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Make a Wizard's Orrery - Part 2


In the first part we built the box of the orrery. Now we start building the gears and structure of it.

Part 1 is here



Let's start by making the drive gears. In the template I have a gear labeled as the drive gear. We are going to make two of them. This is how we do it.


Draw out the gears

Place that page with the drive gear on your foam board. With a blunted pencil draw over the whole gear. This includes all the teeth and the center point.

Press down firmly as you trace. This will cause an indent in the foam board.


See the indents

Now when you lift the template you can see the indents in the foamboard. Draw them out with a pencil.

And don't forget to mark that center point. It is very important.


Cut out the gears

Now let's cut those gears out. And I am going to give you a nice tip on how to do it.


Cut in three passes

Cut in three passes.

Take your time when cutting the gears. And don't try to cut through the foam board in one pass. I do it one tooth at a time and every cut takes three swipes. With the first swipe I simply cut through the top layer of paper. With the second swipe I cut through the foam. And with the third swipe I press down hard and cut through the bottom layer of paper.

And, I do this in a full pass around the gear. SO.... Cut through the top layer of paper all the way around the gear. Then move on to the second pass cutting through the foam and then another round around the gear cutting through the bottom layer.


The gears

And that's it. Those two main drive gears look good. Follow this same process when cutting all your gears.


Sharpen the dowels

Now let's cut the axles out of wooden dowels. Cut four pieces. They are one inch, two inches, four inches and six inches. And on the two largest ones sharpen one end to a point.

This is all quarter inch dowel.


Mark the center

Now use a ruler and draw lines diagonally across the corners. This gives you an X right in the center of the top of the orrery box.


Pierce the box with a dowel

Now, using that six inch dowel puncture it right through that X you made. And push on it so the point also punctures through the top layer of paper on the bottom sheet of foamboard. You want that point to puncture it but not go all the way through. This is a rotation point. The dowel will spin on that point. And puncturing the paper will hold it in place.


Puncture with dowel

Here is a look at that dowel. The point is punctured into the bottom. This will allow it to rotate well.


The dowel in place

Keep it nice and straight when you do it. This is an axle for the gear so it should be straight or the gear won't run right.




Remember: If you need any help you can always watch the video tutorial on my youtube channel right here: Make a Wizard's Orrery



NextOkay, let's continue with the tutorial


a Wizard's Pendulum Clock

Make a Wizard's Pendulum Clock

Using foamboard you can make a simple moon clock that rotates through the phases of the moon.

It uses a single pin escapement which is an ingenious device. learn about clocks and how they work with this project.

Make a Wizard's Pendulum clock




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