Monday, September 15, 2008

Desktop #28

Really, this desktop should be #27, because it was made before...But as these numbering things go...I mean shoot...who really cares anyway? It's only off one number. But enough of that. This desktop was "commissioned". I had someone in mind when I started on it. This desktop is different in that I made an effort to leave the track spacing a little wider than normal. I have track clamps that are spaced at 7/8" that I use for loop d' loops with my larger marbles (1-3/8"). I use these for my desktops and squeeze the spacers a little to make them usable for the smaller 1" marbles. Leaving the spacing wider than in the past helps make the marble go slower, and in turn, make the action last longer.

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

Wall hanging RBS #77, in progress

I am currently working on a wall hanging sculpture that measures 36" high by 24" wide. It has a chain lift that lifts 1-3/8" marbles at the rate of about 5 1/2 per minute. There are three tracks in this RBS. The loop d' loop is split between two different tracks instead of being a single path from top to bottom. Both of the built tracks in the pictures have just one marble on each track. The last track, still to be built, has a ball collector which will tip when it has 4 marbles. That track will be fast and slow, zipping about the sculpture with the marbles in a row. The marbles in a row are fun to watch because sometimes the marbles stay together, sometimes they spread out. It depends on the size of the marbles whether they stay together or not. Check out the pictures to see this sculpture as it comes together.

Desktop #27

So here's my latest desktop. #27. It's 22" high by 18" deep/wide and has two tracks. This desktop has all the usual fun stuff such as; track splitter, 3 loop - loop d' loop, tipping arm, ring spinner, spiral and over 25ft of two rail track. On this desktop I decided to add a finger release. The finger release is a great way to play with your sculpture without having to reach out and place marbles at the top every time. Instead, place all the marbles at the top where they stay until your press the lever to release one, or all. Place the sculpture out of reach, and you could use your toe to release them during commercials. : )

So here's a couple pics, and the video I have uploaded to YouTube.