Introduction: Knex Skeeball Machine

Picture of Knex Skeeball Machine
Hello everyone! After over a year, it's finally finished: my Knex skeeball machine! This machine is full-size, coin-operated (takes quarters), turns itself off automatically, and counts points using a mechanical counter. And, all of it is mechanical, using only normal motors to power it (no CyberKnex motors). There are six motors used in the machine; four of them are used for just the counter. The only non-Knex parts used are a few rubber bands and the paper for the counter.

The video below shows the machine in action!

This game is a lot of fun to play, for me and my family (my dad has the highest score, over 400 points). I've only scored in the 1000 point hole 2 times, and I haven't seen anyone else score that one, so it's very hard to get the ball there. Playing time for one game is about 1:30, plus how long it takes to throw eight balls. 

Note that my camera lens makes things look curved, for example the ramp in picture 7. Insides of the machine start at picture 17.

Fun fact: If one were to buy enough new Knex pieces to build this, the cost would be around $4,391. The piece category that costs the most money are the yellow connectors, which would cost $835.

I will not be making instructions of this whole machine, but I have made other models that use mechanisms from this machine. These smaller models do have instructions, so you can still build some of the mechanisms used in the skeeball machine.
  • Leave Me Alone Box uses the same motor mechanism (the one in the box is more compact than the ones used in skeeball). 
  • Coin Sorter V2 uses the same coin sorting method found in the skeeball machine.

Started building: May 24, 2011
Finished building: July 26, 2012
Width: 26 & 3/8 inches (67 cm)
Length: 85 inches (216 cm)
Height: 57 & 1/4 inches (146 cm)
Pieces: 28,396


Direct video link


knexinventions 49 (author)2014-04-16

Where did you get the green gears? Knex User Group?

No, I called the Knex company and ordered over the phone.

akshat21045 (author)Shadowman392014-04-17

Well, you should try K'nex User Group. They sell pieces at a really cheap price.

Shadowman39 (author)akshat210452014-04-17

I actually don't like that site so much, because for most pieces they just redirect to the site (I use the US/Canada site). But, I am happy with the plugin motor that I got from there.

akshat21045 (author)Shadowman392014-04-17

Oh yeah, I forgot. I used the international button coz I am in India currently, and I bought around 1100 pieces for 60 pounds. Otherwise, on K', I would have got less parts (around 900) for 120 Dollars. That totally sucks.

Of course Ebay is the cheapest source other than garage sales (JonnyBGood bought 5000 pieces for 20 bucks), but I ain't gonna trust them.

parshan (author)akshat210452017-10-11

I wholeheartedly agree. I use my dad's business trips to the States as a source of K'nex. sells them at nearly twice the standard rates..........

Shadowman39 (author)akshat210452014-04-18

At least with garage sales you might get to see the pieces before you buy them. I had to return white rods that I got from Ebay because they were dirty and discolored. Of course the seller never mentioned any defects and provided a picture of only one of them, which looked perfect.

knex akbar (author)akshat210452014-07-29

They don't sell large yellow gears, newer sized knex balls, purple rollercoastertubing,purple connectors, dark blue 3d connectors and dark blue rods, that's why I buy my knex second-hand.

siamesederp (author)2017-03-23

AMAZING! This is so cool, I would build it if I had the money :( 30,000 pieces is a lot, probably around $10,000 worth of knex!

Shadowman39 (author)siamesederp2017-03-24

Haha, thanks! And the price would be around $4391 if buying from, though that was back in 2012.

siamesederp (author)Shadowman392017-03-31

yeah, but back in 2001 a screamin serpent was $80 ish but now it is $150 to $300 and a son of serpent is $1,000

Shadowman39 (author)siamesederp2017-04-01

Indeed, I'm pretty sure that Screamin Serpent was their most popular larger set.

nflpanthersfan (author)2017-03-17

And imagine if someone destroyed it

That would indeed be bad, haha.

nflpanthersfan (author)2017-03-17


It used 28,396 pieces.

Proassault (author)2016-10-09

How does the yellow and orange section (the board) is retained?? It cannot be just one rod..

