Sunday, December 16, 2007

Loop d' Loops

Everyone loves the loop. It even looks good without any marbles using the loop. Just imagining the marble swooping through the curves is sometimes almost as good. Today I set out to finish and install a multiple loop section on my current project, a table top sculpture. I not only finished the loop, but also had a personal best today - 7 loops in a row!

I always bend my curves inside track first, then outside. It seems to work better that way. But for loop d' loops that is not the way. Since there will not be an inside or outside to the corner, both wires of the track can, and should be, bent at the same time. This way the curve is exactly the same, and it is more than twice as fast to build!

Now back to the 7 loops. I will post a picture once I get a few taken tomorrow. The marble rolls down a decline about 18" or so and enters three elliptical loops (6-7" tall each) and then speeds into 4 ever decreasing loops (starting at a 4" diameter, ends with about 2 .5") which extend out to the side. It looks and sounds really cool. 7 *swishes* in a row that go increasingly faster is pretty satisfying to listen to.

The key to making a good loop, is bending a nice smooth curve, making your loops elliptical to conserve energy, and being able to hold the tracks evenly apart when you make your welds. The track in my loops is 1/8" narrower than my regular track. The closer the track rails are together, the faster the marble will roll.

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