Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting Personal

There's nothing like having your own RBS. Better than that, there's nothing like having it personalized so it says, "Look at Me! I belong to (you)". My next project will be located in the office (lobby?) of a lawyer, located in Georgia. As you can see from the photo below, the law firms name is Kam, Ebersbach & Lewis - Trial lawyers.
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

Next up: Motorized table sculpture 30x36 - #78

My next project, in progess now, is a table standing sculpture with a chain lift that stands 36" tall and is 30"w on each side. I only have the frame and lift built now...but I think it already looks great! This sculpture (will have) 3 tracks. These tracks will be my "standard" fare of: one track will be a loop d' loop, one track will have one marble rolling at one time, and the third track will have a marble collector so the marbles (probably 3) on that track roll together when the collector releases them.

This sculpture will have a couple items to personalize it for it's final location. The final location will be a lawyers office in Georgia. So to help visualize the lawyer theme I am going to make a "scales of justice" element. This element will be a ball collector, but not "the" ball collector which will be added near the top for maximum effect. The single marble will roll onto one side of the scales - tipping when it gets full. The other side of the scale will have marbles as the counter weight. The other personalization will be the Law Firms name spelled out in wire inside the sculpture. Under each name, I am going to add "marbles on track" as if the marbles are underlining the names on the shingle.
More pics later.....

Wall Mounted #79 - completed

I just finished a wall mounted RBS. (click picture to view larger image) This one measures 33"w X 22"h and has a spiral/helical lift to transport the marbles from the bottom to the top. Something new is the adjustable speed of the lift. I purchased a "universal" DC power supply which has switchable voltage. You can choose from 3v - 4.5v - 6v - 7.5v - 9v and 12v giving you 6 different speed settings. (I say 4 speeds in the video because there isn't much difference between 3v and 4.5v or 6v and 7.5v) It's as easy as switching the voltage up or down to see it go slower or faster. Interestingly enough, Low (3v) has 1 marble going, (4.5v) has just about 2 marbles, (6v) sports 3 marbles rolling at the same time, and (12v) gives you 4 marbles.

One long continuous track, this sculpture is very smooth and quiet. See the video below to see it in motion. Oh, and if you are interested, this one is for sale: $1250 includes shipping in custom wooden crate within US. : )

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A trio of new desktops: #29 - #30 - #31

I really like desktops. They are fun to make because they do not take a long time to build, I can see right away how new improvements work, and I can try new things without having to worry too much about changing it if needed. These three were made in a row. I started out making 5 frames with the marble queue built onto the top, 5 arms and 5 track splitters. Then I worked one by one finishing them. I still have two left, but not the time to complete them now. It will be a few weeks before I get any more of these built.

The finger operated marble release is a somewhat new thing. I have added it to other desktops - but not for quite some time. I decided that to be really cool, they definitely need one. All of the marbles can be kept at the top of the sculpture and can be released one by one, or all at once, whenever you like. This eliminates the pesky chore of reaching out and placing marbles at the top each and everytime you want to see it run. If it is just you around, your toe could operate this kinetic desk toy when your relaxin' on the couch.
These sculptures are made from 100% stainless steel. They are neatly and durably TIG welded. 1" colorful glass marbles.

Desktop #31

Desktop #30

Desktop #29