I want to use some wooden balls that I have sitting around. They are 1.5 inches, or close to that size, so all of my track gauges are the wrong size. I’ll build some new ones for the new track size. Then I’m going to build another lift mechanism that uses a large motor and some levers. This one might be very similar on the bottom to my last lift, but the top bill be 90 degrees off from the bottom and will move one large arm in a circle.

The bottom lever will be different because it might oscillate. If it doesn’t, and follows an oval path of some sort, it will need to be attached to something that rotates 360 degrees. That means that the motor will need to be in two places at once and 90 degrees different in each location. I don’t have a solution yet, but I think that oscillating is the way to go. Then I can just run a single push-rod from the motor crank shaft down to the lower mechanism, and it will push and pull back and forth even if the top of that rod is also moving side to side as the motor crank turns.

Here’s the idea:


With a push-rod, the lower mechanism will need some additional parts to pick up balls. That’s the only thing that I dislike about this idea. I just don’t like to add little “doors” to let balls onto the pickup arm at the right moment, and I really don’t like the pickup arm pushing the balls back out of the way as it comes down and then letting them roll back into place as one is picked up. This does open up some interesting possibilities if I lift the balls up onto the pickup arm using a smaller lifting mechanism, like a short elevator. I’ll have to give it some more thought.