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View Full Version : TR: Help Me Build A Taffy Pulling Machine



bedtime4bonzos
09-30-2008, 06:07 PM
Edit: Finally got around to posting the final thing! (=
(pics and video here (http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2319668))
_________________________________________________

So... I've decided to make my gf a taffy puller for Christmas. (And yes, she will actually use it.)

Like this (sorta):
Am9URG76BzI

Any suggestions/advice/heckling would be very appreciated. In fact, the best comment gets some free taffy (yeah, I'll mail it to you).

I spec'd it out (see below) and ended up with a cost around $150 not including the motor. It will be driven by a Kitchenaid mixer, which I really like because Kitchenaid puts these great accessory ports on their mixers. The whole puller will essentially be a big Kitchenaid accessory, which saves a good chunk of change in not having to buy another motor. (Plus, if the puller sucks, at least the Kitchenaid will make a great gift.)

http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/kitchenaid-mixer.jpg

After a bit of searching, I actually found plans for a taffy puller (http://makezine.com/14/taffy/) online. There's even a video (http://cachefly.oreilly.com/make/14/taffypull.mp4) of it in action. It looks like this:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/make-digitaltp.JPG

I'm basing mine off of that, but instead of 2 gearmotors I'm using the Kitchenaid mixer, and instead of the v-belts I'm going to use sprockets and chains. Seems odd to use separate drive systems when timing is important. Because the arms need to rotate in different directions, I'm going to have to have one of the chains run in a figure-eight. Chain seemed better than a v-belt for this, but maybe I'm just making that up. (I played around with an old chain and some sprockets and this seems feasible. The chain does rub on itself, but as long as the sprockets weren't too close together, binding and misalignment seemed to be a non-issue. [Edit: the figure-eight idea got replaced by a more intellegent chain path]) Also, i think copper + food = bad, so I'm using aluminum for the arms. [Edit: I guess copper's not so bad] [Edit: Going to use stainless steel for the arms, not aluminum]

I really don't have much experience building stuff, so I'm posting this here so you can rip it apart and tell me what I should do differently in case there's a better way to go at this. I should probably also add that while not being overly experienced myself, I know a number of people who have welders, work in machine shops, etc. I'd rather not bother them with building it for me if I can help it, but if I get in a jam I'll have help.

Here's my attempt at pricing everything out:

....Motor: Kitchenaid Mixer
........($0.00 - I bought one off of Craigslist for this, but I'm not counting it as cost since it's a useful thing to have)
........Has a port for hooking up accessories. The port is about 1 inch in diameter and terminates at a 1/2" square female fitting.
....Moving Arms: 2x 1.5' 1/2" dia. Anodized Aluminum rod, bent to shape
........(2x $13.25 McMaster.com, part 6750K163, 3ft ea.)
........Would be nice if they were removable for cleaning in a dishwasher
........I don't know how to bend these yet, but pipe and fittings is a lot more expensive
....Stationary Arm: 1/2" Aluminum rod, bent to shape
........($13.25 McMaster.com, part 6750K163, 3ft)
....Frame: Wood
........($10 Home Depot)
....Cover: 18"x24"x.093" Acrylic Sheet
........($6.77 HomeDepot.com, part 453217)
....Bearings: 4x 1/2" dia. pillow block bearings and 2x 3/4" pillow block bearings
........(4x $2.92 McMaster.com, part 3813T2)
........(2x $5.23 McMaster.com, part 3813T13)
....Shafts: 12" 3/4" dia. aluminum rod
........($13.21 McMaster.com, part 6750K18)
........The 3/4" shaft will have to be machined to fit the 1/2" square fitting on the Kitchenaid port.
........The arms will be their own shafts and are listed above
....Sprockets: ANSI #40, 2x 15 Tooth 1/2" bore w/set screws; 1x 9 Tooth 3/4" bore w/set screws; 1x 17 Tooth 3/4" bore idler
........(2x $11.72 McMaster.com, part 6280K691)
........(1x $8.32 McMaster.com, part 6280K631)
........(1x $9.95 McMaster.com, part 6280K631)
........Could probably save some money here by getting unfinished sprockets, or even using old bike sprockets...
....Chain: ANSI #40
........($6.14 McMaster.com, part 6261K444, 2ft)
........I think bicycle chain is ANSI 40. This stuff is wider tho.

