Finally it is finished. After a broken arm, a severed thumb, and a lot designing and troubleshooting the Marble Race Masterpiece is finally finished. At first this did not seem all that complicated to build. We came up with the types of tracks we wanted and simply started making them separately. Once we had two or three of the levels finished that was when things started to get complicated. We had to figure out a way to stack them all together. We picked an order, then had to change it around. We also continued to add to new tracks to the Marble Race until we had seven total levels.
At first we wanted to see if we could avoid gluing each level in place, you know, to make it easy to disassemble and ship if necessary. Sadly this brilliant plan was not meant to be. The four posts for the tower began to twist and warp because the tension was so high. In turn, this caused some of the tracks to slip out of alignment and marbles would fall off and fall out in all the wrong places. So, in the end, we bit the bullet and glued it all together. We coated it with a polyurethane protector. We even added a base (not pictured) to catch all the marbles when the race was over. It is stunning, and really really fun.
Our little boy loves to run marbles on this track. He has to stand on his tip-toes to even reach the start switch, and he cant see the first two levels just yet, because he is such a shorty, but once it hits eye level he smiles and follows the marbles running down, down, down. He always tries to catch the marbles in the plinko section before they drop down to the next level. It is pretty fun to watch him get so animated and excited with his fists full of colored marbles.
Here are the tracks in order:
1. start switch and two straight tracks
2. zig zag
4. two straight tracks into bowl funnels
6. switch plate
7. half pipe
These simple back and forth marble runs are basic and straight forward. The marble races back and forth down each rung, as you probably would have guessed. The design for these marble drops may seem simple, but honestly these wooden toys can account for hours of fun and engaging playtime. No need for batteries either, which is always a nice bonus when it comes to toys for children.
These wooden marble runs make great gifts, especially with the holidays coming up so quickly. We know how difficult it is to find something for the people who seem to have everything. It is stressful and often results in the purchase of a gift card or certificate. Don’t cop out! If you want a unique, simple yet fun gift, the wooden marble run is certainly something to consider. For these types of wooden marble runs we have a design for a single track, double track, and triple track. That way, if you choose, you can play with more than one person and race against each other. They make great, natural toys for children to play with and are fun to give as presents.
Right now we have a handful of these wooden toys stored up for the Bijou Market happening this weekend. If we have any leftover from the event we will be adding them to our etsy page.
Dimensions: approx. L:18″ H:18″ W:6″
Here is an experimental prototype we, and by we I mostly mean my husband, have been developing. I helped in that when he hit a wall design wise I threw out completely useless ideas before he came up with the right answer. The man is risking his marbles with this four person wooden marble race, the assembly of which proved to be far more complicated than we had anticipated. Each column is a track for marbles to run down. The bowl at the base is the ultimate equalizer as the marbles battle in a melee for first place. The spout out the bottom spits each marble out one by one. This being the first attempt, our wooden marble race has proven to be a success. Now we are planning to perfect the design making the marbles run more smoothly and effectively. The races are really fun for all ages. Even our little boy has played, granted it was quite the task keeping him from trying to eat the marbles. This is likely because his father chose to race one of the new dark chocolate raspberry M&Ms and immediately ate it as soon as it spat out at the bottom. Baby sees all! But we did get a few successful runs with actual marbles out of him with a lot of help from his mommy. He liked the marble race well enough, but lost interest as soon as he saw a shoe he could try to eat. As for the two adults in the house, we have yet to lose our fascination.
Materials: poplar and plywood
Dimensions: H=24″ L=13″ W=13″