There’s an unwritten (albeit oft-spoken) rule among the Midlands Puzzle-clan that we all blame Oli ... not just for our puzzle purchases, but mainly that! His blog has encouraged an awful lot of us to spend piles and piles of hard-earned cash on little toys ... feel free to blame him too if that will help your addiction.
Anyway, on the subject of blaming Oli, back in May last year, Oli blogged about “The Ultimate Useless Machine” – an excellent kit available from the wonderfully named Frivolous Engineering Company in Canada. I had to have one, and I blamed Oli! It’s been sitting on my desk for ages and still gets a smile whenever I turn it on, only to have it whirr into action and turn itself off again... I know: small things...
Anyway – in that sort of vein I recently stumbled across a similarly useless contraption that I knew I just had to get – it’s called Marble Machine #1 from an outfit called Busted Bricks.
After watching their online videos for a couple of seconds I was on their website ordering a kit... the kit contains everything you need (except the glue – and they’ll sell you some of that too!) to build a terrific little kinetic sculpture. The wooden bits are all perfectly laser cut in thin ply and MDF ... the pieces go together absolutely perfectly and it’s a joy to build.
It took me three or four hours on and off over the course of a Saturday – with several breaks in between while various sub assemblies were drying. Apart from removing the remnants of the tiny tabs that keep the pieces in their sheets at the start and introducing the slope on the steps, there’s very little sanding to be done – the fit is spot-on everywhere.
The design is quite clever and results in a self-jigging assembly process so it’s hard not to end up with everything square and fitting as it should.
The electric version has a super little geared motor to drive the lift and the batteries are hidden away inside the base ... or you can opt for the manual version that gives you a crank on the side to drive the lift.
...a great little thoroughly useless contraption to sit and stare at or run in the background while you’re doing something that requires serious concentration – like puzzling!