Kinestrata, a wooden marble machine

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Project by dhugger posted 581 days ago 4953 views 30 times favorited 46 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

46 comments so far

View markswoodcraft's profile


175 posts in 751 days

#1 posted 581 days ago


View a1Jim's profile


112014 posts in 2208 days

#2 posted 581 days ago

Wow this is an amazing piece great job.

-- Custom furniture

View rlrobinhood's profile


78 posts in 1277 days

#3 posted 581 days ago

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

View Elizabeth's profile


797 posts in 1774 days

#4 posted 581 days ago

Rlrobinhood, there is a video at – amazing stuff.

View Natalie 's profile


366 posts in 597 days

#5 posted 581 days ago

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


14722 posts in 2307 days

#6 posted 581 days ago

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 ;-))

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

View William's profile


8976 posts in 1473 days

#7 posted 581 days ago

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


8976 posts in 1473 days

#8 posted 581 days ago

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


15622 posts in 1498 days

#9 posted 581 days ago

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


2799 posts in 1916 days

#10 posted 581 days ago

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 (online now)


2182 posts in 842 days

#11 posted 581 days ago

Most marble machines are fun toys, this one is art! Fabulous 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 Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 807 days

#12 posted 580 days ago

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


View Tomoose's profile


319 posts in 2004 days

#13 posted 580 days ago


-- cut it twice and it's still too short...

View Manitario's profile (online now)


2301 posts in 1514 days

#14 posted 580 days ago

pretty cool, and amazingly elaborate. Very impressive!

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

View stefang's profile


12929 posts in 1965 days

#15 posted 580 days ago

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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