I made this fun project just for a Steampunk Festival in Clearlake, Ca. I setup a booth selling my hand drawn mazes and made a “pop pop boat” for racing. The pop pop boat’s are run with a candle – and it was fun to make my own boat out of flat stainless steel. Alas, they did not have the races because the guy who was to bring the water-filled racing track did not show.
The rolling ball sculpture was built for fun. I’d been making RBS for several years but never had the opportunity to watch people interact with one in real time. This is the only RBS I’ve ever built that was not made from stainless steel. I painted it bronze to give it a weathered look and added the bicycle sprockets to better match the festivals theme. I only had a few bicycle sprockets on hand… and am not sure I achieved my goal of making it look “steam punk” but the kids sure didn’t seem to care. I purposefully made it with two tracks that started from each side of the frame so the kids could each have a start of their own to use.
I used 3/16″ solid rod, mild steel, instead of stainless, so it would be easier to bend. And I used the thicker material so it would be solid enough to withstand the children who would be playing with it.
If you watch closely sometimes, the balls that exit the loop d’ loop don’t make the jump. So I added the long coil to catch them – so they wouldn’t fall off. The kids seemed to like it when it happened and would put down extra balls just to see it happen… kids… lol.
The hardest part of the build was definitely the loop d loop’s. To make the loops, I had to put the two ends of the rods in a vice to keep them held firmly while I bent the loops up by hand. I had a lot of fun putting this one together knowing I would be watching the kids play with it.
And, now that I am typing about making this project… I want to make another one for my Grand Daughter, Eliana.
WHEN I do this, which WILL be this summer, I will post another video to this page, or at least a link to the page where it will be posted.
This particular one I eventually gave away to a mom with kids who really liked my RBS. It was just sitting around – so I passed it on to someone who would appreciate it and play with it.
Painted – 100% stainless steel, TIG welded.
Rolling ball sculpture AKA:
Marble machine. Ball Run. Ball Roller coaster. Ball machine. Marble roller coaster. Rolling ball machine. Rolling ball structure. Marble run art. Kinetic marble sculpture. Custom marble run.