Introduction: Newton's Cradle With Decorative Carving

Although i have been shown and educated about plenty of Newton's Law of force, also about Newton's Cradle on a lot of science video or textbooks.

But for me, i haven't seen a actual real one in my life so far, that is the reason why i made the decision and this project is born

Step 1: Material


1:Steel ball x 5 (1 inch)

2:Fishing line (number 5)

3:Wooden Plane( from scrap, i cut into 17 x10 cm)

4:Square wooden rod (9mm diameter) x 4

5:Round dowel (10 mm diameter) x 2

6:#24 wire x 1


a:Hand drill + 10mm 8 mm drill burs


c:sand file

d:wood carving knife set

Step 2: Base Plate

I first cut a wooden plate in 17 x 10 cm size,

draw a 3 x 5 inch smaller rectangle on center

and make the 4 points on corners as marks for drilling hole later

then draw the carving pattern for the decoration, i carved a Camellia as practice ( i also try to learn carving skill, is for beginners)

before drilling the hole, i first carving the Camellia flower

after cleaning the debris, clamping the plate and Use 8 mm diameter bur to begin drilling on the marked corners, then took a chisel to carve the round tunnels into square tunnels (9 mm) one by one for the square pillar rods

(after doing this, i should use round dowels as support pillar, because it is so difficult to make accurate square hole by hand carving.)

Step 3: Frame

Pillars:Cut four 18.5 cm long square rod as pillar, and due to the inaccuracy of square hole on the base plate, so i make one end of each pillar narrower (1.5 cm) by carving knife, to let the rod insert to the hole easier.

Column Beams: two 8.6 cm long square rod, and carving both ends to fit with pillars in cross lap connection.

Longitudinal Beams:for this, i use round dowels (8 mm diameter), cut two 12.5 cm length, and mark 5 line equal divide the dowel , for later carving groove with the fishing line.

after prepare these frame, Use 8 mm bur to drill a 5 mm depth hole on one side of each pillar (not the narrower end), for the insertion of longitudinal beams

and for the connection part of pillar and column beams, i decide to link them with cross lap on the top end

Step 4: Steel Ball

Cut A22 wire into 5 small segments, remove the copper coil line inside the tube,

About the length of the fishing line, i didn't cut and measure so precisely, cut 5 fishing line and each line is roughly about 30 cm .

Then inset fishing line into 5 small wire segment , to become the connector between steel ball and the support frame.

Prepare 5 steel ball , and use sand file or rasp to polish one point of each ball, to enhance the adhesive ability. then mixing the epoxy to apply on the polished point, and contact the fishing line. ( to stable the ball during setting, i put each ball on hexagonal nut to keep them from rolling.)

Wait epoxy for setting about 1 day.,

These balls are ready for next step.

Step 5: Assemble

After checking all material has been prepared properly. we can start to assemble.

before Installing pillars, apply Titlebond 3 wooden glue on the 4 hole of the base plate ( also for the later connecting surface of beams), Then used mallet to smash pillars to let the narrower end insert deeply to the prepared hole.

Dropped some glue on the both ends of longitudinal beams , insert them to the prepared connecting hole of the pillars. also the dame step for the column beams as well.

Fix whole frame in stable position with clamp,( like the photo showed, if anyone has better way to clamp the frame, welcome to share.)

Removed excessive cement, then go outside for working, wait for the glue setting.

Step 6: Ball Installation

In this step, the most disturbing problem is the alignment of the ball, that is a big question for how to arrange 5 steel balls in perfect horizontal level, straight line and each ball is just barely touching each other.

First marking the central line on the base plate for where you want balls to be. then i put 2 straight wooden rod with desired width on both side of the line.

Placed each ball on the gap which form between 2 rod one by one , after all balls on the position you want , ( try not to roll them during this process)

Tie the fishing line on each ball to the corresponding groove on the longitudinal beam dowels, i did it with forceps , because the use finger can easily roll the ball out of the position, ( watch out the tightness, try to keep all ball in the same horizontal level , because they can easily be in different high after removing 2 rod.)

After finish 5 balls, i use Epoxy again to apply on the groove with fishing line,

wait for setting, then the hand made Newton's Cradle is done.

(In this step , i realize that is very difficult to alignate objects with bare eyes precisely, especially for round object, i think it will require a lot of experience and affort or the better alignate device .)

Step 7: Testing

I put two similar video to test how long it could be sustain, for me , the result is just ok, because i want it to be swing as long as possible, at least more than 1 minute,

also during the whole processes, steel balls are became a little rust on the surface, i am still trying figure out how to polish the steel ball,

Thank you for reading my Instructable, i hope it will help you guys in some other way, also hope your feedback or any other good advices to improve this Newton's Cradle.