Friday, December 12, 2008
(above) This photo shows the first side of the part with the chamfer. Once I did all of the parts on one side, then I set my stop, and did the other side. With the tool shown I cut the chamfer, and faced the end so it was smooth.
(above) The center drill. The center drill just cuts a small hole to make sure the drill bit cuts true in the next step.
(above) Now I will drill the hole. It's drilled 1/64th under 3/8" (the OD of the bronze bearing)
(above) Now the final drilling step, the reamer. Since plastic "closes" on you after you've cut it, the reamer gets the plastic closest to the size you want without going over, or being too small.
Finally, here is the bronze bearing inserted into the plastic. The bearing on the left is to show you the bearing halfway in, and the bearing on the right is all the way in. I've still got more than a hundred to go. My son, who is 10, has drilled more than 20. I think he could do them all.... Who says child labor is wrong?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Desktop #33 (a gift for someone's Dad)
This picture (below) shows the chain lift - lifting a yellow marble. The chain lift picks up and releases about 3 marbles per minute.
Here is a photo showing a couple marbles in motion.
In this picture (below) you can see the "Scales of Justice". The scales are really cool to watch. The scales will tip when the third marble rolls into the side closest in this photo. The other side has several smaller marbles to provide the counter weight so it will reset itself when the other marbles roll out. It tips with 3 marbles but is inconsistent with how many marbles are dumped out. Sometimes only one marble goes, mostly two marbles will dump out, and then sometimes all of them dump.
See the marble collector at the top of the photo.
And as you can see, (below) this sculpture will be going to the law offices of Kam, Ebersbach and Lewis. They are trial lawyers.
Friday, October 17, 2008
To make the letters I welded wire into a square, 3.125" high X 2" wide. I then cut the wires for the letters and fit them into the wire square to make sure they were all the same height and width. The B's S's and R's are the hardest because they all have curves.
Below you can see the names after they were installed in the sculpture. I made sure that I added them first so I had plenty of room for them, and I didn't weld myself into a corner, so to speak. When somebody comes in to his office, they will have no doubt of who this sculpture belongs to, or where they are.
To also reinforce the idea of a lawyers office, I also constructed a "scales of justice". This element interacts with the marbles. The right side of the scales has a permanent number of marbles. The right side of the scale does not lose or gain any marbles (unless you change it by hand), it is the counter-weight side. The left side will have a track to feed it and when the left side has one more marble than the right it will tilt down to the left and drop the marbles onto the large receiving plate below. There are a couple things that made this tricky. One is that I had to come up with some way to make the left side tip the marbles out when it dropped down to dump the marbles. To do this I attached a 1/16" wire to the back of the left plate. When it gets full (one more marble than the right side) and drops, this wire catches after a couple inches of downward travel and provides the lift needed at the back to tip the marbles out the front. The ring that is around the chain is there to keep the left side from swinging around too much after the marbles have rolled out. It would be bad for it to swing around too much and catch one of the ball pick-ups on it's way down.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
There are three tracks on this desktop. My previous desktop had 4 tracks; two loop d' loop tracks, 1 tall spiral and 1 long track with elements. The person requesting this current desktop didn't much care for the teeter totter, or the loop d' loops (he said they go too fast). So I made this one with extra track, since that was what they wanted. In fact I was so focused on the track I almost didn't have room to add the tipping arm and spiral that are connected on the same track. But, with a little "can do" attitude, I got it to work. : )
The last thing I have changed for the better is where I merge tracks. I have found that using a little bit of plate eliminates the need for lots of wire. When one track dumps into another, the ball has to get over the rail onto it's new track. Now, this is not a problem if I have some vertical room to use. If I don't, then I have to use several wires to keep the ball moving, and not make a spot where the marbles can settle before merging. With the plate, that problem is eliminated completely and easily.
