Kinestrata, a wooden marble machine

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Project by Derek Hugger posted 01-23-2013 02:49 AM 10355 views 33 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Kinestrata, whose roots translate to “motion layers” was a six month effort. The machine’s 390 parts took roughly 400 hours to design and construct, and over 100 more to document. Kinestrata is fully mechanical, weight and escapement driven, contains four unique tracks, operates continuously for one minute per wind, and is roughly 11×17 x 5 inches in size. It is built primarily from various thicknesses of baltic birch plywood, but also relies on aluminum tubes, stainless steel rods and fasteners, and brass tubes for structure, pivots and bearing surfaces, as well as power and audible tones. Kinestrata’s lift mechanism is powered by a 2.5 lb stainless steel weight, and its timing is regulated by a pendulum and graham escapement that are neatly tucked in the back of the machine. The lift mechanism carries nearly a dozen 1/2” stainless steel balls at once, handing each ball off to the next highest lifter ring before eventually releasing them down the tracks. As Kinestrata runs, the wind weight rises, the main weight falls, balls journey up and race down, and chimes play, all to the steady beat of lifters.

Here’s a video of Kinestrata in action:

New HD video:

Plans are available at

47 comments so far

View markswoodcraft's profile


175 posts in 1723 days

#1 posted 01-23-2013 03:29 AM


View a1Jim's profile


115674 posts in 3180 days

#2 posted 01-23-2013 03:30 AM

Wow this is an amazing piece great job.

-- Custom furniture

View rlrobinhood's profile


80 posts in 2249 days

#3 posted 01-23-2013 03:44 AM

Looks awesome!!! You should post a video of it working. Nice job.

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 2746 days

#4 posted 01-23-2013 03:52 AM

Rlrobinhood, there is a video at – amazing stuff.

View Natalie 's profile


367 posts in 1569 days

#5 posted 01-23-2013 04:01 AM

Sounds like a great way to spend your Zen time.
I used to spin wool then weave blankets. This meant I individually created each thread then placed them one at time until it was a blanket. Sounds insane, but in fact it was my escape from the world and my form of meditation.


-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17933 posts in 3279 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 06:05 AM

Awesome! I love it. Great build. Gives me more ideas for my bucket list ;-)) as if I need any more!

Welcome to LJ! What else do you have up your sleeve ;-))

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

View William's profile


9944 posts in 2445 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 01:04 PM

What else can I say?

I will soon be working on my third marble machine, but none of them are anywhere near as elaborate as this.
It appears to me that the inner workings are more like a finely built wooden gear clock than a traditional marble machine. That gives it a WOW factor that makes the ones I’ve built pale in comparison.


View William's profile


9944 posts in 2445 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 01:06 PM

I gotta ask.
Did you design this or work from plans?
Whether you did or not, are plans available?
I doubt I’d ever attempt this one, but I’d buy the plans just to study the workings of it.


View helluvawreck's profile


25289 posts in 2470 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 01:19 PM

Wow! What can I say? It’s spectacular. It’s amazing. I wish that you had a video of it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 huff's profile


2828 posts in 2888 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 01:53 PM

Makes me want to comment, but have no idea what to say!.....but I mean that in a good way.

-- John @

View JayT's profile


5196 posts in 1814 days

#11 posted 01-23-2013 01:57 PM

Most marble machines are fun toys, this one is art! Fabulous job.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1779 days

#12 posted 01-23-2013 03:17 PM

Incredible! Love every detail of it, very impressive talent.


View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 2976 days

#13 posted 01-23-2013 03:25 PM


-- ā€œI am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.ā€ Pablo Picasso

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2448 posts in 2486 days

#14 posted 01-23-2013 03:40 PM

pretty cool, and amazingly elaborate. Very impressive!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2937 days

#15 posted 01-23-2013 05:20 PM

Wow, this is way over the top. I love it! Amazing project and so well done. a must have for those who still have all their marbles. Welcome to LJ. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your mind boggling projects.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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