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How to Make a Wizard's Orrery - part 4

In this part of the tutorial we get into the building of the earth and moon assembly.

Part 1 of the tutorial is here



Make three standoffs

Now trace and cut out the three standoffs.


Install standoffs

And glue them down to the top of the orrery box like this. Notice the arrow in the picture. It shows that you should keep a little space around the gear so it can spin freely.


Pierce with dowel

Now trace and cut out the earth disk. Pierce the hole with your dowel. And then open that hole up a little bit. This hole should be a loose fit on the dowel. This disk does not spin.


open up hole

I opened up the hole with a pencil that is a bit more than 1/4 inch.


Assemble the disks

Glue that earth disk down onto those three standoffs. Be sure it is nice and loose on that dowel. Crank the hand crank. The dowel should spin freely in that earth disk hole.


Make the moon earth parts

Trace and make the three moon/earth parts and puncture a hole in each with a dowel.

The hole on the earth arm should be a loose hole so go ahead and open that one up a little bit with a pencil.


Insert dowel

These three parts are assembled together. Start by gluing your two inch dowel into the hole of the gear.

Let that glue dry before proceeding to the next step.


The earth arm

Then put the earth arm on top. (no glue)


Glue dowel

Then glue the disk on.


Test for free spinning

It should spin freely when you turn the dowel. The gear and the disk turn smoothly and the earth arm does not.

Keep a little space in that assembly between the pieces as needed for it to spin freely. Once it is where you want it then you glue the disk on like shown in the previous picture.






The Motorized Solar System and Planetarium takes the abstract concept of the solar system and brings it to life with light and motion. The activities make for a powerful, hands-on learning experience. To teach children about stars and constellations, use the star dome to transform any classroom into a planetarium.


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