Trying new things can be challenging and they don't always seem to have worked out immediately. I tried a new Wild Gears technique that I'm not quite sure what to call. It uses a stationary center gear, and then a hoop placed around the gear, and then a moving gear inside the hoop.
It gave an odd organic result that has a little more space for variation and finesse that I was hoping for. But it is still and interesting little technique that makes designs unlike anything I've ever made before. Perhaps someone else will find inspiration from this experiment.
There are two announcements and one reminder today.
1) Improved Shipping Rates:
I have managed to secure better shipping rates though Canada Post! This is especially good for customers outside of North America.
Shipping to Australia gets free shipping on orders of at least 3 large gear sets (two small gear sets count as one large gear set). As well as flat rates of CAD$25 for packages containing no large gear sets, and CAD$50 for any orders with large gear sets that don't qualify for free shipping. This is almost a 40% reduction in shipping rates to Australia.
Shipping to Europe gets free shipping on orders of at least 3 large gear sets too. If you don't qualify for free shipping packages with no large gear sets are CAD$15 shipping and CAD$45 for orders with at least one large gear set.
Shipping in Canada is free at two large gear sets or more. And below that it'll be CAD$10 for an order with no large gear sets and $20 for an order with a large gear set.
Shipping to the USA gets free shipping on orders of at least 3 large gear sets too. If you don't qualify for free shipping packages with no large gear sets are CAD$12 shipping and CAD$19 for orders with at least one large gear set.
If you are buying Wild Gears and don's see your destination listed here, you can still order through the Wild Gears shop and it will make you a shipping quote. If you are concerned about the quote, or are buying several gear sets and are wondering about free shipping to your destination please contact me directly at email@example.com.
These are new shipping rates that I'm trying out so they might still change a bit, but this is where they are for now. I'm excited to be able to offer free shipping to more places and to be able to lower the shipping rates to most places.
2) Refer a Friend!
I'm trying out something new. At the wild gears shop there is now a widget where you can get a referral code to share with other people. It will get them $20 off their order and will give you $20 off your next order once they use it. If you successfully refer a lot of people you can stack up your $20 discounts and get free gear sets.
I've seen that some browsers automatically block the widget, so if you can't see the refer a friend tool try a different browser or look on your phone.
If you have any problems, comments, or successes with this new program I'd like to hear about them.
This is a new offering and I think the give $20 get $20 level will work out okay but if it turns out to be a bad idea I'll have to change the offer in some way, but even if I do change it I will honor any existing credits generated.
Christmas Shipping Reminder!
Get your orders in as soon as possible. Yes, it is technically possible to ship something within North America in under a week. But as the Christmas shipping rush ramps up the likelihood of system delays increases.
There is still time to get your packages delivered before Christmas but act swiftly to avoid shipping woes.
Thank-you for reading this update,
New: Extra Long Rack gear segments!
This gear sets packs twelve pieces of extra long rack segments into it. Combined they are over 5 meters long and can make 2.5 m of parallel tracks.
This gear set is excellent as part of a setup for large format composition like those done by Henry Lees
The Extra Long Linear Modular gear set is available in the Linear Modular gear set listing under the pull down menu
There are several exciting mid-year announcements:
Rack Hoops gear set
The Rack Shapes gear set (product listing here) is three pages of non-circular hoops, and some gears. There are nested hoop sets of triangles, squares, pentagons, and octagons all made with straight gear segments for the sides. These open up a bunch of interesting spaces to explore. The one I am currently diving into is using the rack segments to position and shift smaller hoops accurately and repeatably.
The three pages of the gear set can be purchased individually, or as a bundle for a discount.
Encyclopedic 2: 31-90 gear set
The Encyclopedic 2: 31-90 gear set (product listing here) is a continuation of the original Encyclopedic gear set. Its main focus is making each gear in the series have two identical sets of pen holes; one set aligned with the gear teeth and the other aligned with the gaps in the gear teeth.
This is primarily needed if you are making a design that has elements in a ring and other elements around a gear; for proper alignment of the different elements some of them will need to be made with pen holes aligned with the gaps instead of the teeth.
For example if you use a 24 gear in a 72 ring and make a design, then take out the 24 gear and put a 72 gear in the 72 ring and make the 72 gear stationary (with a magnet perhaps, or some putty) and remove the 72 ring then to continue the design with a 24 gear around the stationary 72 ring you'd need a 24 gear with pen holes aligned with the gaps in the gear teeth.
These two sets of pen holes (tooth and gap) can also be used to make designs with 1/2 tooth step offset designs, which is otherwise not possible.
This gear set has several options. It is available as a whole bundle of all three pages, as individual pages for smaller number ranges, or as one page of "No Primes" which has removed all the gears that are prime, or close to* prime from the gear set to fit the remaining ones on one page.
