Reviving an ice cream maker.

In the course of human events, ice cream comes up. It’s summer here in the American Northeast, and with it comes high temperatures and a hankering for ice cream. Seeing as ice cream can be made at home, and seeing as it’s significantly easier, i.e. wayyy less labor-intensive, to make ice cream with an ice cream maker, I decided to hit up my neighborhood friends who I recalled had an ice cream maker in their possession.

Well, proud owners of an ice cream maker they were indeed, but when I showed up to pick the thing up and try the thing out, it turned out to be totally borked:

Borked ice cream maker is borked.

Never one to be deterred by broken stuff–quite the opposite, actually, as I’m typically inspired to fix it–I took the thing home and took it apart. It should have been a lot easier to do so than it actually was, but Cuisinart decided it needed to do dumb things like include a bump in the middle of one of its machine’s slotted screws. Boo. Nothing modifying a flat-head screwdriver with a Dremel tool couldn’t fix…

One forever compromised screwdriver later, I was in business and had the whole thing apart. The culprit was a very obviously broken pinion gear in the ice cream maker’s motor reduction gear train.

dead gear
This ground gear grinds my gears less than fasteners designed to impede consumer repair.

A quick Internet search showed that, unlike in the case of the Baratza coffee grinder, there were no replacement gears for this ice cream maker. This is where most would give up, but not I! This was a chance to pick up where I left off on said coffee grinder overhaul and see the design and creation of a replacement gear through CAD and 3D printing through to fruition! Sooo that’s exactly what I did. Several hours and multiple iterations later, I had something that fit:

red 3d-printed gear
Eureka! It fits. Finally.

Moreover, it worked:

Not-so-melodic meshing, but still music to my ears.

And when I put it all back together, it miraculously made ice cream (recipe credit to one Elise Bauer)!

Round and round it churns the ice cream.

And, to summarize in six seconds, I present to you an Instagram post:

Six seconds of bliss, but an eternity of ice cream.