Mazes fascinate children, young and old, with twists, turns and dead ends. Your eyes cannot help but follow the winding paths through the maze. A wooden maze puts the action in your hands. You can make a big wooden maze as a puzzle or even as a run for pet rodents or insects. The larger the maze, the more complicated you can make the design. Add traps throughout the passages to keep it more interesting.
Choose the size of the maze you are designing and mark it out on a sheet of graph paper. Use a scale in which one square is equal to 1 inch, or some ratio of your choice.
Locate the starting and ending point. Use a red pencil to draw a path on the graph paper from each point. The lines on the graph paper represent the walls of the maze. Go between the lines when you draw the true path through the maze.
Design the rest of the maze with a dark pencil. Insert as many turns and dead ends as you desire. Test the design by tracing the true path again, once the false leads are in place.
Copy every line on the paper maze to a sheet of plywood. If you added any hole traps, drill them into the plywood. Roll the marble or glass bead along the lines of the maze to check about fitting around corners and tight turns. Widen the path, if necessary.
Use a scroll or jigsaw to cut balsa wood strips to the appropriate length for the walls of the maze. Glue the strips into place along the maze lines. Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours.
Sand the maze smooth with a fine sandpaper. Wipe off any dust. Stain or varnish the finished maze and allow it to dry completely. Finish the project with a coat of polyurethane to keep the surfaces smooth.
Things you need
- Pencil and graph paper
- Balsa wood strips
- Scroll or jigsaw
- Circular saw
- Wood glue
- Stain or varnish
- Clear polyurethane spray
- Large marble or glass bead