Suze from Australia sent a picture of her setup for drawing with Wild Gears, in which she uses a heavy-duty magnetic whiteboard and rare earth magnets.
Unlike Spirograph pieces, which have a rim supporting the toothed edges, Wild Gears are laser-cut from a flat sheet of acrylic, so using putty (as you can see in my videos) actually raises the gear a bit off the surface of the paper. Holding the gear down with very strong rare earth magnets instead would keep them in closer contact with the paper.
Suze writes, “I leave the screw part of them off where it would interfere with my arm movement. The acrylic does interfere with the magnetic force so sometimes I put the magnets on an angle half on and half off the acrylic. I try to be gentle with these in case I damage the teeth of the ring.”
She notes that the white/magnetic boards that are sold in the budget shops are not strong enough, so she went for a commercial grade board.
The working surface of her board is 50 x 50 cm (almost 20 x 20 inches), so it accommodates the large Wild Gears frames, which are 15 x 15 inches (40 x 40 cm).
She can even use the whiteboard (with, I assume, a dry erase marker) to make larger drawings. If she tries to use it vertically, the moving gears fall out, but it works on an angle.
This would be a good setup if one were demonstrating to a group.
She find that she saves time setting up and putting away the Wild Gears, as she doesn’t have to mess with putty.
With enough magnets, the gears and the paper do not shift. She bought 14 magnets altogether. I looked on Amazon and these are the closest I found to the ones in her photo. They’re 16 mm (about 5/8″) in diameter. There are others that are larger.
She got her commercial quality magnetic board made by ABP Group (http://www.abpgroup.net.au/) in Brisbane. They’re made for schools and work environments. It might be something one would have to source locally. If you know of any sources, please mention them in the comments.
Thanks, Suze for your interesting contribution!