Introduction: Knex Coin Sorter V2

About: On my page you'll find lots of different Knex projects, from ball machine lifts to useful items. I hope you enjoy!  _______________________ Current avatar: Target of my skeeball machine Past avatars: …

Hello everyone! I have been planning this project for a while now: Coin Sorter Version 2! This sorter has many new features and improvements over Version 1, including:

  • Faster sorting
  • Easier to adjust for different coins
  • Choices of how to take the coin holders out and easier to replace them (more info in Step 7)
  • No longer uses a motor
  • Includes an optional funnel so inserting coins is easier

These features make this sorter much better than the original. This coin sorter sorts American coins (dimes, pennies, nickels, and quarters), but can be easily adjusted to sort coins of different sizes. Also, I've made the instructions so that the coin funnel is optional, just in case you don't have enough pieces. The funnel just makes it easier to add the coins into the sorter. I first built this new sorting system in my skeeball machine. If you use this coin sorter anywhere else, please be sure to give me credit. 

This won in the Rods and Connectors Contest, thanks for everyone's support! :-)

Here's the video of Coin Sorter V2 in action:

So, if you want to build it, let's sort to the next step!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Step 1: Piece Sorting (Optional)

Before your coins can be sorted, you'll need the sort out your pieces! I've listed two separate parts counts, one for the coin sorter without the funnel and one for the funnel.  The pieces below are listed according to their classic-colored names.
Note: The pieces for the funnel are listed after the pieces for the main sorter, separated by a comma.

green- 123, 65
white- 53, 28
blue- 107, 29
yellow- 33, 19

dark grey- 103, 49
light grey- 16, 2
red- 55, 25
green- 15, 4
yellow- 72, 15
orange- 16, 12
white- 5, 0
blue- 7, 8
purple- 47, 27

blue spacer- 72, 12
silver spacer- 4, 8
tan clip- 14, 1
black Y clip- 20, 6

Total for the coin sorter without funnel: 762
Total for the funnel: 310

Some of these pieces can be left out or substituted, so use your own judgement when building. If you have all of your pieces ready, then move on to Step 2!

Step 2: The Base

Your coin sorter won't be possible without a base. This step is something easy to start off with.

Throughout this Instructable, there are descriptions below that match with the pictures.

1. Build the base of the base.
2. Another view.
3. Another view.
4. This section is the top of the base. Make sure the spacers are correct!
5. Another view, showing the spacers.
6. Another view.
7. Attach that section to the bottom.
8. Build this thing.
9. Another view.
10. Attach that to the end of the base, on the side that has the spacers.
11. Build this.
12. Another view.
13. Attach that to the other side.
14. This part will finish up the base.
15. Connect it to the other end of the base.

Step 3: Sorting Tray (Part 1)

Now that the base is done, it's time to build the part where all the magic happens... the sorting tray! And no, this magic doesn't involve unicorns or enchantment tables. (two references in one sentence, yay!) This part of the sorting tray is the bottom and the tracks that catch the coins. The tracks use a pattern that's easy to learn. Let's get started shall we?

1. A nice simple thing to build.
2. This will attach to the end of the thing you made in picture 1.
3. A view of the bottom.
4. Attach those two things together.
5. Now it's time for the tracks. There are four of them and they are all the same.
6. Another view.
7. Now attach one of the tracks. This picture shows the sorting tray flipped upside down. You'll also want to grab a dark grey connector and put it on the blue rod. Make sure the purple connectors at the front are in the same position as shown. When you do that the red connector will fit nicely and the track won't be able to slide from side to side.
8. Another view.
9. Another view, of the back.
10. Now get the other three tracks and connect them like you did the first one. Then get three orange connectors and link the blue rods up.
11. Another view, of the bottom.

Step 4: Sorting Tray (Part 2)

This is the part of the sorting tray that will actually sort the coins (along with part 3, which is in the next step). 

1. Start off with this long strip. This is the track the coins will slide on.
2. A view of the bottom.
3. Make sure the rods are evenly spaced!
4. Get these pieces.
5. Attach them to the track as shown.
6. Close-up.
7. Build these.
8. Connect them to the other side of the track.
9. Build this.
10. Slide it onto the track. If it keeps sliding off, you can attach some temporary connectors at the ends of the blue rods to prevent it from getting loose.
11. Build this strip.
12. Close-up of one of the Y-clips.
13. Attach that strip to the ends of the blue rods.
14. Slide it down all the way, making sure the white rods are sticking out.
15. Build these.
16. Connect them to the blue rods.
17. Get three red connectors. Connect two to one blue rod and one to the other.

Step 5: Sorting Tray (Part 3)

Welcome to the step with the most pictures, we hope you enjoy your stay! If you have any questions, please contact the reference desk at Shadowman39's OrangeBoard. 

