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:


biggearhead said...


Great stuff as usual! I like the plate on this one. I've been thinking of a similar idea for a few weeks before seeing yours here. I may try it out on a piece I'm doing right now. I always wonder if making things easier is "cheating," but I may cheat here and see how it comes out. Maybe easier is actually better on this one?

Matt said...

I dont' think it's cheating in this case. Only you the builder will know how it could have been built differently, and why. The plate really eliminates extra wire, which potentially looks cluttered, and may need troubleshooting later. With the plate, once it's welded in, your done. My view on these type of dilemmas is to go for what works. After all, if the marble behaves, you have achieved your goal.