The Slinky Machine

By: on August 12, 2015

If you've been toying with the idea of making an escalator for your Slinky, then you are almost as quirky and random as Matthias Wandel. Almost because Wandel went ahead and did it. The Slinky Machine is based on the concept of perpetual Slinky-ing. A Slinky that bends and flips along a conveyor belt of stairs, descending them consistently and indefinitely. Forever.

Or at least for 140 steps, which is the max run Wandel was able to capture on video when he translated his concept into a real, crank-operated Slinky Machine.

Wandel's construction of the revolving stairwell portion of his machine worked from the get go. He sawed off a stack of wood blocks for the risers (10 cm height and width) and then built a wooden chain to serve as their track. Those interested can read the, uh, step-by-step notching, drilling, and attachment process on Wandel's website.

Initially, Wandel then used a drill to power the wooden escalator, with results as shown in the supplemental video above. The Slinky would sometimes get going for up to 10 seconds, but invariably flew off in different directions once he adjusted the drill's speed, or for seemingly no reason at all.

Then some lady named Rachel suggested Wandel try using a crank. Like, manpower over machine power. Which goes further to show that women should just keep their mouths shut about jobs only a man can...yeah, the hand crank totally worked. While not perfect--the Slinky still has a finite Slink time--the adjustment did make the escalator much easier to control and, according to Wandel, more fun to use.