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Rotary Box Contest

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Rotary Box Contest

What’s this box for? It’s a solution in search of a problem! Take a crack at suggesting what could be stored inside. We’ll choose the winner on Sept. 1, 2013. The best entry will receive software for designing gears of any size plus a set of Woodpeckers Setup Blocks. Both prizes are handy for designing and building gear-based projects. They're shown below.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Before you make your decision, however, let's take a look at what you're working with. As you can see, the doors of the box open and close at the same time. To open the box, you turn the gear on top of the box. This turns a larger gear hidden inside, which then turns six smaller gears—one for each door.

What's the story behind this odd thing? Listen to the guy who first built it, John Hutchinson:

"My rotary box started out as a solution to a specific problem. Back when I was playing poker with my buddies, someone suggested that we needed a fitting storage container for our boys-night-out cigars. The box came to me in a flurry of CAD calculations and sketching and was an instant hit.

Not for everybody, however. When doctors and spouses pointed out that cigars are not necessarily the path to true happiness, I reluctantly retired the box. It became nothing more than a conversation piece. As if the loss of a mission statement wasn’t enough, my fallen star slowly began to bind, warp and tear itself apart.

But hope springs eternal. One day a pen collector and turner suggested that I revisit the project as a home for his most-valued specimens. Eureka! My box had a new reason for being. Redesigned, it could hold transparent pen tubes. I enlisted the help of my brother Pete, who is a stickler for accuracy. Learning from my mistakes, he built a new box that still works fine.

My challenge to you is to come up with a more creative use for the box than merely storing pens. Something else could go in those tubes—or maybe you could ditch the tubes altogether. It certainly doesn't have to be practical. Any crazy suggestions are welcome!"

Click here to submit your suggestion. Good luck!