*close to prime: all gears with only two prime factors and one of them being >13 were removed, some of the gears like that with a prime factor of 13 were removed too. For a full list of gears in the No Primes gear set see the product listing.
Octuple Dense 112 gear
Packing so many columns of pen holes into gears in the Encyclopedic 2 gear set inspired me to see if I could make an octuple dense gear. I think that for almost all uses this density of pen holes is overkill but there's only one way to find out. This gear has 112 teeth and 8 full columns (A-H) of small pen holes and 8 columns of medium pen holes fit into the gaps. 12 pen holes per column for the small pen holes and 5 pen holes per column for the medium pen holes.
My plan is to include this gear (and diminutive frame) as a free gift with each order until August 20th (one month). After that I'll look at pricing making a listing for it; it'll probably be CAD$10 at that point.
Shipping Update (Europe and UK)
Shipping rates and options have been simplified:
All packages will be shipped with tracking numbers via air.
I hope that this brings some more consistency to ordering Wild Gears into Europe. I know that the dynamic shipping rate calculator got some funny ideas sometimes. I continue to strive to provide the most reliable and least expensive shipping options to all Wild Gears fans world wide.
Note that if you are buying several small gear sets in one order the shipping quote generator might get confused and ask for $45, if that happens please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help sort that out for you.
Thank-you for taking the time to read this update. Please let me know if you have any questions.
The new gear sets are now available!
The Paisley gear set
I'm really excited to make a bunch of art with these new gears and share it with everyone. But for now the listings are up and they will start shipping later this week.
2022 News and Announcments!
Its the start of a new year and there are several pieces of news that you might be interested in:
1. Upcoming Price Changes
2. New Gear Sets
There are two new gear sets. The Square Hoops gear set and the Paisley gear set. The major theme of each gear set is complete but I plan to give two weeks (Jan 21) after this announcement (Jan 7) for discussion of design details and finalization of the designs before beginning production and shipping.
The Square Hoops gear set
The Square Hoops gear set is a collection of non-circular gears nested in each other. Points for final design development include adding pen hole fans where there is space on the 4 inner non-circular gears. Detailing on the four 60 tooth gears. Open for ideas on what would be interesting things to do with these 60 gears. There is also space for other small details to be added to this gear set. What small details would interest you?
Often when designing a gear set I'll complete the main theme (big nested non-circular gears) and still have some space and cutting budget left on the design. There is where I'll try and add a complementary minor theme to the gear set. This time I'm hoping to solicit thoughts, suggestions, and requests to tap some options that might not have immediately occurred to me. My first thought for a minor theme is that there is some room in the corners of the frames for smallish gears to be cutout. I think that prime numbers are under represented in Wild Gears; they are not often present because they only make very dense designs. I think that very dense designs in non-circular rings look spectacular; they get all bendy and 3D looking in the corners. So this might be a good place for some small prime gears as a minor theme for the gear set.
The Paisley gear set
There is a piece in the Strange Shapes 2 gear set that was the inspiration for the Paisley gear set. It was used to great effect by u/inksphere on reddit to make some stunning designs. Examples #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7.
I'm sure that there are many unexplored ways to put this asymmetrical type of shape to great use.
Where to find and discuss these gear sets
The pre-order pages are posted here:
To discuss these gear sets you have several options. You can:
4. Customer reviews and testimonials
There is now a Reviews and Testimonials page for Wild Gears. If you would like to share your opinion/experience/feelings about Wild Gears please use the form on that page and it will be posted.
At some point this might update to a fancier review widget but for now it is low-tech and simple.
4. Expanded shipping options
Last fall I quietly added some lower cost shipping options for many destinations. The main one is "Small Packet International Air" or "International Air" depending of package weight. This is a less expensive option compared to a standard tracked packet shipment. There are two key differences though:
It is also possible to ship things to some destinations by boat for reduced shipping fees but the delivery window for that option is usually listed as 4-12 weeks and the above discussion about no tracking number applies here.
Thank-you so much for taking the time and interest to read this news. I hope to be more active this year, making new videos, and sharing techniques. If you have any questions you can always reach out to me directly by email at email@example.com
Happy New Year,
Wild Gears Fall Announcements
There are several pieces of exciting news today!
1. Holiday Order Deadlines:
For the best chance of receiving your Wild Gears before Christmas please order by the first week of December; ideally before the end of November. Christmas and the busy shipping season are coming up. In theory packages should be delivered to Canada, the USA, and Europe in 2 weeks or less but as we get into December there is much more parcel volume so some delay in handling and delivery is to be expected.
2. Wood Gear Sets:
You can now buy Wild Gears made from 3 mm Baltic Birch Plywood. Most gear sets should have a pull down menu to select wood instead of acrylic.
