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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Marble Machine Goes Modular - Preview

I was ready and anxious to get back to testing this morning. You may remember from last time though that I had a few things to do first. So off to town I went for more marbles to start with. I bought six bags of marbles to be safe, but there is more to that in a bit.
Also I felt a need to make more of the tallest solid riser blocks. These are simple and didn't take long at all to whip up. Actually, I probably could have gotten by with less than the twelve I wound up making, in addition to the ones I already had. I always say though, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.
Then it was back to building up some track to test everything. With what I bought this morning, I had enough marbles to test everything, but I still don't have enough. I need five eighths marbles for this design. The problem is, out of each bag of fifty marbles I bought this morning that are supposed to be five eighths, only about five to seven marbles in each bag were acceptable. Most are oversized and won't fit the holes. Some have flat spots and don't roll well. I don't know if it's just a bad batch or what, but I have got to find a solution. I can't keep just buying more and more marbles. The coffee can with the rejected marbles is getting almost full, while the usable can still runs dry when I'm testing.
Anyway, I've gotten a few messages with questions that mostly deal with confusion as to how all this actually goes together. So, in addition to the photo above, here is a video.
Next thing I wanted to test was that all the pieces are supposed to fit into the base if one was to decide to store the whole mess, in a closet, for example.
Remember I made some extra pieces. It all fit.
It was like working a three dimensional puzzle to get it all in there though. I just wanted to see if it fit. I believe if I actually wanted to put it away in use, I would elect to place certain pieces, like maybe the square riser blocks, on top of the base plates to make it easier to fit everything else inside. This would free up space and make things easier, while still keeping everything neatly together to pull out and play with at a later date.
That is going to be the last post for at least a few days. All that is left is a finish. I still have yet to figure out what finish I want to use though. A couple of my other marble machines have no finish at all. I do want to put something on this one though. I know I'll finish the base if I don't do anything else. The blocks I am considering leaving unfinished. I am already having issues with some marbles being mighty tight because they are on the verge of being too large. I am afraid that putting finish on them will compound this issue.
I will give this some though and decide. Then I will post a video of the completely finished project when I am done. I hope you have enjoyed seeing what goes into a project like this. They are a lot of fun in my opinion. They are time consuming though and not for the impatient or easily frustrated.  

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