Marble MADhouse (marble machine)

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Project by jelleknikkers posted 705 days ago 3843 views 16 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m invited by the MAD Museum in Stratford upon Avon (UK) to build a wooden Marble Machine with lifting system: It’s my second international Marble Machine project and the first one outside of the Benelux. (I live in the Netherlands)
This Marble Machine is fully made of wood except screws, nails, bells, guiding rails, plexiglass cover, etc. It has 3 lifters (conveyor belt, ring gear and crank lifter which is mounted on the ring gear lifter. Marbles will roll down along 9 different paths. The machine is equipped with a halfpipe shaped marble collector at the bottom, when a marble falls off track, it will always land in the halfpipe to roll back to the conveyor belt.


Building hours: 143
Number of marbles: around 50
Number of lifters: 3
Number of paths: 9 (without the connection chutes)
Dimensions: 150 cm X 58 cm X 98 cm (60 inch X 23 inch X 39 inch)

Paths: Platform 1: (between conveyor belt and yellow gear)
  • Bell slalom, wooden funnel

Platform 2: (after yellow gear)

  • Branche to Lever lifter to Platform 3
  • Spiral staircase and chute to Platform 1
Carrousel splitter:
  • Rainbow tree
  • Popsickle drop
  • Seesaw with jingle bells path
  • Double connection chute, Jump track and tambourine
  • Double connection chute, Tipover and pinball drop
  • Loop the Loop (with emergency exit, when a marble not make the loop, it will drop back to the halfpipe.
Platform 3:
  • Nail slalom (leading to tip-over)
  • Connecting chute, Xylophone, Chimes track, slalom, drainhole to pinball drop

All paths will end in the halfpipe marble collector leading to the conveyor belt to platform 1.

Tools used: (machines only)
Band saw, scroll saw, circular saw, router, belt sander, drill press, cordless screwdriver, dremel, plexiglass bender, etc.

Visit my website for more pictures and videos

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Update 15-05: Video embedded

-- My unique hobby

18 comments so far

View Bigjoemann's profile


26 posts in 1162 days

#1 posted 705 days ago

WOW! That looks amazing. Good job.

View drbyte's profile


513 posts in 2564 days

#2 posted 705 days ago

Another GREAT one Jelle!! Keep them coming!!

-- Dennis, WV

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 808 days

#3 posted 705 days ago

Very Cool!

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View slapdash's profile


52 posts in 726 days

#4 posted 705 days ago


-- I'm not creative, I'm just bad at copying

View mtenterprises's profile (online now)


784 posts in 1195 days

#5 posted 705 days ago

I love it! Some day maybe I’ll get around to building one. Well maybe some day. Cool Vid love all the things happening at once! And the sound is Great Too!

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14402 posts in 2178 days

#6 posted 705 days ago

Awesome! I love it ;-) Someday I’m gonna build….............

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View woodpezzer's profile


123 posts in 706 days

#7 posted 705 days ago

WOW.. It’s a marble machine, a musical instrument and the video is kinda mesmerizing! VERY COOL!

View Skiedra's profile


254 posts in 794 days

#8 posted 705 days ago

Now that took alot of time and love. Amazing creation!

View hunter71's profile (online now)


1819 posts in 1689 days

#9 posted 705 days ago

These have always fascinated me. Guess it’s the kid in me. Great work.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 793 days

#10 posted 705 days ago


-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View helluvawreck's profile


14605 posts in 1369 days

#11 posted 705 days ago

Wow, I love these things and you did a wonderful job on it.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Bluepine38's profile


2876 posts in 1587 days

#12 posted 705 days ago

Wonderful way to pass the time, whether planning it, building it, or just watching it operate. I keep
thinking about building one of these, if I ever get time. That is the best thing about retirement, trying
to find time to do things. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View JayT's profile


1739 posts in 713 days

#13 posted 705 days ago

I love a good marble machine.

The musical elements of this one really work well together. Great job.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Gpops's profile


243 posts in 1947 days

#14 posted 705 days ago

Jelle, it’s awesome! Love the MAD Complicated thought and musical design. It is just completely fun to watch. Keep them coming. I am sending the link to my friends in the Netherlands. Don

View BTKS's profile


1954 posts in 1966 days

#15 posted 705 days ago

I just checked out the video. This is amazing. So well tuned, balanced and confusing. You are a true craftsman! My compliments.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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