I've decided to start offering this option for two reasons: the wood looks very nice and I wanted a more sustainable non-plastic option.
Baltic Birch has not yet been tested for modular gear sets. If you are really interested in wooden modular gear sets send me a message.
The wood is not painted or otherwise coated in any way. If you plan to stain or oil or varnish your wooden gear sets please test it on a few small pieces first; not just to see how the wood takes it but also to ensure that the gears still move freely after the coating dries.
In the picture some of the gears look very bright and shiny and other look quite dull. That is from the luster of the wood grain and different gears being aligned with the light differently.
3. Shipping Crate option:
Most packages arrive safely at their destination with less than 1% of Wild Gears shipments arriving damaged. But if you want more peace of mind you can now make the packaging sturdier.
For larger packages (3 or more large gear sets) a wooden box can be added to the order. It will be a finger jointed box that will be sized to the order. It will not have fasteners holding it shut; rather it'll be wrapped in pallet wrap (cling film for shipping) before being packed in the standard snug cardboard shipping material.
The wooden box will be included standard as part of packaging for any order of $1000 or more.
For thinner packages a sheet of the wood can be added to the order. It will be a bit larger than the gear sets and will provide added protection against bending and being dropped on its corners.
4. New Gear Set: “The Kitchen Sink”
In the summer I put together a gear set that helped fill the gaps in series of gears. As a gear set it has less of a theme than I usually design for. It has hoops, and double dense gears, big gears and small gears, and gears in gears.
The hoops are the thickness of the hoop in the Compact Gear Set but are quite a bit larger and so are delicate. If you are interested in this gear set but want thicker hoops I can work with you on that; email if this is of interest to you.
This gear set started as a custom collection of gears for a specific individual and highlights the themes and techniques that they most use. Hopefully there'll be another blog post linking to some of their work and themes in the coming days.
5. New Customization option: Mix and Match gear set
In working on The Kitchen Sink I realized that there are so many gear sets now that some elements and themes are spread across many gear sets. I want to make the facets of Wild Gears that you find interesting as accessible as possible. To that end I am offering a new way to customize a gear set. You can select which pieces from other gear sets that you want and have them collected on one gear set.
The way this works is that you'll send a list of which gears you want and what set each of them is from and I'll collect them and arrange them on one large sheet. You don't have to know precisely what will fit; just provide a list, ideally in order of importance and I'll put it together and let you know if there is more room or what didn't fit and we can go from there. This process takes time so your order will take longer to ship, how long depends on how much emailing is required and how busy it is.
Thank-you for your interest in new developments with Wild Gears!
Wild Gears Sale
Starting today you can get $20 off your order. Use the coupon code "HomeFun".
I know a lot of people are stuck at home due to COVID-19. I'd like to help make that time more enjoyable.
I have never run a sale like this before, so it's a big departure for me. And it is just me; Wild Gears is my business that I've build up over the last 6 years. I'm trying to strike a fine balance because I think that Wild Gears could be great for people to have, now more than ever, and I also know that Wild Gears are expensive. I don't want to be tastelessly promoting Wild Gears while everyone is struggling but I do want to do something; this is one way that I can support people.
I thought about discounting the Compact Gear Set but decided to use the coupon code so that you have more choice and flexibility in what to get.
I don't usually ask for things like this, but if you know of a person, or group that you think might be into Wild Gears could you please let them know about the sale?
In case this is the first that you've heard of Wild Gears, let me tell you a bit about it.
Wild Gears are a drawing toy and tool for people of all ages. Like other spirograph toys it uses gears, pens, and paper to draw wonderful art.
Examples of the art on Reddit
A video of the gears in action
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, I want to hear from you. You can comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
My current plan is to run this coupon code until at least the end of April but this offer might change before then.
As part of production Wild Gears are already wiped down with 99% rubbing alcohol. I wear gloves to keep my hands safe from that. I will be simply extending the use of clean gloves to encompass the rest of the handling and packing process.
If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below
The Wild Gears Shop now lists prices in CAD (Canadian Dollars) rather than USD (American Dollars). The prices may look higher $99 CAD compared to $80 USD but as of 7PM March 13 2020 (time of writing) $99 CAD is just $71 USD.
My intention is not to lower the prices by much but I also don't want to micromanage them so I took a price conversion that would sit around $76 USD for the past year of currency price fictionalizations.
If some price seems wildly incorrect, for an item or for shipping, I'd like to hear about it. These changes have been made quickly and an error may have slipped in. I am making these changes now because of sudden changes made by my web store provider.
In the coming month I hope to further improve the Wild Gears Shop to display the prices in your preferred currency. And if I can manage it to generate more precise shipping quotes for each order.
Aaron Bleackley, designer of Wild Gears