Introduction: How to Build a Candy Dispenser

About: I am the wood and metal shop foreman for the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

Candy, I love it. I love it so much that I’ve been known to eat an entire bag of Reese's Pieces without sharing. This is a fun, and surprisingly simple, build that will keep you from eating all the candy at once. I built this with scrap wood an an old jar.




2-4x3 1/4x3/4

1-10x2x2 1/2

1- empty jar (a mason jar works easiest but any jar with a lid will work.

Step 1: Making the Slide

The first step for this project is to make the slide. Since I was using walnut and oak for this project I found my longer pieces of each type of wood and cut them to size. I made sure that all dimensions, except length, would be slightly larger than would be needed to slide though the stand when it was assembled. Making it slightly larger is important, you will use a table saw to cut it down to size after the stand is put together. After it was dry I drilled a hole in the middle of the slide using a 1 1/2 inch forstner bit. I used a forstner bit because it creates a hole with a flat bottom, but if you have a paddle bit it should work. I drilled my hole approximately 3/4 of an inch deep. The depth is not important as long as you don't go all the way through the slide.

Step 2: Putting the Stand Together

The next step is to put the stand together. This is extremely easy. First I drilled a hole in the middle of my top piece. I used the same 1 1/2 inch forstner bit for this. I found the center of the top by using the corner to corner method. This is a very simple and effective way to find the center of square objects, all you do is draw a X starting from each corner. Where the two lines cross is the center. Make sure that when you drill the hole you put a piece of scrap under where the hole will come through, this will help to prevent tear out. After the hole is drilled I sanded the top down to 220. I also sanded both the sides and the bottom to 220. I used a pneumatic staple gun and glue to attach the sides to the bottom. When you do this make sure the outside edge of the sides are flush with the outside edge of the bottom. After they are attached I attached the top in the same method. Then I used a round over bit on a router to route off the corners. This step is optional but I think really makes it look much better.

Step 3: Finishing Slide and Applying Finish

Now that your stand is ready, measure the opening that it has and use a table saw to cut your slide to fit. Make sure to make your slide slightly smaller than the opening so that it slides easily through your piece. I then sanded the entire slide to 220 and used the sander to slightly round the corners of the slide down.

Now that both your slide and your stand are assembled its time to apply your finish. Make sure that for any pieces that will come in contact with food that you use a non toxic and food safe finish. I decided to use a polymerized linseed oil finish from Tried and True. Its a very simple finish and makes the project look fantastic. I used a chip brush to apply a thin and even finish over the entire project. I let it soak in and dry for around 10 mins and then wiped it all off with a lint free, and clean, shop towel. The longer you wipe the piece the better it looks. I then let it dry overnight and did the whole process a second time. You can do this as many times as you like and the more times you do it the better the protection.

Step 4: Putting on the Lid

Now take the lid from your mason jar and attach it to top. I used a high quality super glue to do this. I applied an even bead of the glue around the top of the lid and pressed it down around the hole. Its important to center the lid as best as you can since most of the weight will be above this and you want the candy dispenser to be stable. You can also use a pneumatic stapler to attach the lid if your staple won't poke through the top, I only had long staples so this wasn't an option for me. Give the glue plenty of time to dry.

Step 5: Eat Candy

Now fill your jar with your candy of choice, Reese's pieces if you know good candy, and screw the lid onto the jar. I was amazed at how easy this project was. If you wanted you can make your slide longer and put stops at both end, so the slide won't pull out, or carve a bowl in the slide instead of drilling the hole, it will be easier to get the candy out with sloped sides. Make it your own and enjoy it.

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