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Paul, Bob, Ken, and Bob's Modular Maze Panels: Assembly

This page gives details on how to assemble the maze panels into a complete maze. It's game day! Gather your friends, put on your game face, and get started! Mazes take anywhere from 2-4 hours to assemble, depending on the number of friends you have (it's a two person job, minimum) and how many extras you add (rope lights, rope pathways, etc.).

Materials List

All of these materials (except for the tent stakes) can be found at your local Home Depot or Lowes hardware stores. There are a couple of on-line locations I found, however, which may serve useful.

Materials for assembling the panels into a complete maze:

Item Cost per unit Quantity needed Total Cost
Tent Stakes (at most 30 of them) $8.00
(for 10)
3 $24
Cable Ties $19.97
(for a bag of 1000)
1 $20
Clothesline Rope 50' $75.49
(box of 12)
1 $75
Clothesline Rope 100' $91.69
(box of 12)
1 $91.69

Total Materials Cost

Click here for a spreadsheet showing the total costs of all materials. The spreadsheet gives the cost of all materials, both for construction and assembly. It comes out to around $1000.

Instructions: Maze Assembly

1. Mark the outline - It's always a good idea to mark the outline of the maze with twine. This will help ensure that your maze is square and that all of the corners line up properly. Otherwise, you may have a lot of last-minute adjustments (i.e. walls that are too far to one side or another).

To make certain that your twine outline is square, mark the distance of one of the diagonals as well (use Pythagorean's theorem to determine the required length of the diagonal). See this picture for an example.

Use the following calculator to compute the lengths of the X and Y dimensions as well as the measured diagonal. Enter the dimensions in terms of segments. For example, the Year 2001 maze is 14 segments in both the X and Y dimensions.

Enter the dimensions of the maze in panel segments:
X Dimension: segments Y Dimension: segments

Stake out a square with the following dimensions:
X Length: Y Length:
Length of the diagonal:

2. Move the panels out of storage - This is obvious. But hey, I had a picture of it, and it does need to be done.
3. Assemble the panels - Using the diagram, assemble the panels. Start at one corner of the twine outline (see step #1) and then put panels together, connecting panels together by lining up the screw-eyes and then using cable ties to connect them together. See this picture for an example.

When connecting a panel into the middle of another panel, it's handy to have a penknife handy to cut into the plastic to expose the screw-eyes that are in the middle of the panel.

4. Add rope supports as necessary - When constructing long corridors, sometimes (depending on the design), the walls will become unstable and sag. If this is the case, stake a rope along the outside of the maze, and then run it over the top of the maze, and around the top of the maze panel struts which are sagging. This should stabilize the walls as necessary as you assemble the maze.

Also, once the maze is complete, you may wish to add additional rope supports across the top of the maze to stabilize the ends of panels inside the maze. Sometimes, the end of a corridor wall can swing freely. To prevent this from accidentally closing off a corridor, use a rope across the top and twist the rope around the top post to prevent these swinging panels from moving.

For more pictures of rope supports, see corridor view and overhead ropes (note: the "overhead ropes" picture shows ropes being lifted over a rope pathway which surrounds the maze in the 2006 maze design. Such a fancy mechanism is typically not required).

5. Make other, fun additions - such as rope lights, an entry sign, a "you've reached the goal" sign, a prize bucket at the goal, flashlights, other lighting, or an outside rope pathway.

And there you go! Maze assembly is quick, and fun. The cable ties make connecting panels together really, really easy.

Disassembling goes way faster than assembling the maze. Pull up the stakes, remove the stabilizing ropes, and then use a pair of wire cutters to cut the cable ties. Note: don't leave the cable ties on the ground (they last forever, and will be a pain when you next have to mow the lawn). Most mazes can be disassembled and stored in about an hour with a team of four.


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