....Total Price:
........(13.25 * 3) + 10.00 + 6.77 + (4 * 2.92) + (2 * 5.23) + 13.21 + (2 * 11.72) + (2 * 8.32) + 6.14 = $139.72
........plus tax, shipping, misc hardware, beer for helpful people

It seems like I ought to be able to find a lot of these things just sitting around, but since no one item is really driving the cost (maybe the sprockets), I may end up just having to pay up and be done with it. It'd be cool to do it for less than $100 though. Suggestions?

In-progress pictures to come...

mntlion
09-30-2008, 06:13 PM
I have a copy of make magazine at home, if the full info is not avail online. Let me know if you need that...

bedtime4bonzos
09-30-2008, 06:17 PM
It's annoying to navigate the online "sample" article, but it's all there. Thanks though!

smalls
09-30-2008, 06:40 PM
thats awesome.

BeanDip4All
09-30-2008, 08:07 PM
watching taffy mixers is completely mesmerizing.

props to giving her such a thoughtful gift!

jfost
09-30-2008, 10:47 PM
BWAHHAHAAAAAHAAAAAAHAHAHHAHHA!!!

shake that laffy taffy, shake that laffy taffy girl...

edit: oh, this is serious...

From bike experience, you've got a bit of angulation available in the chain, but it does lose efficiency a bit... like when you go small ring in front and small cog on the rear. I think the fig 8 would be fine, but you really should avoid having it rub, it's just not good engineering - just space it out a bit so it doesn't touch...

AsheanMT
09-30-2008, 11:11 PM
Great idea but I think you should make it a pedal powered taffy machine. That would be way cooler IMVHO.

smalls
10-01-2008, 07:20 AM
^^ to keep her from getting fat off all that taffy? i see what you're doing there.

bedtime4bonzos
10-01-2008, 08:54 AM
I think the fig 8 would be fine, but you really should avoid having it rub, it's just not good engineering

I completely agree with not wanting the chain to rub on itself. It's my least favorite part of the design.


just space it out a bit so it doesn't touch...

How do you mean? The only condition that I can think of where the chain would not touch is for the axis of rotation of one sprocket to not be quite horizontal (ie. the sprockets would have to lie on non-parallel planes). Am I wrong?

That could work though... if the drive axis was inclined just enough that the chain wouldn't hit... you might get rid of the clearance issues without creating chain/sprocket allignment issues. Seems ugly.

Options I considered for achieving the opposite rotational directions::
1) Figure-eight chain drive, which I've chosen, but has clearance issues.
2) Figure-eight flat belt drive. I read that this works well, but I don't know anything about flat belts. One major plus: you get to have a Mobius Strip as your belt.
3) Gears. This is probably the best solution engineering-wise. But it adds 2 bearings, 2 gears, and a shaft to the design. I'd like to avoid the extra cost.

Someone school me on this...


Great idea but I think you should make it a pedal powered taffy machine. That would be way cooler IMVHO.

Yeah, I considered it... it would be pretty rad. I decided to aim for "kitchen appliance" instead of "garage appliance". :p

pechelman
10-01-2008, 09:01 AM
the other option, is of course, just finding a second stand mixer (or use 2 motors)

edit or using a planetary gearset (http://science.howstuffworks.com/gear7.htm) like what i said over email
(click the "sun" button in the animation, thats what youd need)

Fuorilegge
10-01-2008, 09:05 AM
Thoughtful gift man!

Talk about thinking outside the box! :)

pechelman
10-01-2008, 09:18 AM
ill also add that I think copper is absolutely 100% food grade safe and is actually the prefered metal for certain kitchen tasks, such as beating stiff egg whites

my concern with copper though might be the flavor it could leech onto the taffy
i seem to remember copper having a distinct smell
copper is also pricey in comparison to aluminum or even a cheap cres

philippeR
10-01-2008, 09:44 AM
how lee shit.

Brilliant. I've no valuable contribution to offer, but cheers.

Make sure to post a full TR with video.

jfost
10-01-2008, 01:17 PM
I completely agree with not wanting the chain to rub on itself. It's my least favorite part of the design.



How do you mean? The only condition that I can think of where the chain would not touch is for the axis of rotation of one sprocket to not be quite horizontal (ie. the sprockets would have to lie on non-parallel planes). Am I wrong?