I don't have a snapshot handy, but here's the video on youtube:
Saturday, September 13, 2008
So here's a couple pics, and the video I have uploaded to YouTube.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
One of the paths goes into the Ferris Wheel Lift. The 1-3/8" marble is directed around the outside of a large 12" ring. The ring has tines that catch the marble, and allow the marble to spin the wheel. When the wheel spins there is a smaller ring on the inside that lifts 1" marbles, about 4 inches, onto their own small path. They race out and around before returning to the lift. I have only made two of these elements, this being the second one. I spent a lot of time turning this one over in my head to make sure it was built correctly. I think it came out just right. The most complicated part to making this element was getting the bearing exactly in the center of the large ring. Once that was accomplished, the rest was easier, but no less important. Building slow, is the key to building something like this. Below is a video of the Ferris Wheel Lift.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
While the station is not unique -- there are hundreds of online stations broadcasting the same stuff as Honey Creek Radio -- I believe you'll experience a good musical vibe when listening to Honey Creek Radio. Music is changed every 2 to 3 days. Since January 2008 Honey Creek Radio has been listened to in over 40 countries. Some days no one listens while on other days, many tune in to listen to a great mix of Classical, Celtic, Folk, and Native American music. While we here in the USA sleep, there are people tuning into Honey Creek Radio to hear a wonderful mix of artists and albums of quiet -- and not so quiet -- Gospel Hymns.
But the really cool part, for me, is that he's made me some rolling ball commercials! It was pretty surreal when I was listening to the station the first time, and then all of the sudden a commercial for my rolling ball sculptures played... I am not sure what I felt. It was a very odd experience as I had several emotions at once. It was very, very cool. So since that time Dad has made me several commercials. Here are the two most recent:
Rolling Ball Ad 01
Rolling Ball Ad 02
Right click and save the ad to your desktop to play it. They are in mp3 format. Are you looking to have a commercial recorded? Go to his site and drop him an email. Dad, (Ed) would love to work out an awesome sounding commercial. With google adwords you can set up ads to play on the FM radio. And you'll need a commercial to do that...
I'm sure there will be more rolling ball ads, and I will post them when I get them. : )
My current poll asked you, the reader, to pick what type of sculpture you would like to have. You were allowed to pick more than one thing. 29 people participated in this poll. Here are the results:
Large Floor Standing - 3 votes (10%)
Wall Hanging - 14 votes (48%)
Desktop - 7 votes (24%)
Tabletop - 8 votes (27%)
Enclosed in Glass - 4 votes (13%)
With bowling balls - 2 votes (6%)
Solar powered - 10 votes (34%)
Hand powered - 2 votes (6%)
Rolling Ball Clock - 3 votes (10%)
Ceiling mounted - 6 votes (20%)
Big enough to ride on - 5 votes (17%)
Wooden - 4 votes (13%)
'Only' Loop d' loops - 0 votes
Interactive - 6 votes (20%)
I thought it interesting, but not too surprising, that the wall hanging and solar powered took the top votes. A wall hanging sculpture is a good way to have a sculpture displayed without needing to make space to display it. As for solar powered, any of you who have purchased a sculpture from me with a DC motor could easily hook it to a solar panel, for a sun powered kinetic art rolling ball sculpture.
I am not sure what the defining difference between a desktop and a tabletop sculpture. If I had to differentiate between the two, I would say that the tabletop is a small motorized rbs, whereas the desktop would be non-motorized, it's all you.
Thank you everyone who voted and I look forward to the results of my next poll...
Monday, July 21, 2008
This is the exit following the "plinko track scrambler" There are 3 possible paths the marbles can take, each one starting with a tipping arm.
Spaghetti "S" track
Spaghetti "S" track, top view
Marbles just getting ready to exit the plinko track scrambler into one of the three waiting tipping arms, randomly.
Top and bottom sections of the loop d' loop track. 6 inversions total with a nice jump into a basket at the bottom.
