HomeSpirograph tipsA better working surface

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A better working surface — 6 Comments

  1. I found that if you buy some SUPER strong magnets from your local craft store and pick up a cookie sheet *One without the sides/rim* you then take one magnet place it on the underside of the cookie sheet and another on top pinching the spirograph ring in place it won’t budge and you can spirograph without worry about the ring moving around. Now if I can only figure out the technique to keep the gears from slipping or popping out from the ring as I spiro. I’ve tried everything from very little to feather soft touch of the pen to paper to following along with the path of the gear movement. Still not perfect ! Guess I gotta keep practicing. 😉

    • [Picking my jaw up off the floor] That’s genius! I have to try that. I’m happy with the putty now, but I’ve got to try your magnet trick, just for fun at least!

      As for technique, yes, I think it’s got a lot to do with practice, and catching the rhythm of the pattern and going with it – sort of like ballroom dancing if you’re the woman.

      Thanks for the tip!

    • Keeping the gears from slipping and popping out of the ring as I spiro is a dealbreaker for me. I’ve seen knock-off spirograph type toys that have a “lip” on top of the gear to keep the inner gear in place. Would be wonderful if Spirograph could adopt something like this in their future designs.

      • Interesting idea. Such a lip wouldn’t have to be very big – maybe just to the end of the teeth on the rings – to make a big difference, and wouldn’t even interfere with hole #1 on the wheel.

        Sorry you’re finding it so hard, though. Are you using an older set or a new set? The gears in the old sets are flat while the new ones tend to warp. Try keeping the pen vertical and only push as much as necessary to keep the gear moving and the teeth engaged. The pressure is always towards the meshing gears and lean just a bit in the direction you’re going. A perfectly flat table helps too; spirograph has shown me the subtle warps on my desk.

  2. I found a company selling foam core board as a working surface for the old Spirograph – for those who like using pins. Their drawing board is 12 3/4″ x 9 3/4″ x 1/4″ Foamcore Board Price: $3.99 (U.S. Dollars)

    They also sell pins and pens… the latter being available in several styles – either refills or entire pens of the old style retractable ball point with the thin tips, and a new 10 color in one pen which includes black, blue, red and green, yellow, light blue, pink, purple, brown, and orange.

    Note that I didn’t check prices on these smaller items, or shipping charges…

    http://www.soundfeelings.com/products/spirograph_pen_refills/spirograph_baseboards.htm

    • I don’t think foam core had been invented when I was a kid. It would be much better than cardboard. Thanks for the link.

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