Wooden Escalator Fit for a Slinky

Our favorite mechanical master of woodworking, [Matthias Wandel], is at it again, this time making an endless staircase for a Slinky. Making an escalator out of 2×4’s and other lumber bits looks fairly easy when condensed down to a two and a half minute video. In reality a job like this requires lots of cuts, holes, and a ton of planning.

The hard part of this build seemed to be the motor arrangement. There is a sweet spot when it comes to Slinky escalator speeds. Too fast, and you’ll outpace the Slinky. Too slow, and the Slinky flies off the end of the escalator. Keeping the speed in check turned out to be a difficult task with the coarse speed control of a drill trigger. The solution was to ditch the drill and build a simple hand crank mechanism. The Slinky now can cascade down stairs as long as your arm holds out.

Join us after the break for 3 videos, the making of the escalator, a 140 step demonstration video, and a followup video (for geeks like us) explaining where the idea came from, whats wrong with the machine and possible improvements.

Thanks to [Jim Lynch] for the tip

24 thoughts on “Wooden Escalator Fit for a Slinky

  1. but,,,but,,,where’s the ardweeny? There’s supposed to be an ardweeny driving a motor to keep it going at the right speed rather than that old fashioned hand crank method. No kid will play with it without there being electronics involved. Sheesh.

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    But, I love the woodwork and gears and whatnot just the same!

    1. I have communicated with that Mathias Wandel and just let me say that he is a rude and pompus person. I don’t drink his kool aid but many people do. I believe that he hasn’t had a single original idea in his whole life.

  2. Well you’ve got to have some way of counting the steps. Maybe an auto shutoff for when the slinky stops stepping. Perhaps an arm to make it continue after it stops. Maybe a pi too with some object recognition to optimize the speed and perhaps slightly tip the steps to counter the drift. Maybe optical gates or use a metal slinky as a switch…
    Now there’s an idea…

    Electrify the steps with a tesla coil and use a metal slinky, that could be good fun.

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