Mechanical Wonders


Flying Pendulum

Maker Camp Project Time Icon

40 Minutes

TO COMPLETE

Maker Camp Makey Logo

WHAT WILL YOU MAKE?

A pendulum that will slowly untwist itself like a basic clock escapement.
PRINT THESE INSTRUCTIONS
Maker Camp Project Materials Icon

WHAT WILL YOU NEED?

STEP 1

Remove pen ends

Start by removing the ink cartridge and the back end of one of the pens, leaving you with the empty tube. You don’t have to use Bic pens, but they are easy to find and easy to disassemble.

STEP 2

Trim the cap

Cut out the center of one of the pen caps by removing the small pieces of plastic holding it in place.

STEP 3

Thread the band

Remove one of the handles from one of the small binder clips and loop a rubber band over it. Cut a 1 foot length of thread and loop it through the rubber band on the other side. Push the thread through the back end of the now empty pen and out through the tip.

STEP 4

Add the bearing

Next, thread the rubber band through the bearing and push the bearing down hard upon the tip of the pen. Press the bearing in hard and then use another binder clip arm to keep the rubber band from pulling through the pen.

STEP 5

Clipping on the pen

Clamp a binder clip to the bottom of the pen tube and then use two more to clip it to the edge of the box.

STEP 6

The cross pen

Pull up the rubber band from the top of the pen tube and insert a pen through the loop. Now place a medium binder clip around the rubber band between the pen and the bearing.

STEP 7

Secure the pen

Most of the pen should be sticking out over the end of the clip with just a quarter inch or so off the back square end of the clip. To keep the pen from falling forward, use the second rubber band to loop over the clip legs and the back of the pen.

STEP 8

Add the pencil

Secure the pencil in place with a binder clip at the bottom and another to secure it to the box. Adjust the pencil so it’s an inch or so from the pencil.

STEP 9

Tie the weight

Cut off about 8 inches of thread and tie it to the last binder clip that you removed the two legs from. A simple square knot will work fine (left over right, right over left).

STEP 10

Attach the weight

Thread the other end of the thread tied to the binder clip weight through the pen cap that you cut the end out of. Place the cap on the end of the pen and pull the string through so the weight dangles just above the edge of the box.

STEP 11

Wind it up

Wind up the pen to tighten the rubber band. This will take quite a few winds so don’t get impatient. Let it go and watch as it spins around, wrapping the pendulum around the pencil and then unwinding to make another loop.

WHAT'S NEXT?

DSC_0371

Try playing with the length of the string and see how it affects the speed of the winding. Take a look at old clocks to see how they use pendulums and escapements to accurately measure time. Do you see similarities between old clocks and the flying pendulum you’ve just made? See how this clock uses a flying pendulum just like ours to keep time!

BROWSE MORE MAKER CAMP PROJECTS FIND EVEN MORE PROJECTS AT Make:

Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

Collaborate on making projects here at Maker Camp

COLLABORATE

Make friends with Campers from all around the world and swap ideas!

JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Share your ideas and what you build on social media

ALL DONE? SHARE IT!

Share pictures and videos of your cool build! Be sure to use #makercamp

POST YOUR PROJECTS

Make: Getting Started with Arduino Kit

Start Making!

Spinbot kit

Maker Camp Gear

Getting Started with Arduino Kit

Make: Getting Started with Arduino Kit

Kit contains the components and book you need to make getting started with Arduino easy.

BUY NOW
Start Making!

Start Making!

Six great projects guaranteed to spark your imagination and get you making.

BUY NOW
Spinbot kit

Spinbot kit

Spinbots are easy-to-make drawing robots that kids love to build, tweak, and enjoy.

BUY NOW
Maker Camp Hat

Maker Camp Gear

Keep your campers cool with an official 2016 Maker Camp hat!

BUY NOW