This is new. Several marbles are shot at high speed up into this section of stainless steel sheet metal. If the marbles are close enough they will change positions in the "L" section at the top. Then they reverse direction and roll back out the way they rolled in and go straight into the "plinko track scrambler". The marbles have a very pleasant "free" feeling to them as they wobble around on the hard surface before joining back up with the track.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Something I have noticed is that my wire comes in two lengths. 12ft and 10ft. The 12ft wire is very springy and hard to bend, I think it is 316 stainless. The 10ft pieces however are easy to bend, and not springy at tall, leading me to believe it's 304 stainless. It doesn't make any difference, except that the 12ft stuff is harder to bend. Make sure when you buy wire that it is 304. They may give you a higher grade but are not really doing you a favor. I bend most of my track by hand, and use a couple pairs of strong needle nose pliers to get what my fingers cannot. The easier to bend the better.
The teeter totter can be problematic on any sculpture because if the marbles are spaced too closely, then while one end of the teeter is down because of the marble rolling over it, the other end is up and will allow the marble that's following to drop out. I fix this problem by having the spiral below to catch any dropping marbles, or a detour around the teeter-totter and then back on to the track.
The tipping arm can be tricky as well. If I do not add a little piece of wire that holds back extra marbles while the arm is dropping a marble from the upper track to the lower track, then the extras will just fly off over the top of the arm.
These are the steps I use to make one:
1) make frame, 1/4" round rod
2) make loop d' loop, make sure it works
3) make track splitter
4) attach loop d' loop to frame, test a little
5) attach track splitter
6) make the track that people will drop the marbles into - the one that leads directly into the splitter.
6) make track that will lead from switch to loop d' loop. All track should be made "on" the sculpture.
7) make next section of track leading from other side of track splitter, about 5 ft of track here.
8) make, then attach tipping arm
9) make teeter totter.
10) make track leading from exit of tipping arm to entrance of teeter-totter. make sure the ball picks up enough speed. Just a little will do, but it won't roll over if it's too slow.
11) attach teeter totter
12) make spiral, then eyeball where it will be, and make the entrance and exit tracks leading into and out of the spiral, OFF the sculpture. this way you can easily get to the critical weld.
13) install spiral
14) make the track that leads from the teeter-totter to the spiral.
15) make the track that leads out of the loop, that will carry the marble that exits.
16) Now make track that starts from the end of the spiral and connect it directly into the track leaving the loop d' loop.
17) make and add spinner if desired
18) bend up a speed bump for the "marbles on track" element. Make sure the marble has good speed for this element.
Add the supports and whatever else is needed as you go. Then you can easily drop in marbles to test it as you build. Adding the track supports as you go also helps keep the track in place once you find where it needs to be. It is held in place by the support, and you can keep bending.
Now final testing. Drop in lots of marbles at once to see where things go wrong, and adjust it. Clean it, and your ready to show it off!
Here's three recent desktops; #25, #24 and #19 respectively.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
These desktops use more wire that you would think. I use at least 60ft of 1/8" wire, 5ft of 1/4" rod and 3 pivot bearings. The wire adds up quickly as it's not just used for the track, but also for support wire and guardrail.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
What is shown in the photo is everything I will need, except for the track that will lead the ball from one element to the next. There are the frames, (upper left and right), the loop d' loops, the track splitters (center), tipping arms (right of the splitters), teeter totters (bottom center), and spirals. 4 of each. The one element not shown is the "marbles on track" element. That particular element is added to the track where the ball has enough speed. Want to see what I'm talking about? See the video below of #16. (Thanks Ann!)
Friday, June 13, 2008
See this desktop sculpture in action below...
Saturday, May 31, 2008
For you who cannot view youtube videos, such as those of you in the military, I have also uploaded my recent videos to Google video. : )
Like this one:
Friday, May 30, 2008
Now those three spinners are welded on. Two on the single marble track; one before the tipping arm and the other just past the second section of wavy track. The third spinner is just after the loop d' loop where the marbles shoots out, giving the spinner quite a hard push. (Mostly hidden with this camera view.)