But seriously though, this step is part 3 of the sorting tray. You might be wondering when part 1 will come into effect. Well, get done with this step and that mystery will be solved. :-) In this step you'll also adjust the tray for the coin sizes, but don't worry, adjusting is easy.

1. Get two blue spacers and slide them onto these two blue rods.
2. This is the top strip. 
3. Attach it to the blue rods.
4. Slide it down to the positions as shown. This is where you'll adjust it. If you're using American coins, just make it look like the picture. If you're using a different type of coin some more modifications might be required, like removing/adding connectors. When adjusting it helps to test it out. Slide coins down the track. The first slot should be just large enough for the smallest coin to get through, and so on down the line. If you're using more than 4 types of coins, you should be able to extend the whole track easily, since it's a repeating pattern (you may have to raise the whole sorter up though, depending on the size of the coin sleeves or if you're even using coin sleeves).
5. Don't attach that green rod!
6. Get two yellow connectors and attach them to the end. They should slide all the way down.
7. Build this.
8. Attach it to the end.
9. Build this.
10. Attach it to the end, onto the track. Make sure that tan clip is facing the same direction as in the picture.
11. Build this.
12. Attach it to the end. Notice that the blue rod is poking out of the red connector just a tiny bit.
13. Get three red connectors and connect them to the blue rod, making sure the white rod slides into them.
14. Build another one of these.
15. Attach it as shown.
16. Get a red connector and connect it to the blue rod. Slide it down all the way, and keep the green rod in between the red connectors.
17. Get three red connectors and connect them to the other end.
18. Get four blue spacers and put them onto the two blue rods. These will help with making sure the adjustment stays in place. (If your adjustment is different than mine you might not need to add these spacers)
19. Build this.
20. Attach it to the top of the tray.
21. The last three pictures will show close-ups of the way I adjusted it.
22. Another view.
23. Another view.

Step 6: Sorting Tray (Part 4)

Now it's time to combine things! Get part 1 (the section you made in step 3), the part you just finished, and the base. First you'll create the full sorting tray, and then you'll attach it to the base.

1. Flip both sections upside down and combine them! They attach in 6 places, one of which id on a purple connector. It Would be easier to first rotate the 4 yellow connectors out of the way and just attach the blue rod to the purple connector. Then attach the yellow connectors.
2. A view of an end of the tray.
3. Make sure the tracks underneath fit nicely! They all fit the same way as the other tracks. The green connectors should fit into the slots of the connectors behind it, and the track will be touching the yellow connector behind it.
4. A view of all of the tracks.
5. Build this.
6. Slide it onto the green rods. The blue rod at the end should fit underneath the yellow connector.
7. Get these two pieces.
8. Attach them to the end. They'll secure the yellow rod in place.
9. Now you'll attach the sorting tray to the base. Attach the two upper corners first and then the lower corners.
10. Attach the two upper corners.
11. Another view.
12. Attach the two lower corners.

Step 7: Coin Holders (Part 1)

In this step you'll build the first two coin holders. These will fit the paper sleeves. If you aren't using coin holders and just want to have the coins fall into boxes, skip this step and move to step 8 (check the last step to see an example of coin bins made out of Knex, in picture 7). If you don't have any paper sleeves it's easy to make your own, but do that after the holders are done so you can measure out the paper sizes. You may have to build these differently if you're using coins other than American coins.

As I said earlier, there are two methods for replacing the coin sleeves. The video below these descriptions shows a demonstration of replacing them if you're not sure how to do so.

1. Build this. You can use silver spacers instead of blue in lots of places. I built it this way because it looks nicer, in my opinion.
2. Attach it to the base.
3. First we'll start off with the quarter holder.
4. Another view. 
5. Another view.
6. This is the top piece that will guide the quarters to the right place.
7. Another view.
8. Build this.
9. Attach it to the top piece. It should snap into the yellow connector and stay there.
10. Attach the quarter holder to the base at the far end.
11. Attach the top above the quarter holder. It attaches in two places.
12. Build the nickel holder.
13. Another view.
14. Another view.
15. Build this, which is the top of the nickel holder.
16. Another view.
17. Another view. The part with the grey connectors should snap in, similar to the one on the quarter holder.
18. Attach the nickel holder to the base.
19. Attach the top to the base.

Methods of replacing the sleeves:

Step 8: Coin Holders (Part 2)

The holders you'll build now are the penny and dime holders. They are similar to the two holders you just built. You'll also add the sleeves and finish up the main coin sorter, without the funnel.

1. Build the penny holder.
2. Build the top.
3. Another view.
4. Another view.
5. Attach the penny holder to the base.
6. Attach the top to the base.
7. Build the dime holder.
8. Another view.
9. The top is similar to the penny holder, but there are some slight differences.
10. Another view.
11. Another view.
12. Attach both the holder and top to the base, just like you did with the other three holders.
13. Connect the holders to the tops. Ignore the sleeves for now, you'll add those in a later picture.
14. Get the coin sleeves.
15. Flip out the tops of the nickel and quarter holder.
16. Once the sleeves are in, attach them back to where they were. All of the sleeves slide through the tops of the holders.
17. The main coin sorter is now done!
18. Another view.

