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Kinetic Wood: Sculptor Carves Custom Rube Goldberg Machines

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Who doesn’t love a good Rube Goldberg machine? Named for the American cartoonist whose illustrations often depicted complex devices linked together to produce a domino effect, these comedic contraptions remain fascinating even in a world of digital distractions. People make incredible Rube Goldberg machines out of everything from kid’s toys and everyday household objects to industrial components most often seen in factories. But a sculptor named Larry Marley elevates the concept to a whole new level using almost nothing but wood.

The woodworking artist has produced a range of mechanical wonders, hand-carving all of the parts himself. That’s a heck of a feat, especially considering the precision required to make all those moving parts glide together smoothly to produce the end result! Even the gears are hand-made.


Marley typically starts with a series of sketches to produce his designs before completing a full-scale mechanical drawing. He even created a software application to determine all the dimensions of each piece before he cuts, assembles, turns, carves and finishes them.

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While they’re beautiful to behold even while stationary, you’ve got to see these creations in action to really appreciate them. Check out more of Marley’s work on Instagram and Facebook.


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