For this project my goal was to build a nut cracker that would be both spectacular and elegant. These two things are not the easiest things to combine in one project..
During the design I started with the spectacular; having a metal plunger that smashes down on the nut to crack it. By making most of it out of some nice wood already adds the side of elegance that I wanted. But it also needs to work nicely for it to be elegant so I started thinking of ways to use a lever to lift up the plunger and release it. After various concepts of arms and levers this is how I decided to make it:
The large arm is connected to a small hook that is pulled towards the plunger by a small spring. When the handle is up the hook grabs the plunger and pulls it up when pushing the handle down. When the plunger is all the way up the hook releases the plunger and the nut is smashed.
Check out the video to see how it works.