That could work though... if the drive axis was inclined just enough that the chain wouldn't hit... you might get rid of the clearance issues without creating chain/sprocket allignment issues. Seems ugly.
:p

exactly... I think you'd literally be talking a matter of a degree or 2 off parallel, then you can bring it all back into alignment with the very last bend of the pipe (the "taffy holding" section). This would give you the tiniest bit of clearance for the chain, and since the rotating arms are independent at the taffy end (except for the taffy) you're golden. I can't imagine that the taffy doesn't have some inherent tolerance built in... seems to be a non-fussy material to work with as far as alignment goes!

Patches
10-01-2008, 01:55 PM
You don't need to cross the chain to make one of the shafts spin opposite...

bedtime4bonzos
10-01-2008, 01:57 PM
You don't need to cross the chain to make one of the shafts spin opposite...

yeah... a friend of mine just enlightened my dumb ass as well... thanks patches.

http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/notdumb.JPG

Patches
10-01-2008, 02:04 PM
... just add an idler pulley like so:
http://www.treasuredfinds.com/personal/taffy.jpg

Patches
10-01-2008, 02:04 PM
Drats, beat me to it.

[Edit to add]: And the design you posted is tidier, space-wise.

Patches
10-01-2008, 02:14 PM
Also, don't run the chain outside of the wood frame as shown in the drawing you posted... use a jigsaw to make cutouts in the wood and mount the sprockets BETWEEN the bearings, not outside. Not only will this change the loading to double shear (better), but now you can put washers or short pieces of pipe on either side of the sprocket to fill the space between it and the bearings, so the sprocket itself will act as a retainer to keep the shaft from falling out of the bearings.

khakis
10-01-2008, 02:14 PM
only thing I'd suggest is since this thing appears to be independently supported, I would use a 3-piece universal joint type shaft to couple the mixer output to the input for your contraption, otherwise you would have to have said contraption square and level with the mixer, and both bolted down tight. And I probably wouldn't choose wood. Stainless would be pimp and more rigid. This rig is gonna need a lot of rigidity

also would try and find a bearing supply near you and source the parts there. Wake up the guy at the counter and he will probably have ideas or options that you/we would never think of

edit: seems solid stainless rod would be a better choice for the arms on this thing

volklpowdermaniac
10-01-2008, 05:10 PM
"Abba Zabba. You my only friend"

Sorry. I know that has nothing to do with it. But whenever someone brings up Taffy, thats what I think of.


But props for a sick gift and sick project.

Dobish
10-02-2008, 10:29 AM
can i be your girlfriend.....?

jondrums
10-03-2008, 11:25 AM
an idea is to use electrical conduit for the puller arms, 3/4" conduit is 15/16" OD. That would be nice and stiff - a requirement I would think.

then use TEFLON tubing to coat the outside of it - something like this:
mcmastercarr.com
Part Number: 8547K47

not as cheap as copper tubing, but more "inert" and is also food grade.

jfost
10-03-2008, 03:06 PM
The whole point of the fig-8 was to make the chain run more compact, no? That way you power one of the arms direct-drive style and fig-8 over to the other arm... the idler pulley makes for a more complex setup, albeit sound in principle.

Either way, still a cool idea and the kitchenaid motor is bombproof!

edit: i guess you could really tuck that idler pulley in to the chain path and make it pretty compact... might just be the way to go to keep everything efficient and parallel.

edit2: what if you went big ring on the drive motor and small rings on the rotating arms, draw it out and I think you can get by without even the idler pulley by offsetting the motor a bit. you've got to grab enough teeth on the small cogs to turn the arms under load, but I still think it's possible.

snoboy
10-03-2008, 03:49 PM
It's annoying to navigate the online "sample" article, but it's all there. Thanks though!

If you PM me your email, I can email all the article pages to you.

bedtime4bonzos
10-05-2008, 12:52 AM
Thanks very much for the comments... made me think about lots of things I hadn't considered.

The Kitchenaid mixer lead I had fell through. But this morning I saw a listing for a garage sale on Criagslist with a very well used (daily for several years) one near my place. I got it for $40. Score. (Did need a little work tho.)

I went to an industrial supply shop but they didn't have the range of sprockets to quite get the gear ratio i was looking for, so I ordered the sprockets, bearings, and chain from McMaster. They should get here on Wednesday (the 8th).

