Marble Jeeby

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Project by Twigloo posted 08-04-2013 03:58 PM 2270 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Marble machine I built last year. The marbles are in fact steel balls from old mice, you can slice the rubber coating off and get 3/4” balls. Its a mix of pine, walnut, poplar, oak, cherry, and maple.

The balls split into two paths vi a flip-flop at the beginning, then those two paths each split into four paths. On the left the brass loop, then the steps followed by the zig-zag and lastly the reset arm and bowl. On the right they go down the staircase followed by the pinko board, the path that goes to the face requires 6 balls to tip the mouth open, then there is the path down the cups. It’s all ran from a crank on the front that runs a total of 5 gears at the back, 2 of which lift the balls to the top.

It was built in my “workshop” Ie living room (see last photo) with nothing more than hand tools and a cheap band saw. The face is hand carved walnut “Mr Jeeby” the bowl is hand carved as I did not have a lathe at that point, but the cups are turned after I picked up an old delta lathe that was in a flooded basement. My video and photo skills don’t do it justice. It is finished in danish oil.

Thanks For looking, I hope to post more of my projects soon.
I can’t seem to get the embedded video to work so here is a link to it.

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4819 days

#1 posted 08-04-2013 04:15 PM

Wow just plan WOW ,this is wonderful and unique a masterful build, great job.


View Pimzedd's profile


645 posts in 5385 days

#2 posted 08-04-2013 04:42 PM

Excellent. You have a couple of features that I have never seen in a marble machine. I specially like the portion on the left. Well done.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View jlb's profile


190 posts in 4809 days

#3 posted 08-04-2013 05:11 PM

Wonderful piece! If I were to attempt a project such as this, I would probably ” lose my marbles” half way through it. My hats off to you.

-- Jim, Ca, [email protected]

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 3042 days

#4 posted 08-04-2013 05:25 PM

That is impressive! I have wanted to build something like this for a long time, but I never start because there are so many different parts and I’m not sure I have the skill to do it. This is GREAT! I enjoyed the video and am really impressed you built it with so few tools. Well done!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View Twigloo's profile


7 posts in 3010 days

#5 posted 08-04-2013 06:08 PM

Thanks for the comments.

maplerock, I just tackled it one section at a time, build a simple frame and then built up from there, worked out how i wanted to raise the balls then work with gravity. everything is sectional i can take each run off. it made it easier to tackle that way. If I got stuck I worked on another path for a bit. I did not plan any of this out on paper just worked it out as I went.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3066 days

#6 posted 08-04-2013 10:09 PM

Wow excellent job….amazing work on all the gears, moving parts and slides…simply awesome, well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View birchbranch's profile


60 posts in 3182 days

#7 posted 08-05-2013 04:49 PM

Absolutely incredible! I cannot imagine how you did this without detailed plans. Thanks for posting this mind-boggling creation!

-- John B.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3418 days

#8 posted 08-07-2013 06:49 PM

Awesome work on that amazing marble machine. Great design, has a lot of cool features. Excellent work!

View Doe's profile


1440 posts in 4072 days

#9 posted 08-08-2013 08:33 AM

Wow! I like the mouse marbles idea, and I’m totally impressed with your not planning on paper first. Amazing work.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4955 days

#10 posted 08-18-2013 05:47 PM

Whenever I see one of these marble machines it makes me think of analog computers. Much of the toggles and lifting devices correspond (in my head anyway) to various programming concepts. This machine is a very well made and intriguing device, well done.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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