Jacob's Ladder Photo Album

Introduction: Jacob's Ladder Photo Album

This is a twist on the classic Jacob's Ladder toy, as described in A Traditional Jacob's Ladder.

I used larger wooden tiles (4" x 6") so I could show decent-sized photos.

Step 1: Materials: Wood, Ribbons, Wood Glue, Small Nails, Hammer, Scissors, Glue Stick.

I happened to have a 1/4" thick piece of maple left over from a project at the Crucible.

Alternatively, you could buy some wood tiles in an appropriate size. Remember you'll be attaching the ribbons to the edges, so you'll need something thick enough for that.

At a fabric store I bought 36" of blue ribbon, 4" wide, and 60" of narrow white ribbon, about 3/8" wide.

Nails need to be small enough to hammer into the edge of the boards without splitting them.

Oh, and you should have some photographs, too, of course.

Step 2: Cut and Sand the Tiles

I cut the wood into several 4" by 6" tiles and sanded by hand briefly with 80 grit sandpaper. The tiles don't have to be precisely the same size, but it looks better if they are close.

Step 3: Attach Ribbons to First Tile, Then Subsequent Tiles.

As in A Traditional Jacob's Ladder, attach ribbons to edges of first tile and lay them underneath. Follow instructions in that fine instructable to attach ribbons.

It is very important to leave a little slack between each tile. I found that by sliding the tile to one side about 1/4" or more gave me the right amount of slack for the tiles to hinge properly.

In the second image here, you'll see that there are no nails visible. This is because I initially tried doing it with only glue. Well, that didn't work out so well and the whole thing fell apart. We learn from our mistakes. So, use glue AND nails.

Step 4: Cut and Glue Pictures

I cut the pictures to 4" wide so they would be completely concealed behind the blue ribbon. This great idea came from my clever wife, Nagisa.

I glued the pictures to the wood with a glue stick that I borrowed from my first graders. I later realized I had omitted a couple of pictures, and I happened to be at the Arlington Tech Shop which has amazing machine tools and a laser cutter and a water jet cutter, but no glue sticks. However, they kindly lent me a hot glue gun, so I could finish it up. This didn't work as well as the glue stick since it was a little thicker, but it was good enough.

Step 5: Done!

It works!

I made this to have a fun way to show photos to my colleagues at the Maker Summit and in keeping with the spirit of the National Day of Making, June 18, 2014, which is today!

Here is a video of it in action. It makes a nice sound. I'm still concerned it might fall apart, the tiles seem a bit heavy and the nails may pull through the ribbons. So there could still be further advances in the attachment technology.

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