Saturday, May 31, 2008

#75 Final Video

32"w X 24"h X 18"d. This wall hanging sculpture has 3 different tracks and is made from all stainless steel. There are 1 3/8" marbles used on this sculpture. Watch the video to see all of the things that I don't have to describe!

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

#75 plus 2 more pictures

Three spinners, hot off (on) the welding bench. Literally.

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.)'s construction in 10 pictures

I tried to take a photo after each major step was completed. Here's what I got...
If only it was as easy as it looks!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The marble collector, up close

I wanted to post the photos I had taken after each section was completed, but decided to wait until I finished it, and could post all photos in one. Tomorrow. So, instead, I decided to share the marble collector that I made today. Before today, what you see here was a 12ft piece of 1/8" stainless steel wire with no idea of what it was to become. With a little bending, cutting, welding and an added bearing, it has become the mighty ball collector, an important part of any RBS. This ball collector tips when the third marble rolls on.
Also in this photo is my trusty stainless steel block. Not just any block, it has been water cut into it's basic shape. The groove on the end looks like someone wanted to see if a very tight corner could be cut using the water jet. I dunno. I do know that it makes a great weight when needed, and is cool to think that only water was used to cut it.

Here's the collector installed on the sculpture. Note the added piece at the bottom. This was for weight, but will also be used as the stop when it tips down release the 3 marbles on the track below.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another day, another track

Today I was able to install the two track switches that I built yesterday before powering down my welder and lights. I also built the loop d' loop, installed it, and made the section of track that will collect the 3 tracks and merge them for the lift. The loop is very nice, with a large single loop. The ball gets shot out the end at a very high speed, and comes nearly to a stop because of the back-spin on the marble. Then the marble rolls nice and leisurely back to the lift. See the video of my progress below.

Two more tracks to go : )

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

#75 just getting started; framed and lifted

This is my current rolling ball project - a wall hanging sculpture that measures 22" high X 32" wide. This ball run will have 3 tracks when completed.

This is the frame, it stands off the wall 7 inches so the track can go in front and behind the frame. It gives me more room to work and will keep the track from sticking out too far. The frame is made from all 1/4" stainless steel rod.

I just got the lift installed today. It's a helical lift, and uses a 7rpm DC motor. The tube in the center of the lift is 1" stainless tubing with 1/8" wire wound around the outside to lift the marbles.

Shown here are the two track switches I will need to turn one track into three. Think of it like this; The track from the lift leads directly into the first switch. Two track leave the first splitter-one track is full length and the other just leads to the next splitter. The second splitter has the other two full length tracks come from it, and that makes 3 total. The white plastic is made from a polypropylene rod, cut to 1" lengths and a 1/4" ID self lubricating bronze bearing pushed into the center. The bronze bearing keeps the switch moving smoothly for a long, long time.

The first track I will work on? The loop d' loop!

Friday, May 16, 2008

#74 Final Video, now with 7 spinners

Here's the final video. I added 7 spinners to add some movement and fun. 3 tracks total. 4ft tall x 4ft wide x 18" deep. All stainless steel. 1 3/8" glass marbles. A very fun sculpture, it has nice sounds and rythyms.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Added some spinners for fun!

This large circle spinner is installed on the single marble track.

This is the jump rope spinner. Only, the jump-roper does the spinning, not the rope!

Here's the other large circle spinner, this spinner and the jump rope spinner are both on the 3-marble train track.

And here are the 4 smaller spinners that get installed next.

This, of course, means that I will definitely be doing another video.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photos of #74

The first section on the Loop D' Loop

The ball pickup.

The second track splitter/switch

The ball collector. It will tip when it gets the 3rd marble.

The section of wavy track.

The spaghetti track at the bottom. This section collects tracks 2 and 3, or not the loop d' loop track.

The whole sculpture.

A shot of track and spirals.

More track and spirals, with the ball collector on the left.

Now that it is all complete I will be starting on my next project; a wall hanging sculpture. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 9, 2008

#74 almost completed.

Track three coming to life.

Track three is gettin' to the bottom. I think I'll add another spiral, and leave the rest as fun track. The three marbles will chase each other from the top to the bottom. I'll be done tomorrow for sure. Next up... video! I'll definitely get some posted tomorrow - with the help of my cat Mia.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New sculpture

My current project. #74. This sculpture is 4 feet tall by 4ft wide. It has a chain lift which delivers about 5.5 marbles per minute onto the three tracks. There is a loop d' loop track with 5 loops and a fun inverted section at the end that lets the back-spin on the marbles stop it. Track two, with only one rolling marble at a time, has 3 spirals, 2tipping arms and some fun wavy and fast flowing track that ends in the back and forth spaghetti section. See pic below. Track three has a marble collector which releases with 3 marbles. Track three is only 15% built and the rest is yet to be...and only exists in the ether and statistical mathematics.

This is spaghetti section at the bottom of the ball run, track 2.

This would be the end of day Wednesday.

Here is the spaghetti track installed at the bottom.

This is my progress as of today. I should be able to get most of track three laid tomorrow. I can't do the wavy track like you see at the bottom of the sculpture now with marbles rolling in a row, like a train. In a marble train, sometimes the marble behind another goes faster than the marble in front. When this happens then the marble behind can run into marble ahead of it, slowing itself enough that it will fall back and settle in a valley, stopping all other marbles that come next. It is quite enjoyable to attach the next track rails and then decide where I want the track to go. I plan a few moves ahead, build them, and go onto the next. I especially like to make the loops which is why a lot of my sculptures have them. They are FUN to make, and even more fun to watch, over and over. : ) I enjoy tracing the two rail paths in my mind as I bend the corners and try to imagine where the track can go next on it's fast, gravity defying path.

I will take some video soon. I will probably wait until I get it finished. It is close and I don't want to use the time to take video, when it will be better to film when it is finished. Can't wait!