Mad process S – M -L -XL

mad process In a factory there a huge machine. Maintenance team must change the old gears of this machine with new ones. But gears aren’t easily accessible. And factory engineers decide to use the machine turntable. But there are some problems. Machine turn table turns only 90 degree with missing gears and also some other pieces from gear box enters into the turn table. Now they must find a solution with less possible move.

This puzzle is one of my sliding puzzle designs. Different from classical sliding puzzles. The aim of this puzzle is changing red and blue pieces in correct order. At the center of the board there are a disc with four slot. Disc rotation is limited and can rotate only 90 degree clockwise and after back again counterclockwise. That movement make this puzzle difficult and confusing.

There are four different variation. But two of them is more interesting. First I like describe XL version. This is the version seen on the left big picture. I mounted the clear acrylic top cover. At the center of each pieces there are a small hole that make it easy to play with a toothpick. (I take other photos without a cover because of reflection risk.). This version is the most difficult version. There are three extra green disk that make more difficult it. For this puzzle I count only the quarter rotation of the center disk as a move. Because shifting operations isn’t too much important and also counting only the center disc rotations is easier. I tested it with some friends and they find it very confusing. Some of them, in half way of the solution confuse also which color goes up and down. My solution for this starting to solve always with blue ones on the upside. I played a lot of time. I have a score for minimum number of move. But I will not share here. That may be a shame for me later.

The other variation is S version without any green disc. It’s very easy with 6 empty space at the beginning. But if you search the minimum number of move, this puzzle require a different style of thinking. Differently then other sliding puzzles, instead of thinking sliding operations you must try to use center disk better and keep it busy in each turn.

The other variations with one and two disc has an increasing difficulty.

For puzzle enthusiasts and mathematicians finding the minimum number of move may be a good challenge. I don’t know minimum number of moves as I haven’t a computer analyze tool for this. Also it’s possible to write a java applet and play online or make a mobile device application with four level of difficulty. If you can make you can publish it in anyway that you like.

I made this puzzle from acrylic with laser cut. It’s very easy to make if you have access to a laser cut machine or a scroll saw. I put labels on each pieces for decorating. My puzzles has a clear acrylic top cover. But if you like you can make also an open version. By making one you can play also four variation by adding green discs. If you want make one for you I will add here in a few days laser cutting files (DXF) and assembly instructions with labels for decoration. I made a few design change for better center mechanism for this reason laser cut file is a little different from my puzzle. I made a clear acrylic cover for this puzzle. But this make difficult to play. For playing I prefer an open top puzzle.



The name of this puzzle is coming from a food special to Istanbul/Turkey. This food has a similar shape to donut a made from a dough similar to pizza but the result is completely different from both of them. This sesame covered delicious food is mostly eaten with Turkish tea. This puzzle consist of 12 discs. The aim of the puzzle is putting this discs one to the top of the other and make a tower. I made this puzzle from 4 mm acrylic by cutting with a laser cutter and gluing pins wit a special acrylic glue. If you want make your own you can make from wood. Puzzle pieces are visible from photo.

simit 004

Short pins length is equal to disc thickness and long pins length is equal to 2 x disc thickness. You can choose disc thickness as you wish. I made also a square version of this puzzle. Square version is easier to make. I made my puzzle from cheap Jenga pieces. You can and glue Jenga pieces together. Puzzle pieces for square version is here.

simit sqr


If you want make your own laser cut puzzle you can download from here my DXF file for laser cut.   This is an ASCI DXF file. Approximately all drawing software can open this file. I used for drawing “Draft Sight”. If you need a SVG file you can open with “Inscape” and transform to svg etc. You will use small rounds that you obtain from holes as pins. For long pins you must glue two round. For gluing pins to correct locations you can glue them according to solution. You can start with first disc and you can put the second on top of first and glue pins to locations indicated by holes.  My disc diameter is 80 mm. You can scale as you wish.

Push pins diamond

Pushpin diamond match


This puzzle is a another simple color match puzzle. The aim of this puzzle is different. You must arrange puzzle pieces into a diamond shape (first row 1, second row 3. third row 5 etc…)  such that no two same color appears in adjacent squares (diagonally and orthogonally).  This puzzle is also easy to make with a wooden stick and some pushpins. For making “L” shaped pars I glued 1×1 sticks to 2×1  sticks. I used 20 x 10 mm wooden stick. You can use similar dimensions according to your materials. I cut them with a hand miter saw, I made some decorative saw traces and mounted push pins. Puzzle parts are below.

diamond match parts


If you want make your own puzzle or see the solution you can preview or download this free PDF file about this puzzle from here (0.4 MB on secure server

Push pins garden

Pushpin square match

This puzzle is a simple square color match puzzle. You must arrange puzzle pieces into a 5×5 grid such that no color appears more than once in each column and each row. This puzzle is very easy to make with a wooden stick and some pushpins. I used 20 x 10 mm wooden stick. You can use similar dimensions according to your materials. I cut them with a hand miter saw, I made some decorative saw traces and mounted push pins. Puzzle parts are below. 

Birds pcs

If you want make your own puzzle or see the solution you can preview or download this free PDF file about this puzzle from here (0.4 MB on secure server

Marble fun

Marble fun puzzle game

An unusual looking wooden puzzle. The name of this puzzle is “Marble Fun” Because I think all children have marbles and playing with colorful glass marbles is funny for all ages.

