This file is a short description of the BUBBLE MACHINE, with additional
suggestions and modifications. If, after reading this, you decide that
the BUBBLE MACHINE is not for you, you've saved yourself downloading
those large graphic files.
I did not invent this device. That credit goes to Felix Cartigina of Maryland, U.S.A. (his name and address are on the plans) I have built my own machine using these plans, and two of my kite flying group have also built machines. ALL ARE DIFFERENT. Each of us used a different RUBBERMAID box (the one specified is no longer in production). Each of us used a different way to route power to the motor and fan. 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 personally 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.
With out the "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 one hole in the center (axis) for the motor shaft. Additional holes are drilled (at 90 deg 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) 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.
All the parts of the BUBBLE MACHINE should be available locally except the motor that drives the Bubble Wheel. That is a mail order item from EDMUND SCIENTIFIC Co in New Jersey, U.S.A. The stock number is on the plans.
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 sugical 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. I opted for the motor version.
Total cost for parts will run aprox $100 U.S. Plus what ever battery you decide to use (and charger if needed)
BUBBLE JUICE: I don't bother making my own. There are formulas around, but I was able to find commercial juice at a reasonable price (at Wal-Mart) 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 may SMILES you've given the kids! (and adults too)
Felix may be upgrading his plans. If so they will be posted at this site.