Lighthouse ball maze

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Project by MikeyFlies posted 06-11-2008 12:47 AM 2293 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been meaning to pickup a small drill press for a while now and after finding this desing in a book (new wood puzzle designs) I had just the excuse I needed :)

I got an 8” drill press, some hole saw bits, and forstner bits and set to work. I really like the Lee valley forstner bits although they seem to clog once drilled below the upper lip of the cutting head. It isn’t a big deal and the quality of the holes and lack of dust is more than worth it (they produce shavings like a plane).

The puzzle is a maze from the top light layer to the base which each piece aside from the roof and the base being able to freely rotate about the center rod. Each layer has one through hole and 1 or 2 other dead end holes that only go part way trhough. The goal is to get the ball to the bottom.

I couldn’t find the 3/8” ball bearings called for so I used some that are 9/16” in diameter. I also didn’t have quite big enough hole saw bits so I picked the smallest that would work for the top disks and worked down from there upto my largest size for the bottom disk. This didn’t allow for much clearance on the disks between the center or the outsides which made some of the drilling a little finicky. I used paduak for the base and bottom of light fixture, leopard wood for the top, pine for the middle top, birds eye maple (the piece I have had one end with almost no birdseye but some interesting curly figure so I used it for this) and teak alowood for the remaining disks. The teak alowood also has a bit of curl in it but it is hard to see in the pictures. Finish is tung oil. The base has mortar work cut into it with a dremel although it is hard to see in the pictures :)

I really want to find some smaller bearings and get some bigger hole saws to make another one just a little wider at the base. I willl also change up the top a bit (I now have some better files to help shape the top).

5 comments so far

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 4974 days

#1 posted 06-11-2008 01:49 AM

Excellent idea & beaut job Mikey. would love to see the whole thing expanded.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5200 days

#2 posted 06-11-2008 03:30 AM

FUN!!!!!!!!!!! how about “poking” or carving some windows into the maze so you can see the marble once in a while??? just a thought… very cool!!! welcome to LJ’s

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5449 days

#3 posted 06-11-2008 03:40 AM

that’s a cool little project. I’m sure my daughter’s would get a kick out of it.
it’s also one of those projects that offers up endless amounts of modifications.
thanks for sharing.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5111 days

#4 posted 06-11-2008 08:24 AM

That’s in interesting looking project. Would like to see how it’s constructed.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5369 days

#5 posted 06-11-2008 09:01 AM

Neat idea Mikey, nice use of all those different woods. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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