This is my first design and craft experience with marbles. I learned a lot of thing from this project. I like describe first this puzzle. This puzzle is a multi challenge puzzle. There are challenge cards with different difficulty levels. The aim of this puzzles is making given pattern by challenge card. If you look to the picture on the top of this machine there are three hole (three input) for putting marbles. And at the back of the machine there are four slot (four output). Each slot can contain maximum five marble. And this puzzle uses total 20 marbles in four different colors.

How the machine send marbles from three input points to four slots? For solving challenges you must first discover how this machine works. I will describe here how it works.
Understanding the mechanic of this machine is not sufficient for solving puzzles but for making your own copy this is a must.

And the fun of this machine is not limited with puzzles. I found also three different two player game possible to play with this machine. Games also require analytical thinking and memory for both player like puzzles.

marble fun puzzle game inside

Inside the machine there are eight wooden switch. Each switch has two position (0 or 1) that direct a marble to left or right. For starting to the game you turn the machine 90 degree to the left for putting all keys to start position as seen in the photo. When you roll a marble, keys that touch to the marble send this marble to correct way and change state for next marble. For example if a switch sends a marble to left, sends second marble to right. That means if you roll two marbles from same input point two marbles can go to two different slot. This machine works with a binary logic.

I made this puzzle by using mahogany, beech, olive and padauk. The tray at the bottom of the machine is removable for taking marbles and also makes easier handling of marbles. I designed this machine for small 12 mm marbles and the overall dimensions of this puzzle (without tray) is 228 x 130 x 26 mm. It’s possible also making a model for 15-16 mm marbles.

If you want make your own marble fun puzzle/game  you can download free PDF file including drawings, plans, photos and craft tips from here. (0.8 MB on secure server

You can download free PDF file including some puzzle cards and game rules from here. (2.0 MB on secure server

Crescent to cross puzzle

Crescent to cross puzzle

This puzzle is described in the book “Dissections: Plane and Fancy” by Greg N.Frederickson. According to the book this 7 pieces dissection is discovered by Lindgren in 1964. The aim of this puzzle making a greek cross (plus shape) by using this seven pieces.

This dissection is produced by different producers as puzzle. On the photo you can see my own simple craft example. But there are really beautiful examples of this puzzle. You can see one of them from Rob’s puzzle page.

For me this is an interesting dissection. Because this dissection include arc segments. I saw this puzzle on different books and articles. There are some patterns for scaling and drawing this puzzle but I can’t find a good description about how to draw it geometrically. I was curious especially about arc radius. For this reason I decided to draw it with a 2D engineering CAD software.

At the beginning I wasn’t planing to make a physical copy. I wanted to find how to draw geometrical dissections. This is similar to solving geometry problems and very funny. But I found some interesting points and for sharing here I prefer use my own photo and I made a copy. I made this puzzle from wood with a scroll saw. I describe this tool as “Poor man laser”. With a little experience and patience you can make a lot of laser cut puzzle with this machine.

This puzzle looks like a crescent moon. But in reality it’s not a real crescent Because a real crescent shape is the intersection of two circle. But in this dissection the ends of crescent are line segments. And the ends of crescent is very thin and long. I think theoretically this is a perfect dissection, but for making a physical copy it’s not a good dissection.

The most interesting part for me is “how to draw”. But this is a long explication for sharing here. For this reason a prepared a small free PDF document. (113 KB) This document is a step by step drawing tutorial for this puzzle and include a pattern page if you like make your own without drawing this. You can download from here. This is my simple method for drawing dissection puzzles. I start with known things and search unknown points like solving an equation. I draw a lot of dissection puzzle with this method. I think using a 2D cad software for drawing that kind of dissections make everything easier. “Draftsight” is a good free 2D drawing software. Very similar to “Autocad” but free.

I hope this document may be helpful to you for drawing other dissections too.

Old movie camera

old movie camera closed

This is one of the latest puzzles from my workshop. I was planing making a puzzle and in same time a desktop clock. I found some ideas and I decided to make this one. This is a puzzle box that all puzzle enthusiasts know very well. As you can guess the cube that construct the body of the camera is a 12 move traditional Japanese puzzle box. Normally two mahogany panel is the top and bottom panels of this box.

Some pieces of the camera are removable. You must remove them for opening the box. Other pieces are fixed and for decorative purposes. You can see the opened box here.

old movie camera open Some people think puzzle boxes are for protecting some small objects or cash. I remember Lucky Luke and Daltons. Daltons mostly don’t try to open a safe in the bank. They steal the safe. Puzzle boxes are very small and easy to carry and all thieves can expect something valuable from a nice box impossible to open. I think your empty puzzle boxes too are in danger. This box don’t look like a puzzle box. But who can guarantee that your thief don’t steal desk top clocks?

For making the box, I made a model with famous burr puzzle solving software. I think this software is very useful for designing Japanese puzzle boxes. The box mechanic is same with the “Modified Matchbox” design of Bruce Viney. You can visit his website. You can see his art works and find some useful information about making puzzle boxes. You can download some free plans for beginners, or if you have experience about making puzzle boxes you can buy more complex box plans for very low prices.

I can say Japanese puzzle boxes aren’t beginner projects. I think you must have at least a little box making experience. If you like make a Japanese puzzle box I can advise first reading the experiences of Brian Pletcher from here. Making an excel data sheet is a very nice idea of Brian. There a lot of pieces. I can advise additionally sort this data according the dimensions and cut all same dimensions with one fence setup of your table saw.

After making a cube puzzle box, you can make anything that you like . A cube with clock, thermometer and barometer, cute robots, an old TV or radio are some ideas.