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How to Make a Maze Game With Walls

A maze game with walls is a toy that lets you roll a small ball through a maze in an attempt to get it from one end to the other. You can create a maze game out of balsa wood with a little bit of planning and careful measuring, cutting and gluing. Design your maze ahead of time on graph paper. For this plan, the lines of the maze must be aligned to the lines on the graph paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Ruler
  • Balsa wood strips, 1 inch wide
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Square base of wood or other sturdy material
  • Wood glue
  • Marble
  • Drill (optional)
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    • 1

      Label each line on the graph paper maze with a number. Each separate line will correspond to one piece of balsa wood. Pick the scale of the maze, such that one unit on the graph paper equals one length of balsa wood, like one inch per unit. The real-life unit will be the width of the maze corridors, so it should be at least a little larger than the marble you have chosen.

    • 2

      Cut the balsa strips into lengths that correspond to each line on the drawing of your maze. Label each piece with the number of the line that corresponds to it on the drawing. Write the number on the end of the board that will be closest to the top right corner of the maze.

    • 3

      Find the intersections of each line in the design and mark those points on the matching balsa strip with a pencil. For example, a line on the map may have other lines intersecting it at the second, fourth and seventh units. Find the balsa strip labeled with that line's number and make a mark at the second, fourth and seventh inch along its edge.

    • 4

      Cut notches into the balsa pieces to allow them to intersect at the points you've marked. Each notch should go halfway across the width of the balsa strip. Notch the strips that correspond to vertical lines on the top half and strips that correspond to horizontal lines in the bottom half. Do not cut notches where two lines meet at a corner or "T" but do not intersect.

    • 5

      Mark or score the base with a grid pattern that matches the scale you have chosen for your maze.

    • 6

      Assemble the maze by spreading glue on the bottom of one strip of balsa wood at a time and placing it on the base according to where it belongs in the maze. Place all of the walls represented by horizontal lines on the maze design before you start on the vertical walls. When strips meet at a corner or "T" intersection, spread glue on the ends of the strips that are meeting. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.

    • 7

      Drill a hole in the base corresponding to the maze exit, if desired. Use a spade bit that is slightly wider in diameter than the marble.

    • 8

      Test the maze by placing the marble in at the starting position and trying to navigate out of the maze by tipping the maze in ways that will make the marble roll in various directions.

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