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Thread: Building boxes to store Quadrilla blocks and tracks

  1. #1
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    Building boxes to store Quadrilla blocks and tracks

    (part 1 of 2)

    For those of you who may not know it, Quadrilla is a marble run construction kit and game that is designed and distributed by a Swiss company called Hape. The components are all made of wood and are of good quality.

    I have recently purchased blocks and tracks for three children; that is Isla (my granddaughter) who is turning 7 soon, Leah (my granddaughter) who just turned 6, and Melanie (my honourary niece) who just turned 5.

    Here are a couple of examples of marble runs that I constructed last week in order to test things out.

    Attachment 3505 Attachment 3506

    I said “test” but I must admit that I also “played” with the structures. Hape claims that Quadrilla can be enjoyed by anyone between the ages of 4 and 99 and I certainly agree. There are lots more runs and other information to be found at http://quadrilla.com/ (and you will get to practice your German ).

    I mixed and matched blocks and tracks from various sets for the gifts so the boxes that I bought the Quadrilla in were no longer suitable for storage. The obvious solution to a woodworker (hey I’m one of those ) is to make some custom boxes with compartments and to allow for expansion. So that’s what I did. Here is a finished box with the cover off showing the blocks, tracks, marbles, etc, in their compartments:

    Attachment 3503

    The box sides are made of 12mm Baltic birch joined at the corners via a joint made with a small drawer lock bit (Lee Valley catalogue #16J76.72)

    Attachment 3502

    It’s the first time I used such a joint and I found the single router bit used on both sides of the corner but with a different orientation worked easily and perfectly. The glue up was among the easiest that I have ever done.

    Attachment 3499 Attachment 3500 Attachment 3501

    When gluing and clamping the corners of one side, the dry-fitted piece for the other side locked in place to keep everything straight.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-18-2007 at 02:10 AM. Reason: punctuation
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    (part 2 of 2)

    The top, the bottom, and the dividers are all made of 6mm Baltic Birch. Here is picture of the box with two of the dividers removed:

    Attachment 3509

    The dividers are held in place using drawer divider support brackets (Lee Valley catalogue #00S11.20). They are dead easy to install and don’t cost much.

    Attachment 3510

    The box bottom is simply nailed and glued into place. The box top slides in a routed groove as shown in the picture below:

    Attachment 3508

    The letters are walnut, again purchased from Lee Valley (catalogue #41K08A, etc.).

    The box parts were finished using Helmsman Spar Urethane -three coats on the exterior surfaces and one coat then lightly sanded with 220 grit paper on the interior surfaces.

    And, finally the case can be carried using a 7 inch leather handle (Lee Valley catalogue #01A29.01).

    Attachment 3507

    I made three identical boxes to hold Quadrilla, and one slightly smaller box for my granddaughter Brooke’s (almost 5) collection of wooden building logs. I can see that I will be building many similar boxes in the future for different sets of toys.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-18-2007 at 08:23 AM. Reason: added finishing info
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Looks good Frank

    Nifty brackets for the drawer dividers

  4. #4
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    That is really cool! Where'd you find the plans, Frank? I've never heard of the game, but it looks like something kids would really like. Of course, I'm only interested b/c I have 10 grandchildren. :-)

  5. #5
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    Billy, I am wondering if you might be confused. I did not make the blocks or tracks (although I am thinking of making some add-on pieces).

    All that I made was the boxes and they were quite straightforward and required no plans.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
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    Yep, I misread the post, Frank. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    My kids have have those things for a few years now. They still get played with a lot which is a testament to their quality & playability. They really are a lot of fun, even for us "big kids".

    Nice job on the case, Frank. I really like the leather handle. One of my projects for next year is "toy organization" so I'm definitely going to bookmark this thread.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clardy View Post
    Looks good Frank

    Nifty brackets for the drawer dividers
    Thanks Steve. Yes those brackets were a great discovery. I bought 100 of them in early December and have already used about half of that supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Bodenschatz View Post
    My kids have have those things for a few years now. They still get played with a lot which is a testament to their quality & playability. They really are a lot of fun, even for us "big kids".

    Nice job on the case, Frank. I really like the leather handle. One of my projects for next year is "toy organization" so I'm definitely going to bookmark this thread.
    Thanks Rob. I find that, when kids have good storage facilities for their toys, that putting away their toys becomes an enjoyable part of play (well it does for most kids).
    Cheers, Frank

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    I find that, when kids have good storage facilities for their toys, that putting away their toys becomes an enjoyable part of play (well it does for most kids).



    Ohhh, that was funny.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post


    Ohhh, that was funny.
    Art, it certainly was not meant to be. Seroiusly, that is what I have found; and I am talking about first hand experience with about 25 children for whom I have built toys and storage. Just make the storagwe a natural extension of the toy.
    Cheers, Frank

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