1/26/15 Marble Maze project – final day

Today’s Agenda

(5 min)Teams test marble mazes as a team. Identify trouble areas that need to be addressed by putting a post-it on the trouble area.

(15 min) Team members that have trouble areas on their panel have 15 minutes to try to correct. Team members with no trouble areas go to computer lab, get started on their blog homework.

(10 min) Class comes together as a whole and marble mazes are tested 10 times each. Video is to be captured for the blog post described below.

Marble Maze Project – final project blog post

This is to be completed in class or as homework by each team member.

This blog post is to be written in complete sentences and should include the following:
1. Describe what you learned over the course of this project.  LIST ALL TOOLS YOU USED in this project and tell your readers which of these tools you used for the first time. How did you improve as a builder in this project?
2. Consider all of the tools that you used and tell us which tool you feel most comfortable with, and why.  Then blog about which tool you would like to become more comfortable with using.
3. Describe what challenges you encountered in this project and how you overcame them? Consider and explain how your design changed over time.  If you could do the Marble Maze project all over again what would you do differently?

Each TEAM should upload a video to YouTube that shows a successful run of the marble through their maze and the entire board.  Embed this video in your blog post.  Follow this link if you need help with embedding a YouTube clip in a WordPress blog post. 

Question: what blog posts should be completed by the end of the Marble Maze project?

Answer:  for each of these class dates you should write a description of your project progress for the day.  There should be photos of your work as well as images of you using tools and fabricating the maze.  These are the dates: 1/8. 1/12, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/22.

You will also write a summary blog post after the project has been completed.

1/20/15 The Hole Saw and The Bell Assembly

Varvil instruction (20 min)

Hole Saw Bits

Belt Sander

Bell Installation

Chute Installation

The Hole Saw is a helpful tool for cutting large circles. Many of you have bells mounted within a wooden piece, like the example below. This circle (the arrows are pointing to this circle) is a challenging cut for the bandsaw. I recommend using a hole saw instead.

hole saw example

Here is the three hole saw parts

hole saw parts

To assemble, screw the hole saw bit onto the Hole Saw Driver until it stops. Then unscrew the hole saw bit slightly until the pins on the hole saw driver align with the holes on the hole saw bit. Push the pins through the holes and it will look like the image on the right, below.

hole saw pins aligned 1

Now it is time to put in the centering bit:

Notice the flat head screw on the hole saw driver. This is called a “set screw.” This set screw is designed to pinch the flat spot on the centering bit. Be sure the flat sides are aligned with the set screw. Push the centering bit into the hole saw driver so that a little bit of it sticks out beyond the hole saw. Screw in the set screw so that it holds the centering bit in place.

hole saw centering bit 1

You are now ready to use the hole saw as you would any other bit. The hand drills work for smaller hole saws, larger hole saws should only be used in the drill press.

hole saw in drill

1-15-15 Types of holes, types of screws, tips to drilling success

Instruction from Varvil (20 min)

1. Types of holes

Pilot holes
Through holes

2. Types of screws
Flat, Phillips, Box (bugle or square), Phillips/box combo

3. Tips to drilling success
Aligning the axis of rotation

Work for today -shared by partners.  Each of you should be hands-on with the tools.

1. Mark two screw locations on each of your maze pieces. If design is not approved, make the described changes.Get design approved.

2. Take a photo of your final plan with the screw locations. (POST THIS PICTURE TO YOUR BLOG TONIGHT)

3. Align and clamp your front panel and back panel together. Drill pilot holes through BOTH boards. (This will keep your maze pieces in the correct spots after you cut them out)

3. Unclamp your panels and take your front panel to the band saw. Cut out your maze pieces. Be sure each partner has the opportunity to make cuts. Note: you will be cutting through the paper plan. Respect the Silver Circle!!

4. Use a through hole sized drill bit to expand the pilot holes in your maze pieces to the throughhole size.

5. Countersink the through holes on your maze pieces

6. Mount your maze pieces to the back panel using 1.25″ box head screws

Document your work and tool use by taking photos.  Be sure to get a shot at the end of the day of your progress with pieces mounted.


Update your blog with the photos and answer the following questions:

1. What did you use and what did you learn today?

2. What did your accomplish on your Marble Maze today?

3. What will you work on next Tuesday?

1/13/15 finishing our plan and making the back plate

We will have succeeded today if you and your partner have…

1. Completed the back plate. Turn in by hanging it on the maze board
2. Completed the final draft of your plan. Tape it to the front of your back panel

Things we forgot to tell you. Sorry.

1. Your plan will be glued onto a piece of wood and you will be cutting through the paper to create your maze pieces. This means that your plan is your actual cut lines!!! Make it exactly as you want it.

2. The ball is 0.75″ (3/4″) in diameter. Be sure the path is always wide enough for the ball to pass

3. The bells may hang slightly off the side of the board. As long as the center of the bell is within the board, you are good to go.

Instruction for today. (20 min)

The Makita Drill:
– “Righty tighty, Lefty Loosey”    Switching back and forth
– changing bits

Pilot holes and screws:

Jorgensens and the drill press

Work for today.

You and your partner should look at our comments on your plan. Make modifications as necessary.

You should then work to create the back panel using the example as a guide.


Homework: update your blog with text and pictures that show what you and your partner learned and completed today.  Examples: photos of you using the power drill, a picture and description of your final Marble Maze design.  This is due on your blog before Thursday’s class.


1. Seating chart review – look at the big screen.  These are your assigned seats in the workshop space.

2. Marble Maze project review.

3. Band saw limitations.

4. Panel sequence – what groups are working on the panels above and below you?

HOMEWORK: update your project blog and describe what you learned about the Marble Maze project and how this will affect your design.  Due before class begins on Tuesday.

Tuesday preview-

finalize panel design, begin building marble maze.



1. scavenger hunt

2. project blog work:

a. complete/troubleshoot WordPress setup
b. 1st post on your project blog –
>what are your learning goals for this course?
>include a photograph or image of an object that relates to your interest in engineering, technology, building or making.
c. submit your blog address to the class directory by clicking here.

3. bandsaw tool, hands-on: once you have shown your completed work to Mr. Milstead you will work with Mr. Varvil in the shop.  You will practice following a cut path using a bandsaw.

4. Marble Maze project – details here
a. explore and test last year’s mazes
b. each student draws a cut path and plan for their marble maze
c. take a photo of your drawn plan – this will be part of your homework

Take a picture of your colored marble maze plan and email it to yourself. Save the picture. Create a NEW post on your project blog titled “My Marble Maze Plan”. Using complete sentences, describe the goal of the project as you understand it.

email the link to this blog post to:
rpmteacher at gmail dot com
bvarvil at tamdistrict dot org

put your first and last name in the subject line

homework help:
how to create a new blog post
how to add an image



  1. introduction to the course
  2. setup your project blog

blog setup:

  1. go to wordpress.com
  2. we will create a blog that you will use to show the progress of your projects in this course.  Begin by creating a free account.
  3. naming your blog: you will choose a name that is “something.wordpress.com”.  YOU choose the “something”.  Choose a word or phrase that is school appropriate and relates to engineering, projects and/or building.