Ended up going with ANSI 25 chain (1/4" pitch). The bearings and sprockets all fit 1/2 diameter. Sprockets are 72 tooth (x2), 14 tooth, and 20 tooth. One of the smaller two will be the idler. Not sure which yet, but it gives me some flexibilty in choosing a gear ratio (either 1:5, or 1:3.5). The size of the 2 big sprockets (5.88" OD) means that I have to have my arms at least 6" apart. Luckily I was thinking of having about that for spacing anyway.

Here's an mspaint sketch of how I'm picturing the sprocket positions:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/taffy-sketch1.JPG


... mount the sprockets BETWEEN the bearings, not outside. Not only will this change the loading to double shear (better), but now you can put washers or short pieces of pipe on either side of the sprocket to fill the space between it and the bearings, so the sprocket itself will act as a retainer to keep the shaft from falling out of the bearings.

^^^^^ I like this. Going to try to make it happen.


only thing I'd suggest is since this thing appears to be independently supported, I would use a 3-piece universal joint type shaft to couple the mixer output to the input for your contraption, otherwise you would have to have said contraption square and level with the mixer, and both bolted down tight.

^^^^^ Good points. Made me re-think the mixer/puller interface. After thinking on it a bit, I realized that the mixer port is actually designed to take care of this issue. When you hook up an accessory (like a meat grinder), you not only mate the drive, but there is a notch in the mixer housing that reacts the torque that the drive creates (there's also a bolt that keeps everything together once you're "plugged in").

http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/port1-1.jpg

This feature will keep me from having to bolt anything down. I'm going to try to find the cheapest Kitchenaid accessory I can and weld the connecty part to the 1/2" diameter rod. Right now, I'm thinking that I won't need the universal joint.

[Edit: I just found the cheap accessory... Actually, I found a whole bunch of them, and they came with another Kitchenaid mixer. All for $50. Looks like I'm going to end up with a mixer too. :p The can-opener was the easy choice for which accessory to sacrifice to the taffy puller... I just can't imagine a scenario in which attaching a canopener to a Kitchenaid mixer would be more convenient than using the $2 one I already have.]

http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/mixers.jpg http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/canopener.jpg


seems solid stainless rod would be a better choice for the arms on this thing

^^^^^ Agreed. Now to find some.


use TEFLON tubing to coat the outside of it - something like this:
mcmastercarr.com
Part Number: 8547K47

not as cheap as copper tubing, but more "inert" and is also food grade.

^^^^^ I really like this idea. There are plenty of cheap, food-grade tubings that would do the trick. This also made me consider having replaceable (disposable) tubing on taffy-touching parts of the arms. I had worried a bit about how to clean the arms after using it, and this would make it a snap -- just toss 'em after use. I can probably use the same tubing as a spacer between sprockets and bearings, like patches suggested.

snoboy
10-05-2008, 03:42 PM
You know about Google Sketchup (sketchup.google.com)... right?

jondrums
10-06-2008, 02:44 PM
btw on the conduit idea - I had intended to mention that you could use a conduit bender to make the entire arms from one piece, and the sprocket shafts can be welded right to it.

For the speeds this thing is going to see, and I assume a fairly slack chain tension, you probably don't need those "high end" cartridge bearings like in make magazine. A hole through a 2x4 with a plastic bushing pushed in will do you for a really long time! (x2 on each side of the sprocket)
Jon

GeezOar
10-06-2008, 03:34 PM
I read this thread and had to go up on the boardwalk and get some salt water taffy. Sat on a bench eating taffy and watching the machine. Pretty relaxing.

jfost
10-07-2008, 12:59 AM
Dude! Now you've done it... how will you rapidly open the 300 cans of corn syrup you need???

khakis
10-07-2008, 01:01 PM
score on the second mixer! I still think you'll need a couple universals between your output and input though.

I think it's onlinemetals.com that has specialty metals available in small quantities if you decide to go with the stainless rod?

bushings instead of pillow blocks is probably a really good call, and cheaper and easier to keep clean than bearings

RootSkier
10-07-2008, 04:30 PM
This thread is cool.

