Step 4: The Dispenser

The 1" dowel is for the dispenser. To figure out the length push the dowel all the way into the nose (arm) hole  until it bottoms. If it is really tight you can set the kids up on the lathe and a piece of emery cloth and get them to turn it down until it spins smoothly in the hole. Keep an eye on them that they don't try to use the disk sander or belt sander. Disastrous results with dowels spinning at outrageous speeds.

Once the dowel is in place and spins easily you can mark a cutting spot depending on how much they want sticking out. Take this moment to also mark the center of the dowel through the top hole. This is where they will drill the 3/4" hole for the gumball to drop into.

Cut the dowel with a handsaw. Don't use the bandsaw or it will invariably spin a piece of dowel. not good.

Mount the dowel in a drill press mounted with the 3/4" forstner. Drill  in about 5/8" of an inch. You want to go deeply enough that the gumball doesn't stick out and stop the dowel from spinning and spitting out the gumball.
The kids love it if you explain what happens if you drill all the way through... you gently turn the dowel and OHNO the gumballs rain out all over the floor. Feel free to exaggerate at this point.

 It was pointed out to me that if the dowel is pulled on it would rain gumballs! Great point! The fix as suggested is to drill a small clearance hole in the back of the block so that a screw can be pushed through and screwed into the dowel... make sure it isn't too tight or the dowel won't turn. Thanks for the suggestion jonny!

<p>Fantastic project! I teach DT out in Finland.</p><p>I just knocked out a quick prototype and will get my grade 5 kids (12yr olds) making them in the new year.</p><p>Cheers!</p>
Wait but holding the dowel in by a screw in the back looks just a bit poor what would be a way around that
honestly i dont screw in the dowel at all. they seldom come out. i suppose you could countersink the drill hole to allow the head to go in 1/8 deeper than flush. a plug of wood sanded flush would look nice.
Great instructable!
Fab instructable am making them with my Y8's too, we're in Nottingham UK so transatlantic co-operation at it's best. Will get photo's of them when they are fully made
Made them with my Y8s (UK) fantastic project. Thanks so much.
excellent! i'd love to see some pics... i can show them to my students. i think they would be pretty impressed that a group of kids clear across the world made the same kind of project! glad to hear you tried it.<br>-stu
Cute! Great Instructable, and good luck in the contest!
Thanks for the comment! some pretty stiff competition in the contest for sure.
You misspelled Instructables on the board in the second step. <br>Otherwise, great 'ible. <br>I love all of your projects and hope to see more from you soon.<br>I'll bet you're a great teacher, too!
yaurgh. caught out! i actually made the same mistake TWICE. I've fixed it by cropping out the offending word.. :-)
aha, awesome!
This is great I'm going to make one for myself since I'm no teacher!! Hehe!!<br>Thanks for posting this, it's really fun a creative!!
no problem! post a pic when you get it done!
Hi, still love this project but I think i have noticed an issue... but i also have a solution :)<br><br>Unless i am mistaken it looks like the mechanism can be pulled out the front, resulting in a shower of gum raining onto the floor, before drilling the large hole for the dowel, use a small drill (4/5mm) drill all the way through the block, drill large hole, add dowel from front and add wood screw from back (not done up tight).......... thoughts? jonny :)
Hey jonny! you are absolutely right... some of the teachers in our district put a small wood screw through the back. They drill a clearance hole through the block first so that it doesn't stop the dowel from turning. I have never had a problem with kids pulling it out though so i didn't include it... but i'll do that on the instructable tonight... thanks for the check!<br>-stu
That is absolutely unbelievable! I bet it would work very well as a birthday gift as well!
Thanks for the great comments! most people regardless of age seem to love gumball machines. I've had students come up with the most unbelievable machines with this project. really creative stuff.
I love this! My kid will be making one for their teacher for valentines day since they are handing out gumball machine valentines for students.
Thanks for the kind words! if you get one made be sure to fire pics to me and i'll include them in the instructable.
i love gumballs!!!
This is great! I have a real machine, and the mechanism is a bit more complicated than yours. I might be able to make this. Thanks for sharing.
this is very do-able for sure!
These are fun :) the kids must love them? ...... as a DT &amp; Engineering teacher I really value the use of hand tools, do you teach projects that cover the traditional old school tools?
oh ya the kids are nuts about them. the creative stuff i see is amazing. hand tools are vital as well to teach. the kids do a box with handsaws, planes and hand sandpaper too. thanks for the feedback!

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Bio: Car buff, longboard builder and shop teacher. not enough time to build stuff.
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