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harmonograph free plans: how to make a
Large Harmonograph
Basic Description

watch the
animated intro
A harmonograph is a pendulum-based drawing board that produces beautiful curvaceous drawings. After you give the large hanging platform a gentle push, gravity works its magic while a pen records the results. Each swing is almost identical to its predecessor: the minute discrepancies are responsible for the remarkably sinuous curves. The version that we have detailed in the plan below allows you to make drawings on paper or on an erasable whiteboard. You can set up the harmonograph in a garage or basement and hoist it out of the way when not in use; it ends up taking virtually no space at all. We love to enjoy the mesmerizing action, but it makes a great conservation piece at a party and kids absolutely love it! It takes some patience to get everything working right, but it is definitely worth the fine tuning that this project requires; as always, we will walk you through all of the steps.

step:         3              

Next, we will build the frame on top of this "X" that you have just created. Start with 4 pieces of the pine lumber cut to 36" each. Countersink some holes in the ends of the boards and screw them together; use a square to ensure that they are at right angles to each other. This process is easier if you set one board vertically in a vice and fasten the adjacent board to it.
screw four identical pieces together making sure that they create right angles
Center this square at a 45 degree angle to the "X" that you made in step 2. This will take some careful measuring. Once you have it properly positioned, clamp and securely screw the frame in from the underside of the "X" - the plywood stiffener should be on the opposite side of the "X" from the square frame is.
detail of how the frame pieces are fastened to each other

◄ step 2   —   step 4►

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