

Nicely done! Thanks for posting the photos.

I like the back hatch for adding candy. That's a great idea!

tomfairweather10 months ago

Hey guys I have made some vector plans of the reindeer. These have just been done and my Illustrator skills are not great so you may need to make some adjustments. The paper size is A3 so you can just print, stick and cut. I have made the legs integral to the body and instead of using a rubber band, which might perish, I will be using a spring against the head. I will upload images of the make soon. i.e. when I have done it...

seamster (author)  tomfairweather10 months ago

Excellent! Thank you for sharing this.

Have you made one? If so, I'd love to see a photo of it.

Not yet. I'm planning on doing it soon

tomfairweather made it!10 months ago

Hey guys I have made some vector plans of the reindeer. These have just been done and my Illustrator skills are not great so you may need to make some adjustments. The paper size is A3 so you can just print, stick and cut. I have made the legs integral to the body and instead of using a rubber band, which might perish, I will be using a spring against the head. I will upload images of the make soon. i.e. when I have done it...

johnstat00011 months ago

Could someone do this with foam board?

seamster (author)  johnstat00011 months ago
I think it could be done, although it may be a little tricky. Give it a shot!
Mackramer1 year ago

Cool looking project! Do you have plans available for download?

ELLEN231 year ago

Hey Poppy Anne,

Can I get the pdf too plz
thx

rock_ellen@hotmail.com

erict1 year ago
I was looking through my favorites and thought I do this for my next project and,Um, what happened to the rest of this instructable? I remember a picture of the disassembled reindeer a video and a drawing plan. Now all the middle stuff is gone what happened?
i was the same as you thinking i wanted to make this and noticed that most of the instructable was missing but i was lucky as i downloaded it last year, if you want i can email it to you as a pdf, just message me with your email address.

regards Poppy Ann.

Hello Poppy Ann, could you please send the pdf to me also? raheath@telus.net

Thanks!

Dear Poppy Ann, could you please also send the pdf to me?
fiore_@hotmail.com.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Poppy Ann,
Hi,
Can you please email me the pdf too?
Thanks,
tfique37@gmail.com
Hey Poppy Anne,
Can I get the pdf too plz
thx
jake.malpass@yahoo.com.au
Hi, Can you please email me the pdf too?

victoras_h @ y a h oo. c om

Thanks!
feedforce1 year ago

Hey Poppy Anne,

Can I get the pdf too plz
thx
thiago.gualchi@bol.com.br

Cool foot
Cool teeth
Please, paste the photo with the horn fixing.
ironicnet2 years ago
Looks awesome! I'm gonna do a rabbit instead... I think this will be my first wood project =)

JELLYBEANS!
seamster (author)  ironicnet2 years ago
Nice idea! You should do it. If you do, post a photo here to show it off.
Oldbear2 years ago
"My kids think it's HILARIOUS (they're all boys), but their mom just rolls her eyes at me because of all the jokes, sounds, and comments that now go along with the dispensing of candy."

My kids liked the video - and one of them is a girl. My wife... rolled her eyes.
seamster (author)  Oldbear2 years ago
Nice!

The way I see it, if the kids are laughing and momma's rolling her eyes, I'm on the right track. Thanks for the great comment!
The only downside I see is I have to build some now...
napzero2 years ago
now make a Nyan cat version filled with skittles! Poop the rainbow!
Hmm, that would be a lot more complex, and might require servo motors for the perfect circular 8-bit bobbing motion that nyan cat requires.
jec04352 years ago
This is awesome! I am SO going to make one!
jec0435 jec04352 years ago
Oh, and I'm going to make a Unicorn!
I think a Unicorn is supposed to poop Skittles though, you know, "Taste the Rainbow."
harley5732 years ago
I'd love to have scale drawings of the parts so I can copy them. I am not nearly artistic enough to draw something like this. Mine would end up looking like a blob that poops.
your drawing sounds just like mine does,

I would love to have a printed sheet of the shapes of each piece that I could print out and that would give me a chance of making this for my grandchildren.
many thanks for sharing this with everyone.
woodmagnet2 years ago
Superdooperpooper. ;0)
lwaring2 years ago
that's great
alex_msi2 years ago
excellent
muñeco2 years ago
Pretty and well done project, more points for the sound effects on video's last part XD
mpintovsj2 years ago
Genial !!!
Sirdizarm2 years ago
Dude this is awsome!!! Just the kind of thing i can make and show my grandparents and uncle!
Claudia2 years ago
Very nice! Thanks
RAIKEKL2 years ago
The first time I saw this, my mom (over 80 yrs) had a plastic one on her kitchen window sill. HOWEVER, this one is so much better.... I have so many things to make and so little time, but I am planning on copying this! It is outstanding.
seamster (author)  RAIKEKL2 years ago
Thank you very much!
Mr.Sanchez2 years ago
Very clever !!Ready in my to do list.
three words, " I need one!" great work, were's my power tools at....
J-Five2 years ago
Thanks seamster, now i've seen everything!!!
kbrunner2 years ago
a hippo that shoots candy"poop"is fun!
What kid wouldn't get a laugh out of this. That's great. Nice pictures in the Instructable that show everything well.
mgrunwel2 years ago
I've got to make one with my kid now.
rocklocker2 years ago
We have our first grandchild due in June (it's a boy) and this is going on the list. Great job!
seamster (author)  rocklocker2 years ago
Thanks!
ironicnet2 years ago
Lol, the hardest past was converting the measure units into metrical system... 

"So you began with an 2.4384 mts long, 10.16 cm wide by 2 cm thick pine board. Then you cut it into two 1.2192 mts pieces, and used a bandsaw to rip one of these halves into two approximately 9.5250 mm thick pieces"

Thanks, i hope you don't get offended, but its easier to me using mts than foots and stuff...

Converted values using this (http://mdmetric.com/tech/cvtcht.htm) and google =)
Jayefuu2 years ago
Brilliant! I had a rubbish plastic one of these when I was a kid, this is SO much better, with a much cleverer mechanism.
seamster (author)  Jayefuu2 years ago
Thanks! It was a fun little project.
rimar20002 years ago
Nice idea!
seamster (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thank you!
lafnbear2 years ago
Amazing, excellent, favorited! I agree that the photo showing the innards does look like it's anatomically-correct... also love the last shot: Poopatus Reindeerus in his natural habitat, bowl of candies in front like he's eating from it, pile of candies behind like he just pooped 'em out - the real circle of life!
seamster (author)  lafnbear2 years ago
That's what I was thinking! At one point, I thought it would be cool if I could fill the reindeer through it's mouth... but I didn't really pursue that idea with this one. Maybe another design in the future though!
I've always wanted to make some kind of wooden toy, and I think this might be it. Thanks for sharing!

Did the reindeer ever "chew up" some candy that got stuck the wrong way, i.e. crack or crush it?
seamster (author)  Dominic Bender2 years ago
Suprisingly, no. I thought it would, but I think there's enough room for the candies to shift out of the way if they are ever being pressured. I guess if I really packed them in, some might get crushed when I try to dispense them. I just drop the candies in loosely till the belly is full, and it hasn't had any issues with jamming.
Polyhistor2 years ago
Nicely done!
artworker2 years ago
HE HE! From where do you feed the reindeer? Just kidding! Nice work!