Blind Maze




Introduction: Blind Maze

Greetings treasure hunters.

For those of you who have been looking at some of my other instructables you know that I'm in to making treasure hunts. This is another in the series of things that I am using for my treasure hunts. This diabolical offering is called the blind maze. Everyone has seen the kids toys that has a little ball bearing in a maze you have to tilt around to move the ball to the finish line. This is pretty much the same thing...except you can't see it. Thus the blind part. To use this in my treasure hunts I made some changes. The first change was the little ball bearing became a small metal disk about the diameter of an American Quarter. This gives me a surface for me to engrave a GPS location or lock combination or some such. The disk is placed inside the maze and the maze is glued together. The maze must be tilted around and by feel and sound work the disk out of the maze. This is a long term clue. In this case this is the first clue. It could take weeks for it to be solved. I took pictures of the inside of the maze and gave it to my wife to test. With the clue she tried for awhile and tossed it down in disgust declaring that is was WAYY to hard, even with the picture. In my mind I'm thinking...PERFECT!!! The whole puzzle is based around the disk that you choose.


The supplies you will need is one sheet of thin ply wood ideally as close to the the thickness of the disk as you can get without being to thin. You will need a bottle of CA or Super glue. I used Gorrilla instant glue because it is thicker than regular super glue and it dries a little slower.

For tools you will need a table saw, a hand flush cut saw, and other tools as needed to make it look like you want.

Step 1: Get a Disk...

This can be a simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I used a piece of cold rolled steel that I cut on a metal cutting band saw then polished on a lathe with a piece of sand paper. You can use a washer, a coin or whatever you want. I chose the steel disk for one major reason. It can be moved with a magnet. The blind maze is exactly that, blind. So you could use the magnet to move the disk around the maze. Or just shake it around to move the disk. Your choice.

Step 2: Cut a Spacer...

First you will need a spacer that is slightly larger that the disk. This will help you align the paths in the maze wide enough to allow the disk pass cleanly thorough the passages and not get hung up. It can be out of the same material that you make the rest of the maze out of or whatever scrap you have laying around. It needs to be around 2 inches long. Any longer and it will be hard to use.

Step 3: Cut Your Backer...

The material that I used was 3/16 plywood. Not the common stuff. You need the good stuff that has been "plugged and sanded" This means that any defects have been filled with wood filler and then sanded smooth. The smoother the surface the easier it is to get the disk to slide. You will need two sheets that are around 12 inches square. You can make it whatever size you want but the is about the right size to start. You need to make it large enough to have the disk be able to move around but small enough to not take up an entire table top. On second though this would make a really neat coffee table...another project.

Step 4: Cut the Path Wall Material...

Using the table saw, cut strips of the material as wide as they are tall. Cut about 10-15 strips as long as the longest side of your backer pieces. When the disk is laid next to the wall material the wall material should be slightly thicker.

Step 5: Glue Down Your Outer Frame...

Figure out where you want your exit to be and make marks on the edge of the backer. Using the spacer make marks so that the exit is wide enough to allow the disk to exit cleanly. I chose the lower right side of the backer. Now that you have the exit set. Glue a piece of wall material all the way around the outer edge except the exit. Use the flush cut saw to cut the wall material as needed to make it fit. Use a bead of super glue to attach the wall material to the backer. You can see how in this step the disk can exit the maze in two places. I created it with this in mind then ended up plugging one of the passages. You can also see the spacer being used to space the next piece of wall material. A stripe of super glue and firm pressure attaches the wall material to the backer.

Step 6: Use the Spacer to Glue Down the Maze...

Using the spacer cut and glue down a path that allows the the disk to move around the maze. Make sure to include dead ends, back and fourths and other infuriating twist and turns.

Step 7: Check You Spacing...

Take your disk and run it around the maze and make sure that all your passages are wide enough to allow the disk to pass cleanly through. If you need to widen a passage use a sharp chisel and press straight down, enough to cut the wall material but not to leave a gouge in the backer.

Step 8: Cover the Wall Material...

With blue painters tape, cover the top edges of the wall material. You will then spray the inside of the maze with clear sealant to make a slick surface for the disk to slide on. You will need a uncoated surface for the glue to stick to when you assemble the other cover on. Before gluing the cover on apply a light coat of wood wax to make is slick.

Step 9: Take a Picture Then Glue on the Top Cover...

I say take a picture for the reason that if your treasure hunter just can't get it you can give them the picture and this will give them a reference to where the disk is and how to tilt it to move the disk along. Remove the painters tape and then coat the entire top edge of wall material with a thin bead of super glue then press the top material. After the glue dries, with the table saw, trim just enough to clean the edges and make everything straight and true. You are done. Deliver and watch the frustration begin. Caution: may cause cursing, airborne objects, and tantrums.


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