Make some sturdy lightweight gears out of craft foam!
Step 1: Materials
craft foam ($1 at Dollar Tree)
poster board or cardboard (50 cents at Dollar Tree)
lots of mini clamps (25 cents each at Dollar Tree)
white or wood glue ($3 - $5)
a craft cutter (or a knife or scissors and a whole lot of meticulous patience)
gear pattern (below)
Step 2: Cut the Gear Shapes Out
This particular pattern has a hole sized so that if the big gear is approximately 3 inches wide, the hole just fits a size 10 machine screw which can serve as the axle
cut the gear shapes out of both craft foam and posterboard
A craft cutter is probably essential for this.
I've attached a Make the Cut project in case you have one
Step 3: To the Dentist
If some of the gear teeth have little anomalies after going through the cutter, you can trim those off at any time
Step 4: Glue the Gear Layers
coat the posterboard gear with a fine layer of glue
lay the foam gear over it and slide it around until the gear teeth line up perfectly
lay those flat and let them dry
Step 5: Glue the Gear Layers Together
apply glue to the foam surface of a gear layer
stack them up about 6 deep, being careful to line up the teeth perfectly straight
Step 6: Clamp and Allow to Dry
Make sure the glued layers are all lined up perfectly.
Apply clamps if you have them.
If you picked up some of those awesome clamps from Dollar Tree they have a nice feature that you can remove their little crimp pads off their ends. This makes them just about perfect for holding the gear teeth in alignment while the layers dry.
Allow the gear to dry overnight
Step 7: Yay Gears!
Now to put them to work!