The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Turtle Marble Game

Thumbing through the Meisel paper catalog that was mailed to me, I saw a neat game I could build for the grandchildren to play with.

Here is a link to their web site.

Raw Materials

The pattern is set up to make the main body from 1x12 pine 3/4" thick.  I was out of stock on 1x12's, so I bought an 8 foot long piece at my local lumberyard.  I found a 15 inch long section with no knots and used that piece for this project.


I went ahead and put the paper pattern into Sketchup, so I could print full size paper patterns to glue onto pieces as I made them.

Scroll Sawing the Main Body

I printed the full size paper pattern from sketchup and glued it onto the 1x12 with white Elmers glue.  When I get done sawing, I removed the paper and glue with hot water and a scrub sponge..........then dry at 120F in the oven for a few minutes.  I used a No. 7 blade in the scroll saw.

Sawing Plywood

I bought a 12x12 piece of birch plywood as part of the kit from Meisel.  To get all the pieces out of this one blank, the 2 feet need to be cut separately.

Rather than use a pattern, I traced the actual 3/4" thick pine main body without the 2 lower feet.  Then I printed out the curve from Sketchup, to draw in the correct curve where the feet go.  You should make sure all the pieces fit the blank before you scroll saw.  I glued down the other paper patterns onto the plywood after I drew the main body.

A No. 7 blade is too big to cut the 1/8" thick plywood, it wants to jerk the wood up and down. I switched to a finer No. 3 blade to cut the 1/8" plywood..............and used it to saw the plexiglass also.

Gluing the main body to the plywood

A couple of problems

I forgot to put the round 3/4" thick piece in the head area when I glued the turtle's head on.  So, I slipped it in from the left and air nailed it.  Then when I checked, the marbles would not go around the round piece...........URR    I was able to pry off the thin plywood, then use the Dremel with a 1/2" diameter sanding drum, to make plenty of clearance for the marble.  So.......remember to put in this piece..........and check the marble clearance around it before you glue down the turtle's head.

I cut the plexiglass using a paper pattern, versus tracing from the wood project.  It fit ok on top, but too much, about 3/8" stuck out at the top.  I put some blue masking tape on the bottom of the plexiglass top, then pencil marked it to the real wood body, and scroll sawed off the excess.  I used a sanding drum on the drill press to smooth the cut edge of the plexiglass.

Finished Project

Closing Thoughts on This Project

The marble game is really cute when you get it done!

The grandkids should have fun with it.