Sketch Ya Later

This is a tutorial on how to build an etch a sketch sand table. It took a lot of trial and error but the final product turned out pretty good!

Step 1: Gather Materials

  • 1/2 in. Steel Bearing Ball
  • 1.5mm Pulley Ball Bearings Wheel (8)
  • Straw
  • Shadow Box
  • Screws (4)
  • Sand
  • Magnet
  • 2 Metal Rods
  • Fishing line
  • Masking tape
  • Hose fittings
  • Hot glue
  • Paint stirrers
  • Saw
  • Pop bottle caps

Step 2: Creating the Base

Remove the backing of the shadow box and drill the screws into the backing, one at each corner. Cut the straws into quarter inch pieces. On each screw, layer a piece of straw and a pulley two times and put hot glue on the top to secure it. Make sure the pulleys can turn on the screw.

Step 3: Tying the Line

Cut the paint stirrers to fit between the two screws on each of the shorter ends of the shadow box base. Hot glue them into place. Take the fishing line and wrap it around the four lower pulleys. On one of the shorter ends, double wrap the fishing line. Repeat the same thing for the top four pulleys except double wrap on one of the longer sides.

Step 4: Securing the Rods

Cut the rods, one slightly shorter than the width and one slightly shorter than the length. Take the hose fittings and tape them together. Put the shorter rod through the bottom hose fitting and wrap the fishing line on the lower pulleys around each end. Repeat this for the long rod and top fishing lines.

Step 5: Cutting the Box

Take the shadow box and cut out the side of one of the long sides and one of the short sides using a saw.

Step 6: Making the Knobs

Hot glue the pop bottle lids to the double string of the short and long side. Make sure you can move them back and forth and that the metal rods move with them.

Step 7: Final Assembly

Glue the magnet to the top of the hose fitting. Try to get the magnet as close to the glass as possible. Put the base of the shadow box back into the frame and secure it with the tabs on the box. Make sure the knobs are accessible through the cut open sides of the shadow box and move back and forth. Put sand on top of the box and put a metal ball in it. Use the knobs to drag it around and create designs.

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    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    6 months ago

    Cool. I always wanted to know how an Etch-a-Sketch was put together.