Believe it or not, artist and wood-savant Paul Grundbacher doesn't draw up a rough schematic or do any kind of planning before he starts building his amazing marble machines. He just dives right in, crafting the components he needs out of maple, ash, and linden wood. That approach also means he spends a lot of time re-building mechanisms when they don't quite work, but the end results don't disappoint.
Quatro, seen above, was actually built back in 2010. But the pinnacle of of Paul's creations has to be the Archimedis, which represents about three winters worth of work. Standing almost five feet tall, it could almost replace the living room TV as a way to keep kids (and adults) entertained for hours on end. [Woodgears via MetaFilter via This is Colossal]