I have nothing to add.

bedtime4bonzos
03-22-2009, 10:22 PM
Success!
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/greenbatch.jpg

Vid:
YPP2_ZfOIVU

This finished product:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/wrapped_taffy.jpg

Sorry it took me so long to post this. Thanks to everyone with suggestions! You can see a lot of those suggestions in the pics above. Internet collaboration is pretty cool.
__________________________

And edit to add: Despite all the really helpful posts, GeezOar definitely wins for my favorite comment. This one made me smile.
I read this thread and had to go up on the boardwalk and get some salt water taffy. Sat on a bench eating taffy and watching the machine. Pretty relaxing.

pechelman
03-22-2009, 10:26 PM
about time!

wheres my peppermint taffy? ;)

Tuckerman
03-23-2009, 07:29 AM
I was expecting this to be NSFW.

h2d
03-23-2009, 09:06 AM
Forgive my jonging english arse...
what is taffy and why do you need to pull it??
Guessing its just sugar and you pull it so it doesn't harden???

Am i missing out on this stuff?

bedtime4bonzos
03-23-2009, 09:23 AM
Ya, it is pretty much just sugar... but pulling it aerates it to give it the light melt-in-your-mouth texture. (Plus, it's fun to watch.)

This pic shows both pulled and unpulled taffy next to each other:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/taffyremains.jpg

Ice cream is mixed for the same reason.

bio-smear
03-23-2009, 09:25 AM
This deserves HOF status.

jondrums
03-23-2009, 10:49 AM
awesome!

ArmadaBC
03-23-2009, 10:55 AM
Bravo!!!!

khakis
03-24-2009, 02:05 PM
nice work!

sensiblesolutions
04-07-2010, 11:24 PM
I am so impressed with the kitchen aid system...

How much would you charge to build on for me? I LOVE this!

lemmycaution
04-08-2010, 04:52 PM
this thread should really be a sticky, and i am not saying this only for the pun.

sensiblesolutions
04-09-2010, 12:19 AM
Ya, it is pretty much just sugar... but pulling it aerates it to give it the light melt-in-your-mouth texture. (Plus, it's fun to watch.)

This pic shows both pulled and unpulled taffy next to each other:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/taffyremains.jpg

Ice cream is mixed for the same reason.

THIS WHOLE THING IS TWISTED! I WANT ONE REAL BAD HOW MUCH WILL YOU SELL ME ONE FOR?

:eek:

Eastside
04-09-2010, 02:23 AM
I frequent several forums on a regular basis. This one (TGR) has the most interesting and creative shit by far.

MF

Huck_Schmuck
04-10-2010, 12:06 PM
My teeth are hurting from need. GF says no. :(

Good effort.

Curly Early
08-09-2010, 03:30 PM
Now that its working, what if anything would you change? This is what I've wanted for some time and my next project, any tips would be appreciated.

Mowerman
10-18-2011, 05:48 AM
Can anyone tell me if I can use a1/2"chuck electric drill slowed down for my motor? I'm having a very hard time finding a kitchen aide mixer or anything else that is slow and strong enough to turn the taffy puller. Any suggestions would be very helpful so PLEASE HELP!!!

Thanks Mowerman Also this is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

Mowerman
12-13-2011, 07:51 AM
the chain idea sounds good for the fact that there is no slipping. I'm using pulleys and instead of a V belt I'm going to use a round belt. It seems that it will work on both the v side of a pulley and the ideler

pulley which does not have a V, but is flat. what ya think?

EVC_CO
12-13-2011, 10:52 AM
this taffy machine advice is for skiers only!

Sensible, Curly, and Mower:

Nekkid pics of your wife/gf/sister or GTFO

rmbad49
07-04-2012, 05:44 AM
Success!
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/greenbatch.jpg

Vid:
YPP2_ZfOIVU

This finished product:
http://bedtime4bonzos.googlepages.com/wrapped_taffy.jpg

Sorry it took me so long to post this. Thanks to everyone with suggestions! You can see a lot of those suggestions in the pics above. Internet collaboration is pretty cool.
__________________________

And edit to add: Despite all the really helpful posts, GeezOar definitely wins for my favorite comment. This one made me smile.

Hi Bonzo
This is a work of love. Can you build one for me and one also for my best friend? How much?
Ihave a KitchenAid mixer but I want this device removable. Is that possible for I use my KitchenAid for other purposes.
Please let me know.
Regards to you and the luckyGF.
rmbad49

P_McPoser
07-10-2012, 08:31 PM
What the newbz fuck?