Help with a maze

Help with a maze

Postby carefactornil » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:12 am

Hi,

BM newbies here. 4 crazy Brits travelling from London and I want to build a large maze. Have already put in for "planning permission", but I have some issues with the build/materials. If anyone has any advice, help etc it's all gratefully received!

OK, maze is about 25 yards square. There will be 169 posts in a 13x13 grid. Each post is about 1.5 yards apart from the next. The posts need to be about 7ft tall, with 1ft in the ground. The "walls" are potentially made out of snow fence or something similar. So not disimilar to the trash fence in construction. I plan to make the walls by "threading" the fence over the poles.
So BM tell me this should be nice & visible, stable and able to resist high winds.
Visually I expect it to be interesting as you'll be able to see through the maze, just not where you need to go!
The plan is for the "walls" to be about 6 foot high so that you can't see over them.
So, the challenges:

I need poles & fence. If you know of somewhere in the US that sells 7ft wooden poles cheaply then let me know! About an inch thick should be fine and then we use a pole pounder to get them in. If they have a sharp stake end, so much the better.
The fence. Snow fence only seems to come in 4ft wide. Does anyone know of 6ft wide snow fence or something similar? I know we could make a 4ft wall and then just add 2ft more on top (cut another roll in half). Or we could have it 2 feet off the ground but I have a reason not to do that.
Depending on the cost of the fence material, I might need about 300yards of fence, ideally at 6ft wide. If the budget is too much then I could get away with 200yards.

We have a 31ft RV coming from Vegas via Reno. Ideally I'd like to pick up the materials in Reno if possible.

Any suggestions, folks!?

We plan to arrive on site a day early to start construction on the Sunday. If anyone wants to help construct they're more than welcome on Sunday afternoon or Monday. Will happily bribe folks with cold drinks for services rendered! ;)

Also, if anyone wants a whole load of poles or fence at the end they're more than welcome, otherwise I'll try and donate to BM or burn.

Hope the above makes sense on the construction. Any questions, shoot.

Cheers,
Simon
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:18 am

[url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonedwards/3662588307/sizes/l/[/url]

This is part of what I submitted to the Artery, showing the basic construct of a "wall"
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Postby wedeliver » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:45 am

Try here...

www.us-fence.com

here are some examples with prices.

http://www.us-fence.com/HTML/fence-plastic.html
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:48 am

Wow, thanks - didn't expect anything so quickly. Will have a look in detail at that site, but at least they have loads of options.

Cheers.
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Postby Dork » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:24 pm

I don't believe you'll be able to pound wood into the playa. The ground is much too hard. The DMV has a hole digger you might be able to utilize - you'll need to be there to mark all of the spots and guide them as they do the work. You may need to do all of this before the event starts - check with the artery. Also look into what people are doing to secure their shade structures. I'd go 18" into the ground so you're in the nice solid packed playa.

Visibility should be fine during the day - you'll want a bunch of lights around it at night.

Any hardware store should have the wood you need. There are several Home Depot and Lowes to choose from in Reno and Fernley. If it were me I'd probably just use 8 foot long 2x4s instead of 1" poles. They'll be stronger, still pretty cheap, and you can donate them to habitat for humanities on your way out.
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Postby wedeliver » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Dork wrote:I don't believe you'll be able to pound wood into the playa. The ground is much too hard. The DMV has a hole digger you might be able to utilize - you'll need to be there to mark all of the spots and guide them as they do the work. You may need to do all of this before the event starts - check with the artery. Also look into what people are doing to secure their shade structures. I'd go 18" into the ground so you're in the nice solid packed playa.

Visibility should be fine during the day - you'll want a bunch of lights around it at night.

Any hardware store should have the wood you need. There are several Home Depot and Lowes to choose from in Reno and Fernley. If it were me I'd probably just use 8 foot long 2x4s instead of 1" poles. They'll be stronger, still pretty cheap, and you can donate them to habitat for humanities on your way out.



Hum, to save a couple bucks you could cut all them 2x4 in half, they would still be strong enough and only cost half as much. take 30 seconds each board to rip 'em down on a table saw.

8' 2 x2 like dork says 1.5 feet into the ground would leave 6.5 feet above. Using lumber like this it might also be better to tie (plastic ties) the fence to the posts) even if you feed the post through the fence (and a 2 x2 would feed easies) you will still need to secure the fence to the posts.

I would want to test it, but I think you could pound 2 x2 into the playa if they had a sharpened end on them. In concrete work we constantly hammer wood into the ground. You probably would want to use a post driver as opposed to a hammer. If necessary you can wrap duct tape around the top of the post to stop splintering.

solar lights could be taped to the top of the poles to illuminate the maze at night.

My propety is not really convient from where you are coming from, but I will offer that if you want to stage things here you may.

(I love mazes)(they are... wait..here it comes. a a mazing...)
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Postby Dork » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:08 pm

wedeliver wrote:I would want to test it, but I think you could pound 2 x2 into the playa if they had a sharpened end on them.

