Gumball Machine

Design is adapted from a gumball machine made from 1" pine and a piece of 2x4 that my cousin in south Louisiana has in her living room.  Detailed design photos with a ruler in the picture are at the bottom of this page.

This was another "light duty project".  This project used up small pieces of scrap hardwood (lacewood and padauk are NEVER scrap though) and is a hit with our great-nephews although they had trouble trying to figure out where to put the coins.  I made a total of nine gumball machines.  Good workout for dado blade set and the planer was handy to get the slide dimensions exact.  You can choose whichever router bits that you like to make the edge molding.  I used a 1/4" cove bit and a 1/4" Bosch beading bit.

Gumball Machine Parts

(photo of pine "design model" visible just in front of glasses)

(finish samples on different types of wood blocks in the background)

Fitting the Slides

(cut over length, trimmed later - note long dado through several body block parts)


Walnut on Hard Maple Dispensing one 1/2" Gumball


Cherry on Hard Maple with M&M's (same slide design as above)


First Two of Nine Machines Total


Gumball Machine "Scaled Drawings"

Following up on requests for design information from the WoodNet forum, a variety of photos with a ruler included follow.  Dimensions really don't matter too much as long as the jar fits on the top and the slide works with whatever you're dispensing.  Match the dimensions to the stock that you have available.  You can scale from the rulers for any dimension on mine that isn't readily readable from the photos.  I think the stock thickness varied from 3/4" to close to 1" for the tops and bottoms (which were also different lengths and widths from machine to machine).



Used two 1/2" #4 woodscrews to fasten ring to top

Poor man's logo brand on the bottom - Iron it on approach


Will put a 1/2" long 1/4" dowel pin in the bottom of the slide on the right side above to keep the slide from pulling all the way out of the block.