Miniature Moving Gondola




About: my name is Adam!
I've always wanted a cool mini gondola. I finally found one and it was $300!!! so i made one from parts i had lying around. this project with new parts would only cost about $30, plus if you have a lego train "controller" you can control the speed and direction very easily.

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Step 1: Materials

I had most of these things sitting around, so i dont know exactly how much they are.
you'll need:
a motor w/ a power source
fishing line
garage door pulley
a bolt w/ nuts
springs (you probably don't absolutely need them)
3 small L brackets
zip ties
wood screws
a good place to mount it

Screw driver
Drill (optional)

Step 2: Mounting the Moter and "Bull Wheel"

This was probably the hardest part., figuring out how to mount it. I used a bunch of L brackets
The Motor:
the motor uses zip ties and an L bracket. you can see it in the picture. there are two zip ties that go

through the wires on the side and go around the motor. then the zip ties go through the mounting

holes on the bracket. I also zip tied on a spring, and then attached the other end to one of the screws

where the L bracket was mounted. this may not work well with all motors, so if you need to mount it

another way just make sure not to have anything in the way of the drive shaft.

Step 3: Mounting the Bull Wheel

The Bull wheel's mount was slightly more complicated.

This used 2 L brackets
One was mounted the same way as the motor mount. but then i attached another L bracket, facing down. the garage door pulley was then attached using a bolt and a few nuts for spacing. then i attached the spring to that bolt, and th the L bracket the same way as with the motor.

Step 4: The Cable

Now all there is to do is add the cable that will drive the gondola. i used fishing line, because it can stretch and will keep tension.
this step is easy.
cut a loop of line that is 2-4 in. shorter than the distance of your distance between motor and bull wheel. then attach it to the motor and bull wheel.
if you want to attach more than one gondola then make the line long and tie loops in it where you can tie the gondolas on.

Step 5: Gondolas

you may have something you want to use, but if not, i made a "papercraft" gondola that works great for this project.

Step 6: Attach

Now just get a piece of fishing line. tape it to the top of the gondola, tie it on to the loop you made, and you're done!

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    16 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Finally! I can make my own miniature gondola!! My life has meaning. +1


    12 years ago on Step 2

    A bit of constructive criticism: Try using macro on your camera (if it has it) to focus the pictures better, and use lights to make better lighting.


    12 years ago

    you can also use an h.o, n scale or h.r model train controller


    12 years ago

    AWESOME! at the beginning I didn't know too what gondola he meant so don't laugh at weinsmatthew. I'm going to create one of those on my desk. does anyone has an Idea for something that can replace the pulley? I think I have k'nex wheels I can try using the big ones. two more questions what motor were you using? and what are the dimensions of everything?

    3 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    Easy questions. One I believe that is the inside of a LEGO MINDSTORMS motor, or something very similar (find an instructable for it, search LEGO its on one of the first three pages, guy tells you about it, thought it was dumb but i guess it came in handy) a good pulley would be a knex, but it is supporting a lot of weight, so try a lego wheel, they are stronger.


    Reply 12 years ago

    the motor is actually a lot more powerwul than mindstorms


    Reply 12 years ago

    glad you like it. a kennex wheel would probably work. i dont know exactly what motor i was using, i know it was made by buehler. it was an old servo i had lying around. as for the dimension, i dont know if you mean parts or distance. but the L brackets are 2.5 in. on each side, and any other dimensions dont matter that much. the easiest way to do this though is to keep the gondola going straight across.


    12 years ago

    I'm sure this would be trippy to someone to watch for an hour whilst on shroom :-P


    12 years ago

    i'm gonna make one of these!!!!


    12 years ago

    Neat project. I love working miniature amusement rides/transportation like this. I do think that your result would look better if you re-worked the gondola itself so it didn't flop around so much. Maybe a bit more weight and/or connecting it in two points to provide direction. The paper construction is a cool idea by itself though.