Shadowman39 (author)Proassault2016-10-09

The yellows are attached to red rods, and the red rods are connected with orange connectors. Here's a picture of underneath:

Proassault (author)Shadowman392016-10-11

Ho cool thanks ;)

Also .. where do you live? I want to try this machine x)

Shadowman39 (author)Proassault2016-10-11

I took it apart 4 years ago, haha.

Proassault (author)Shadowman392016-10-11

Ho :(

GuppehsWorld (author)2016-08-13

Omg, this is the coolest thing ever.

Shadowman39 (author)GuppehsWorld2016-08-14

Haha, thanks!

Knex extreme (author)Shadowman392016-08-21

is it possible for you to do instructions for the coin mechernisum I want to build something but I need help for a coin mechernisum

Knex extreme (author)2016-08-21

is it possible for you to do instructions for the coin mechernisum on this bad boy

The Knex Inventor (author)2016-06-04

Wow, this is amazing! This must be a world record! How do you come up with these things?

Thanks! I guess it all starts as an idea, and then thinking of how to make it work.

You're welcome! :-)

Proassault (author)2016-07-07

What appening if you throw the balls really fast ... the counter is precise?

Shadowman39 (author)Proassault2016-07-07

The motor switches for the counter actually reset pretty fast, so the only problem it would have is two balls going into the same scorepoint at the same time, which never really happened as everyone who played it threw them in one at a time.

Proassault (author)2016-07-07

This. Is. Amazing!

You are so awesome ....

I cannot speak

The number of pieces x)))
Great job

Shadowman39 (author)Proassault2016-07-07

Haha, thanks!

Ethan1023 (author)2016-05-11

This is just epic. I like how you utilized other builds of yours into this one (or vice versa).

Shadowman39 (author)Ethan10232016-06-27

Thanks! That would be vice versa, I decided to make those instructions so there would at least be instructions of some of the skeeball machine's mechanisms.

JL26 (author)2015-12-12

not fair you can only see the instructions if you are pro that is not fair

Shadowman39 (author)JL262016-06-27

Don't worry, that's just a pdf file of the above pictures, haha.

Monkeys11 (author)2015-10-09

This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. You should totally make instructions. Have your fans motivate you. If u made directions I would totally try and make it, if I got enough money to get all the pieces. Please make instructions

Gold Chucky (author)2015-04-24

I have heard that you stopped building with K'nex. Is that true? You kind of made history... And if you are, what are you doing with all of your K'nex?

Shadowman39 (author)Gold Chucky2015-04-24

That's sort of true, I still have Citadel up but haven't built anything in a while, just haven't had enough motivation I guess.

why don't you try to see how someone's k'nex Instructable could become a ball machine element? Just an idea:)

ThijsL1 (author)2015-08-29

have you mayby instructions of THE coin meganisme?

Mickeyriffe (author)2015-05-05

you have too much time and money.....

Monkeys11 (author)2015-04-09

When are the instructions coming out

Lucas The Boss (author)2015-03-01

First off I can't think of a word great/powerful enough to describe this, secondly why have I not seen this until now, and thirdly please please please tell me your pursuing a career in engineering. If you can build something this complex with Knex imagine what you could do with custom pieces.


None of the above can describe how freakin amazing this thing is.

Haha, thanks! I tried mechanical engineering but I didn't really like it that much, so I switched to computer science.

knexfun101 (author)2015-01-19

I wish I had enough knex to build it. It is really amazing though! : )

Shadowman39 (author)knexfun1012015-01-22


Gold Chucky (author)2014-12-29

That is so cool! I have always been a fan of your creations, and this just makes me go what the heck! Your creations make mine look lame :(

Shadowman39 (author)Gold Chucky2014-12-29

Ha, thanks! Also, welcome to Instructables!

Monkeys11 (author)2014-09-26

Can you please make directions. My mom loves skeeball and every time I see this I would think that it would be the best birthday gift ever . It is the coolest knex creation I have ever seen. You are a genesis. It would definitely be a lot of fun building for me and the best thing I have ever made! You should think about! I hope you do make instructions! Thanks so much!

About This Instructable




Bio: On my page you'll find lots of different Knex projects, from ball machine lifts to useful items. I hope you enjoy!  _______________________ Current avatar ... More »
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