|Project by William||posted 02-04-2013 10:13 PM||3037 views||10 times favorited||35 comments|
This is my third marble machine. It is called the Marble Tower. The original design is by a man named Richard Brown. He has done some amzing work on marble machines. If you’d like, you can find him on You Tube under the name xeniaguy2.
I really enjoyed building this, as I have all the marble machines so far. However, for you all that keep up with my work, you know I normally provide a link where you can purchase plans for anything I build using plans. I will not do that for this project. The plans are called the Amazing Marble Machine Pattern Pack and are not hard to find if you want them. They are sold by one of the major scroll sawing magazine companies.
I will not provide a link because I do not like to sound like I am recommending something that will give some people issues. I thoroughly enjoyed building this. However, I really enjoy problem solving and puzzles. There are so many errors in the plans, if you are not extra, extra careful and read four steps ahead at all times, you will either reach point where you have to start over, or you will have to redesign (the way I done) certain aspects of the project to make it all work. I prefer the redesigning method because, to me, that was part of the fun of it.
If you try to follow the plans to the letter, there are just too many times that measurements for the parts lists and the overall dimensioned drawings do not correspond with each other, and other times, there are assemblies where you are told one thing in the drawings, and something different in the written instructions.
I am not ranting. I had a blast building this. I am only warning anyone who does go looking for the plans. please do not get mad at me if you buy the plans and run into similar issues. I’ve had this problem before with another project. If you wish to contact me, I am happy to help solve any issues you have, but I will not help if you get an attitude towards me. I have warned you of the problems beforehand.
All that being said, this thing is a lot of fun to build, and to play with. It holds twenty six marble in the storage unit up top. It has a start button that releases the first marble that leaves the unit either left or right. Once that marble reaches bottom, it actuates a system that automatically releases the next marble that will take the alternating path. This marble will, in turn, release the next, and it’ll keep going until all the marbles reach bottom. The plans say six minutes, but timing mine, it took five minutes and eighteen seconds from the time the start button was pushed until the last of twenty six marbles completed it’s run.
The plans give you all measurements to be cut out of standard size plywood. As some of you know, I absolutely hate plywood and will not use it if at all possible. I used solid wood. The boxes, and some of the braces and such, are cottonwood. The marble runs and assemblies are sapelle. The bases and feet are sycomore.
Also, I changed some things on the plans, not because of issues with the plans, but because of my personal preferences. For example, the plans give you instructions on how to make a jig to glue up the ramps and tracks out of three seperate pieces. Instead, I cut all these parts out of solid stock using a different sort of jig I threw together my self for the table saw.
So, I don’t know what else to say about it. I’m glad to answer any questions.
Before asking though, watch the video: