You’ll Want to Build This Mesmerizing Sand Pendulum — And Then Stare at it for Hours

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design Metalworking Workshop
You’ll Want to Build This Mesmerizing Sand Pendulum — And Then Stare at it for Hours


A close cousin of desktop zen gardens, a sand pendulum is a decorative piece that relies on momentum to furrow fractalesque patterns into a plot of sand. These contraptions are mesmerizing to watch, make great gifts, and are great additions to any peaceful area of your home.

Reddit user the7Sins made a sand pendulum completely from scratch, and the resulting build looks absolutely beautiful. First he ground and polished the tip of the pendulum from the cone-shaped tip of a steel bar. The fact that the twisted texture of the steel bar mirrors the pattern it draws in the sand is a nice, visually engaging touch.

Next, he soldered the cone to a thin metal bar which acts as the main arm of the pendulum. The rest of the build seems pretty straightforward: bending three threaded bars; cutting out, grinding, and drilling holes in the ring; drilling holes in the base plate; and bending M-shaped and S-shaped bars to support the pendulum on the structure.

To finish it off, he spray painted the whole structure black, screwed it together, and added some sand. Be sure to check out the Imgur album to see the full set of build photos. And if you build your own sand pendulum, be sure to let us see it in the comments below.


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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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