Possibly, I've just never seen anyone try. Also, they'd miss out seeing the DPW hole digger in action. That thing is wicked cool and incredibly quick.
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Postby Token » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:10 pm

Fence posts work real nice on the Playa.
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Postby carefactornil » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:01 am

[quote="Token"]Fence posts work real nice on the Playa.[/quote]

There's a lot of different ones out there - any particular recommendations, or a URL link?
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Postby Token » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:16 am

Image

Image

Any hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot will have them.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=p ... lpage=none
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Postby wedeliver » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:19 am

2x4 8' is less then $2.00 each, the metal fench post are $6.00 each, the 2x4 can be ripped so that the 169 posts he will need will only cost $169.00 as opposed to over $1,000.00.

Just my 3 cents (inflation)
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:03 pm

Sure , he could cut them down, but he will still need a pilot hole to get them into the playa.

It's pretty hard to drive wood into playa, even with a pointy end, not to mention swinging a hammer from that far up in the air.

Expect a few broken pieces if you cut them lenghtwise, the knots will tend to break when you hammer them from the end, even with a pilot hole.
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Postby wedeliver » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:33 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:Sure , he could cut them down, but he will still need a pilot hole to get them into the playa.

It's pretty hard to drive wood into playa, even with a pointy end, not to mention swinging a hammer from that far up in the air.

Expect a few broken pieces if you cut them lenghtwise, the knots will tend to break when you hammer them from the end, even with a pilot hole.


Maybe we should test this. Humm, for a pilot hole who should we hire? someone with lots of flight time? No hammer.. we don't need no stinking hammer... come, let me show you how we did concrete back before there were combustion engines. Oh, wait I have no idea. But I do think I could get a metal fence post driver over a 2x2 (1 1/2 x 1 1/2) and pound it in the gound the correct way. Pilot hole? Claw hammer, claw twice in the dirt would dig a nice little hole, or two pulls with a post hole digger.

by law 2x4 stud grade can't have knots bigger then 2.5" or holes larger then 1.5" If the material was hand picked good wood could be chosen that would withstand the force of driving.

wait, I ain't building no amaze and I use metal fence posts for my stuff at burning man... so whatever... no wait.. I still am interested just cause I have always liked to build shit. always.
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Postby Token » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:59 pm

Jus' aks yo'self dis.

WTF does DPW use when buildin' a 15 mile fence?

It sho' as fuck aint no lumbah!
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:48 pm

wedeliver wrote:
But I do think I could get a metal fence post driver over a 2x2 (1 1/2 x 1 1/2) and pound it in the gound the correct way. Pilot hole? Claw hammer, claw twice in the dirt would dig a nice little hole, or two pulls with a post hole digger.

.


I forgot about a post driver, never needed or used one myself.

I was thinking about an auger bit for the pilot holes. Works great on packed playa for me when I use garden stakes for shit that I do.
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Postby laura* » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:35 am

wedeliver wrote:8' 2 x2 like dork says 1.5 feet into the ground would leave 6.5 feet above. Using lumber like this it might also be better to tie (plastic ties) the fence to the posts) even if you feed the post through the fence (and a 2 x2 would feed easies) you will still need to secure the fence to the posts.


Another vote for plastic zip ties (but please pick them up when you take down the maze): You may wish to reconfigure the maze every now and then. If you leave it unchanged, the way through may get heavily worn, while the dead ends get less traffic. It would be nice to change the maze so that a heavily traveled path is blocked the next day.

Another idea but I don't know if this will work: Instead of making the maze on a 13 by 13 rectilinear grid, make the walls zig zag at crazy angles. And make it five sided, but not obvious to people coming up to the maze. This means that inside the maze, you can turn people 90 degrees from the direction they think they're going.
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:48 am

[quote="laura*"]You may wish to reconfigure the maze every now and then. If you leave it unchanged, the way through may get heavily worn, while the dead ends get less traffic. It would be nice to change the maze so that a heavily traveled path is blocked the next day.[/quote]

Depending on when we get the maze finished, this is the plan, I have multiple layouts designed.

[quote="laura*"]Another idea but I don't know if this will work: Instead of making the maze on a 13 by 13 rectilinear grid, make the walls zig zag at crazy angles. And make it five sided, but not obvious to people coming up to the maze. This means that inside the maze, you can turn people 90 degrees from the direction they think they're going.[/quote]

Nice idea, about it not being a grid. Might try some sketches out, although if it means more poles/fencing I might have to veto due to budget! ;)
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:56 am

Thanks for all the comments about posts. This is a concern, about how to get them in. I'd figured on a (roughly) 1" rounded pole, ideally with a pointed end. I was hoping that they basically need to just stay upright, support the "walls" and not withstand much force. Of course if people try and lean against them or push them then it will cause problems but I'm hoping people won't do that.

2" x 2" seems a bit excessive to me or am I being naive?

