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Johnny's Marble Racer 

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This is a fun project you can make from scrap wood, and a little imagination. This "Marble Raceway" toy was designed by my 10 yr old son John. The Marbles race on two tracks back and forth, dropping thru holes twice, then sprinting for the finish line. Johns track even has a place for the sponcers advertisements! No plans are required, just create as you go!
We used 1X4 for all the wood parts of our racer. We also used a router table with a 3/4" Box Core bit at left. You don't need a router table, you could do this with a hand held router. At the end of a gutter, where you might want the marble to drop thru, drill a 3/4" hole in the gutter.

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John drilled a hole in the side of a support to store the marbles. A 5/8" forstner bit centered in the 3/4" stock makes the hole, marbles were still a bit snug, so we used a small drum sander in the drill press to widen the hole a bit. A scrap of wood with a screw in it makes a great cover.
Johnny wanted sponcers for his race track, so we set up a 1 1/8" forstner bit in the drill press and cut about 3/16" deep. These bottle caps fit snug, and are exchangeable. 
The thin piece of wood at the end stops the marbles and leaves them on the track.
There's no right or wrong way to make a marble toy, just get tot he shop with your kids, and let their imagination run wild! Johnny wanted his creation to fold up, so we used old hinges to attach the track pieces together. A little trial and error at each stage and your all set. Let the kids try and figure out solutions to problems, you'll be surprised what they come up with!
At points where support is need, short pieces of 1X4 are attached with hinges. Short dowels are used as pins to keep the supports in place. 
John was very proud of this project! In no time he was decorating his race track with markers and holding his own races in the living room! It was fun watching him figure out different problems.  
Keep the projects as simple as possible, kids have a shorter attention span. Projects don't have to be perfect, let the kids be the judge of whats good. Remember, it's suppose to be fun!

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