BUBBLE MACHINE PLANS. This page is a short description of the bubble machine designed by Felix Cartagena, with additional suggestions and modifications. Click on the links below for the actual plans.
ORIGINAL PLANS PART 2
ORIGINAL PLANS PART 3
The original plans are a number years old now. You could call this one Felix's first "production" model. You can still make this machine, but you will have to substitute a few items that are no longer in production. A few years back Felix revised the plans. These were the basis for a set of plans that were published in a national magazine.
PLANS PART 1
REVISED PLANS PART 2
REVISED PLANS PART 3
NOTE: The revised plans do not mention the Radio Shack mast and R.S. tripod needed for the machine. See the original plans for than info. Not to rest on his laurels, Felix also designed a machine to make GIANT bubbles .. he calls it his EPHEMERAL MACHINE.
PLANS PART 1
EPHEMERAL PLANS PART 2
A variation of the bubble wheel that makes small bubbles within larger bubbles. BUBBLE WHEEL
I did not invent any of this. That credit goes to Felix Cartagena of Delaware, U.S.A. (his name and address are shown on the plans) I have built my own machine using these plans, and many of my kite flying friends have also built machines. ALL ARE DIFFERENT . Each of us used a different Rubbermaid box (the one specified in the plans is no longer in production) Each of us used a different way to route power from the battery to the fan and to the gear motor. Each of us used a different battery. There are other differences as well. My point is that if you build your own machine, it too will be different.
I did not use the connecting wires between the "spokes" of the bubble wand wheel. Felix says he gets both small and large bubbles from wheels with this design. I am satisfied (at present) with the size and amount of bubbles that my wheel produces.
Without the connecting wire "spokes" to reinforce the wheel, you must make sure that the hub of your wheel is sturdy. I found that requirement satisfied by using a rubber stopper as the hub. I drilled on hole in the center (axis) for the motor shaft. Additional holes are drilled (at 90 degrees to the axis) thru the stopper to hold the bubble wands. Space them to give the amount of spokes that you wish. I drilled 4 holes to hold 8 spokes as below:
After you have drilled a "hole" in the rubber stopper it will close up. This is OK, since it enables you to insert something (the motor shaft, or the bubble wand handles) into the rubber and it will stay put. You don't have to do it this way. It is only a possible method to use.
There is a commercially made BUBBLE WHEEL HUB for sale. The KITE STUDIO is selling a 12 hole hub
12 HOLE BUBBLE
WHEEL HUB $4.65 each
Shipping and Handling via UPS
Total amount of sale up to $20 is $7.00
(above prices are as of Feb 2005)
All parts of the BUBBLE MACHINE you can find locally EXCEPT the motor that drives the bubble wheel. That is a mail order item from Edmund Scientific (Scientifics) in New Jersey, U.S.A. The motor is actually a motor combined with a gearbox. It sells (as I write this) for about $25 LINK TO THE MOTOR PAGE
If you wish to make a machine without the Edmund Scientific motor, it is possible, but it is MUCH more work. Most fans will have an oscillation feature (to make the fan sweep back and forth) If you are handy with tools you may be able to disable that feature and use the shaft as a "power take off" point. Run a piece of flexible rubber tubing as a flexible drive shaft from the fan to the bubble wheel. One of my friends has done this and it does work. He has made other machines since and has use the Edmund motors for those.
BUBBLE JUICE : I don't bother making my own. There are formulas for bubble juice you can find on the net, but I was abe to find a commercial juice at a reasonable price at WAL-MART. However Wal-Mart no longer carries the same brand (Mr. Bubbles) as before. How you make your bubble wheel determines how fast the bubble juice is used up. I can go thru maybe 2 gallons in 3 or 4 hours. It sounds like a lot but not when you factor in how many SMILES you've given the kids! (and the adults too!)
This yard sign is avalible for purchase at my CafePress Store for $16.99 plus shipping.
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This page revised April 2008