Whilst the metal looks great I don't have the budget to stretch to 170 of those, so it'll have to be wood.

I'd originally assumed I'd have to do this the hard way with a pole pounder to get them into the ground.
I spoke with a gentleman from BM about this (Jonesy) and he had hoped the DPW would be able to assist but apparently they said "no" and I had to be 100% self-sufficient. Do you think it's worth contacting DPW directly or does anyone have any contacts there? If I can get the holes made that would be such an enormous help as that's where the time/effort is going to go. As for getting their early, we can arrive on the Sunday but I'm not sure we'd be able to get there any earlier.
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:58 am

One other useful tidbit:

For any other maze addicts, it seems the only maize/corn maize in the western side of the US is just a short way from Burning Man. I plan to try and visit on either the way in or way out.

www.lattinfarms.com
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:10 am

Depends on the season, M8. Around Hallowe'en many maize maze attractions open across the land.
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Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:23 am

carefactornil wrote:One other useful tidbit:

For any other maze addicts, it seems the only maize/corn maize in the western side of the US is just a short way from Burning Man. I plan to try and visit on either the way in or way out.

www.lattinfarms.com


they're all over here in Ca in the fall..........
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:27 am

Sounds like this website needs to be updated then

http://www.maizemaze.com/_2009-10/visit-else.html

it's the only one I know that lists all the world's mazes and labyrinths.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:24 pm

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Poles

Postby carefactornil » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:03 pm

All,

I've been looking at the posts/poles. I'd rather not rely on the DPW if I can as that may fall flat (it has so far!).

So as a halfway house, I've found the following 8ft wooden pole with a nice pointy end. It'll be easier than 2x2 to get into the ground and cheaper than metal. They're $3.97 each. You can see them in the link below or go to www.homedepot.com and enter the SKU code of 824232.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... key=Search

I figured I could get those in with a pole pounder and or mallet with a little help from some friends.

Does anyone know of anything better/cheaper? I found it quite hard to Google for them as I don't know if the US calls them differently. Are they stakes, posts, poles, etc.

Cheers!
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Postby sputnik » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:14 pm

The only advice I really have here is that you should assume that drunk-tards WILL fall all over the place inside your maze. You WILL need to fix it up every morning.

Bury your poles as deep as you can

Bring spare poles

Consider using rope to tie poles to each other and then put some stakes in around the perimeter and tie off to them to hold everything vertical.

ETA: And as someone else said "LIGHT IT UP AT NIGHT" or some art car WILL smash through it or someone on a bike will run into it.
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Postby gyre » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:29 pm

A group from atlanta did a great maze at Transformus in a small space.
They used cloth walls.
They put lit landmark spots every so often and put more than one to trip you up.
A very effective maze and small 20 X 20 feet.
They used headsets to cover noise and had effects when you found the center.

I think they posted on here about it once.

I didn't think a maze that small could be so good.
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Postby MozyBonz » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:36 pm

sputnik wrote:The only advice I really have here is that you should assume that drunk-tards WILL fall all over the place inside your maze. You WILL need to fix it up every morning.

Bury your poles as deep as you can

Bring spare poles

Consider using rope to tie poles to each other and then put some stakes in around the perimeter and tie off to them to hold everything vertical.

ETA: And as someone else said "LIGHT IT UP AT NIGHT" or some art car WILL smash through it or someone on a bike will run into it.



"LIGHT IT UP AT NIGHT"
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Postby carefactornil » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:41 pm

Thanks for the advice on lighting, that's in the plan, even if it's just a few places round the perimeter and the entrance/exit.

Ditto ideas about trying to secure it more.

Like the idea of the Transformus maze, but that's something to try another time.

But I'm keen to know if there are some better/cheaper poles out there that we can put in ourselves, unless anyone has some cool "pole banging" device (easy tiger) they can guarantee us.
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Postby sputnik » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:45 pm

I secured poles for my shade in 07 by drilling a 7/16" hole into the bottom and then slipped them over 3/8" rebar that had been driven into the playa. This kept them from moving from side to side at the base. I then roped the tops together and tied them off to the sides. This worked pretty well. If you stick with a grid setup you could screw boards into the top of the pieces, that would provide a lot more stability and it wouldn't be prone to stretching like rope does.
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Postby carefactornil » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:56 pm

All,

Just to give an update. It was touch & go for a while as to whether we would be crazy enough to go through with this, but the good news is we ARE that crazy and we're going to give it our best shot.

Fencing has been secured and is ready to collect in Vegas, poles are being cut & bought tomorrow. Who knows if it will work and if it'll survive the elements and fellow burners but look out for the maze, I'm told it'll be on the outer playa somewhere and I guess it won't be too hard to spot. It'll just look like a piece of the trash fence that's gone rogue and grown into it's own little structure. Well, not that little.

So, hopefully we'll complete it sometime on Tuesday. If anyone wants to help with the construction it's going to be much appreciated!

Hope to see you in there.
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