Step 9: Funnel Extension (Part 1)

Steps 9-12 are all about the funnel extension. If you chose not to build it, go to step 13. 

Before you can add the funnel, you'll need to modify some parts on the coin sorter.

1. First we'll focus on this red connector. 
2. Replace the red connector with a yellow connector.
3. Remove a white rod and blue rod, as shown.
4. Get/build these.
5. Attach them to the corner.
6. You will replace that purple connector with a blue connector.
7. Replaced.
8. Build this. It's VERY complex, so pay attention to the picture!
9. Attach that part as shown, and remove the yellow rod from the blue rod box.

Step 10: Funnel Extension (Part 2)

Your funnel will need something to hold it up, so you'll need some tower structure. Without it, your coin sorter might explode. This tower comes in three sections.

1. Build the top section.
2. Another view.
3. Build the middle section.
4. Another view.
5. Another view.
6. Build the bottom tower section.
7. Another view.
8. Another view.
9. Now get all three sections.
10. Attach them together.
11. Another view.

Step 11: Funnel Extension (Part 3)

Now you finally get to build the actual funnel! Isn't it exciting? This step is only part of the funnel though.

1. Build these.
2. Attach them to a yellow rod and blue rod as shown. Also get two Y-clips and connect those. Make sure the rods are centered.
3. Another view.
4. Build this.
5. Attach it to the yellow rod. It attaches in two places, at the Y-clips.
6. Build this.
7. Build 9 of these.
8. Slide them onto that last bit you built.
9. Complete the end with the red connectors/green rod.
10. Build these.
11. Attach those to the ends of the funnel. Make sure the blue rods are centered, which will make the yellow connector centered as well.
12. Now repeat pictures 6-11 to make another one. The only difference between them is that the Y-clips and green rods are at opposite ends (one is a mirror of the other).
13. Attach those funnel sides to the track. Each one only attaches in one place, onto a red connector. Make sure it's lined up correctly like in these last three pictures.
14. Another view.
15. Another view.

Step 12: Funnel Extension (Part 4)

You're almost done with the coin sorter! Now you'll finish off the funnel and attach everything together.

1. Build this.
2. Another view.
3. Attach that to the bottom of the funnel. Notice how the red connectors fit into the bottom. The whole funnel should now fit nicely together.
4. Another view.
5. Another view.
6. Get two dark grey connectors and two silver spacers and put them on the blur rods like so.
7. Build this.
8. Slide it through the orange connectors at the front.
9. Build this thingy.
10. Attach it to the yellow rod.
11. Connect it to the blue rods. This picture also shows a better look at the yellow rod attachment.
12. Get two blue spacers and four dark grey connectors. Attach them to the blue rods at the back.
13. Get the funnel and the funnel tower.
14. Attach the funnel to the tower. It connects in four places.
15. A view of the back.
16. A view of the other side.
17. Now attach the funnel tower to the base of the main sorter. 
18. Another view.
19. It attaches at one place at the top: the dark grey connector and blue rod.
20. Build this.
21. Attach it to the end. This will prevent coins from falling out.

Guess what you just did? Move on to the next step to find out.

Step 13: All Done!

Great job! You have finished the coin sorter, whether you chose to add the funnel or not. You can now relax, now knowing that all those unsorted coins will soon meet their destiny. When you load the coins in, do it slow enough so that they can't overlap each other. Just get a handful and release the coins into the funnel/sorting tray. The 3rd picture shows what will happen if you load them in too fast.

I hope you liked the Instructable! If you build your own coin sorter and post a picture I'll put it on this step.

As always, If you have any question/comments/concerns feel free to comment below.

Thanks for viewing!

How to fix coins getting stuck:

People have built this coin sorter and have had problems with coins getting stuck while sliding down the ramp, so your sorter might have that as well. If it does, you can modify the slope of the tray. You can either modify it on your own or follow this short tutorial. Thanks to MarsCrystalMan for the pictures used in this section, pictures 4-7 (his coin sorter is shown in pictures 10 and 11).

4. Make the back taller so the sorting tray will have a steeper slope.
5. Make the funnel tower 1 green rod higher.
6. Change the blue rod into a yellow rod to extend the track by two rows of connectors (they only attach onto the yellow rod). Also, take the row of red connectors off of the piece that covers the track. Sorry for the blurry photo.
7. Another view, showing the whole sorter.

After the slope of the tray is changed your sorter should work! :-)

Toy Rods and Connectors Contest

Runner Up in the
Toy Rods and Connectors Contest

Weekend Projects Contest

Participated in the
Weekend Projects Contest