Wire Worm Gear




A fun little project that makes use of your spare festive corks :-) Turn the wire handle and the gear advances one tooth at a time. It takes twelve turns of the handle to turn the gear wheel one full turn.

This project was originally posted on robives.com here

To make your own worm gear you will need:

  • A short length of 9mm diameter dowel
  • 1mm diameter wire
  • Paper clips
  • Chupa Chups Lolly
  • Cork

Step 1:

Print out the downloadable page onto normal printer paper and cut out the lined rectangle. Wrap the paper round the dowel at an angle so that the striped lines make a long spiral. This will act as a guide for your worm gear.

Wrap the 1mm wire around the dowel four times following the lines to ensure that the spiral is evenly spaced.

Slide the wire from the dowel.

Step 2:

Carefully bend the ends of the wire so that they run across the diameter of the circle.

Bend the ends so that they point out from the centre of the spiral.

Step 3:

The gear and washers are made from 3mm laser cut ply using the downloadable file as a template. Several layers of thick card would also work if you have the patience to cut it by hand. The axle is a bamboo wooden skewer.

Thread the parts onto the skewer.

Step 4:

The stick from a Chupa Chups lolly is a hollow plastic tube.

Cut two 7mm lengths from the end of this stick to use as axle tubes.

Straighten a paper clip and wrap the end around the axle tube. Bend a
dog-leg into the wire as shown. Make two like this. Thread each end of the worm gear wire through the two axle tubes then press the other ends of the paperclips into the top of the cork. Make sure that the worm gear spiral runs across the centre of the cork and is level.

Step 5:

Make two wires with dog-legs and loops to hold the gear into place.

Step 6:

Trim the spiral wire and fold it into a handle.

Turn the handle and the spiral ‘worm’ moves the gear one tooth for each turn of the handle.



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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very instructive and opening up immagination for for. Will try to make this with my kids on a rainy day. Voted!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! I hope you have fun making it :-)


    1 year ago

    There is beauty in simplicity. I like all your project just for that.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! I’m glad you liked it :-)


    1 year ago

    Very cute little toy. I could see this developing into a larger toy that has many components like this.

    3 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks:-) You've seen through my plan!


    1 year ago

    That's pretty cool. You might want to enter it in the "design for kids" challenge.