Tinkeriffic Snack Mill


All of the pieces necessary to build this structure can be found in the Tinkertoy Classic Jumbo Set.

You will need:

Print the sawmill. Be sure to print the foot twice. The guide bar is optional.

First wrap a piece of tape around an orange rod to create a tight fit for the blade– you don’t want the saw to bind up or slip when cutting something hard like an apple or carrot.


Slide the blade onto the rod. It should be very snug.


Put one spool onto the peg on one side of the bed.


Slide the orange rod through the spool’s center bore and secure it with a clip.


Do the same on the other side. Be sure that the saw blade can spin freely in the bed’s center groove.


Make a crank handle by sticking the yellow rod into the round-edged spool. Add the coupling to one end of the orange rod.

Put two clips in the top bores of the spools. Connect these clips with a blue rod. This adds stability to the sawmill.


Insert the feet into one of the edge bores on two spools.


Connect the footed spools with a blue rod, and connect the footed assembly to the bed assembly with two red rods.


You’re ready to go! Start cutting. You can snap the guide bar into the hexagonal holes on the bed if you want straight cuts.

Unless you have a prehensile tail or have epoxied the bed and feet to a cutting board, milling a snack is a two-person job.

Hang the crank over a countertop edge so it doesn’t strike your work surface while turning. Hold down the rest of the assembly with your free hand.

Crank the saw up to speed before feeding it a snack. A child should easily be able to produce 60 RPM, which is enough to cut a carrot. Feed the snack through the mill and continue cranking until the snack has passed the blade.


2 Responses to Tinkeriffic Snack Mill

  1. Sunshine Rowley says:

    This is really cool! If a child were not terribly careful, might he or she be able to cut his/her fingers, too–do you feed the carrot or apple through with your fingers?

    • zheng3 says:

      Thanks Sunshine!

      I’ve tried really hard to cut myself with the blade, but I haven’t managed to yet. Living skin is too rubbery.

      The MakerBot’s resolution limits how sharp the blade can get. A higher-resolution printer could in theory print something sharper, but for the forseeable future I think kids’ fingers are safe.

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