Mathias Wandel's Projects

Facebook Twitter
I bought one of those cheap wood moisture meters on sale for $25 at Princess Auto some time ago. I never actually tried it out until I cut up some fresh lumber on my bandsaw and wanted to get some measure of how fast it dried. Unfortunately, the moisture meter didn't last very long. Knowing that probe penetration into the wood makes a big difference in terms of how well they make contact, I kept tapping the meter in with my wrist. Moisture meter Moisture meter
Making cast iron slippery Making cast iron slippery There is much written about wax formulations to apply to your table saw and other cast iron surfaces to protect them and keep them slippery. I always thought that was a little complicated, and other than the occasional squirt of WD40 on the surface, I never did anything to the cast iron on my table saw. That is, until I accidentally spilled a little bit of water based floor varnish on my new table saw. Not wanting the table saw to get rusty from the water based varnish, I grabbed some wood shavings, and rubbed it off. It all came off cleanly, with no rust and no visible remainders. But I noticed afterwards, that the cast iron felt smoother and more slippery where I had spilled and wiped off the varnish.
Some shop solutions by Ron Walters Some shop solutions by Ron Walters Inserting threaded inserts into wood Turns out I had been using them backwards! Disc Sander - Circle Sanding Jig A very handy jig for sanding accurate circles or radiuses on the disc sander.
The marble adding machine This is based on an article I wrote for Make magazine at their request in early 2008. An article based on this content was published in Make Magazine issue 20 in late 2009 - more than a year and a half after I submitted it to them. How I came up with the idea My marble adding machine had its roots with an automated Lego marble machine that I had built many years ago. The marble adding machine
Marble toy blocks part 2: Marble lifter Marble toy blocks part 2: Marble lifter I wanted a mechanical marble elevating device to go with the marble toy ramps. So I came up with another sort of marble pump. At the left of the photo is the marble pump from my modular marble machine. This one works with a piston on a crankshaft (see here and here), but the cranking necessitates that pump to be screwed down.
Just some of the many drawings from the plans below ... A peek inside the plans... The completed machine is 52 cm wide, 35 cm deep, and 47 cm tall. Marble machine 2 plans for sale Marble machine 2 plans for sale
Modular marble machine plans The base of the machine is 52x40 cm. It is 51 cm high when set up, 15 cm high in the box. The plans are in metric units, except for drill and dowel sizes, which are in imperial units. You can generate plans in imperial units simply by changing the units to "imperial" in SketchUp under "model info", but the units will not work out to even numbers like they do in Metric. Modular marble machine plans
Way back when I built my Marble Machine one , I incorporated a few logic-like elements in it, including several divide by two mechanisms, as well as a complicated and slightly unreliable divide by 6 mechanism. It had occurred to me that perhaps with an insane amount of perseverance, it might be possible to build a whole computer that runs on marbles. But my second marble machine was much less based on logic - it was more about just making lots of cool noises. But then I had an idea as to how the divide by two mechanisms from my first marble machine could be cascaded together to function as a sort of adder register or counter. Once I had that idea, I knew I had to try it. A few months later, I spent a couple of days in my workshop and built this binary marble adding machine. Binary marble adding machine Binary marble adding machine
These are plans for a revised version of the marble adding machine, which I built several of for sale. As such, the dimensions on these plans differ from the dimensions of the original machine. This machine primarily differs in that it is slightly more compact - about as compact as the size of marble would allow. Overall plan Click image to enlarge If you print this image to be 339 mm across and 441 millimeters high, you will have an exact 1:1 plan. Plan for printing on regular sheet printer To print the plan on a regular printer, print each of these quadrant images and paste them together.Click on each quadrant to enlarge the image. The dashed of the lines for the quadrants need to be right on top of each other. Plans for the marble adding machine Plans for the marble adding machine
Tracks built with the marble run building blocks Tracks built with the marble run building blocks After building all the ramps, marble pump and other pieces, I figured it was time to play around with the blocks some more. Part of the motivation was to figure out how many of what types of block would make a reasonable set for the toy company. I made more than enough of each type, and after building each track, I tallied up how many of each type of block I had actually used. This track was an experiment in using the "ski jump" element and shooting the marbles up another ski jump element to catch them. I couldn't get that to work reliably - about one in four marbles would ricochet out in random directions. So I changed the "catch" area to consist of a bowl and several ramp blocks.
Tracks built with the marble run building blocks
Making wooden gears out of plywood Traducido al español por Sergio Here's some pictures of making wooden gears out of plywood using paper template from my Gear Template Generator. I made two gears, both with a tooth size of 250, and tooth angle of 25 degrees. The smaller one with 7 teeth, the larger one with 11. With that tooth size, 11 teeth was as large as I could go before I would have had to paste multiple pieces of paper together. Normally, one doesn't make involute spur gears with less than about 14 teeth.

Gear template generator

Also available in Spanish Download HPGL Some notes about gear design and this gear template generator This template generator is intended for generating paper templates for cutting low precision gears from plywood, phenolic, or other suitable materials with a band saw. This gear template generator generates shapes for involute spur gears.
The Fantabulous Contraptions of Matthias Wandel
You've seen his explanation of a combination lock's inner workings. You'll never lose another game of Jenga, thanks to his winning wooden pistol. And nearly 4 million YouTube users have marveled at his wooden marble machine sculpture. He's Matthias Wandel, and he's accomplished what most only dream of—turning a hobby into a career. Creator Spotlight: Matthias Wandel, Prolific Woodworking Machinist « Furniture & Woodworking
I have always used a home-made slot mortising machine for my mortise and tenon joints. My previous slot mortising machine was made possible because of a lucky surplus sale find. But I had always wanted to be able to build a mortising machine from scratch using readily available materials. Multi slot mortising machine
Screw advance box joint jig
Tilting router lift
Need to Duplicate a Part in Wood? Check Out Matthias Wandel's DIY Router Copy Carver
Small dust collector
Warren Brownell's Gilliom / woodgears bandsaw
Air engine plans for sale