Marvellous Marble Machines

This post by SHHM member Janine

One of the items that caught the imagination of several visitors to the Portland Works Open Day, was the “Marble Machine 1” (see photos). The machine is designed by Martin Raysford and is one of several versions that are available directly from his website (, or at many of the Maker Faires across the UK.

The kit comes as several flat pieces of wood, with the pieces laser cut out, bar small holding pieces that need to be cut with a scalpel. These are great fun to make, instructions are clear, with only wood glue required from the builder to make the item.

The spiral section of the machine is pulled out and extended from a flat piece of wood and is kept in place under grooves in the mounting stand.

The machine is either operated by the handle or a battery operated motor can be added.

Marble machine 4 is also available (see below).

This machine uses pillars rising and falling to move the marbles up to the top of the track. Again, this can be battery operated.

I’m currently building the Marble Machine 2 – will take some in progress photos for the next blog!

Numerous other laser cut ply toys are also available…