Dragon puzzle box

Dragon puzzle box

After long time finally I made another puzzle box. Some time ago I watched a video about an antique Chinese puzzle box. There is a sweet competition between China and Japan. I like this. Chinese has tangram and Japans has Japanese tangram. Japans has Japanese puzzle boxes and Chinese has Chinese puzzle box. The mechanism of this Chinese box was very nice and I decided to make one. I made some changes and the result is this box. The name of this box is dragon box. I am planing to make a dragon ornament to side panels in next days with wood burning. Here my video about this box.

For making this box I used cherry and mahogany. Additionally some small padauk scraps from my workshop. This puzzle box is a complex box project (at least for me) and require a lot of drawing and explications. If you want make your own “Dragon puzzle box” you can download or preview free PDF file including photos , explications, plans , drawings etc from here (2.3 MB on secure server box.com) 

African ball puzzle

African ball puzzle

African ball puzzle is a classical string puzzle. This puzzle has different names. African string puzzle or African ball and string puzzle names also used for this puzzle. There are different explications about the origin of the name of this puzzle. I found a nice article about this puzzle by Yutaka Nishiyama.  You can read full article from here.

The aim of this puzzle is taking four ball to the same side of the loop. This puzzle has also different variations. The fifth ball in the middle of the rope is optional. You can use also one ball on each side of the rope instead of two. Here another version of this puzzle that I made long time ago.

African ball puzzle 2

For this version the aim is taking the ring to the other side of the loop. If you decide to make this version I advise making two ball (balls at the end of the sticks) in different color. Because when you start to solve you can confuse starting and ending sides of the loop. “Sleeper stopper” is also a vertical arrangement of this puzzle. This is a very easy to make puzzle. You can find easily some beads and you can make this in a few hour. You can download PDF solution from here. Or you can watch this video for solution.

Ariel puzzle

Ariel puzzle

Another old puzzle from Victorian era. This puzzle was in my “do it list”. Finally I made this puzzle according the drawing from the book “Puzzles old and new” by professor Hoffmann. A nice but forgotten puzzle. You can see an original antique example from here.  The aim of this puzzle is to free the red rope and big bead from the system. If you are good about solving string puzzles, this puzzle may be easy for you. But for a lot of people may be very confusing.

I made some small changes for making this puzzle easily in my workshop. I made the base of the puzzle from olive tree and other parts are from beech. You can make this puzzle with a few hand tools. You can find beads from craft stores. Sometimes I visit craft stores and buy beads, wooden rings, metal rings etc. This small things are very useful for puzzle craft. In my workshop I have a big box of beads, rings etc. The big yellow bead is an imitation amber bead from India. This is only for fixing ends of red rope. You can find some thing decorative or you can make a small decorative object from wood. If you want make your own Ariel puzzle you can preview or download my free PDF file including drawings, cutting templates and solution from here (1.6 MB on secure server box.com)

Architect’s dilemma

Architect's dilemma puzzle

A crazy businessman find ten billionaire and prepare with them a dream office plan for each one. And this businessman comes to the architect and want them to build a tower according to this ten plan. Architect make a model for each dream office and try to put them in his tower. This is my funny story for this puzzle.

The aim of this puzzle is to place ten piece inside the frame. For this puzzle I am inspired from “Campanile” of Naefspiele.  I made my own design. My design is different then campanile. Pieces are different and in my design the center of the frame is empty. According to my computer analysis campanile has 256 solution and this puzzle has 56 solution.

For making this puzzle I used 20x20x20 mm ready beech stocks and my hand miter saw as usual. I painted frame with colored varnish for a better appearance. If you have possibilities you can use different woods for frame and puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces are here,

Architect's dilemma puzzle pcs

The only part difficult to make of this puzzle is the frame. I prepared a document for making your own puzzle with craft tips. If you want make your own puzzle you can preview or download my free PDF file including craft tips and solution from here (0.6 MB on secure server box.com)

Japanese puzzle box

Japanese puzzle box

This is my small Japanese puzzle box. A lot of people look for Japanese puzzle box plans with detailed instructions. Unfortunately Japanese puzzle boxes aren’t beginner projects. All of them are difficult to make because they require a precise work and they have a lot of parts. This box is one of the most simple Japanese puzzle box. For this reason I decided to prepare a document with plans and instructions.

This puzzle box has four removable sliding panel and a box frame. Box frame contains box compartment and top, bottom pieces. You can open or close the box by moving each panel one by one in turn. According to computer analysis this box opens with 10 -12 move but after 8 move this box became open. I prepared my document for a 12Tx12Tx12T box. All dimensions are according to material thickness. If you use a 5 mm thick wood you will obtain a 60x60x60 mm box. If you want you can change dimensions of this box and make some rectangular box for dimensions that you wish. If you want make your own puzzle box you can preview or download free PDF file with plans and instructions from here (1,2 MB on box.com secure server)

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.. You can read also experiences of Brian Pletcher about making his first puzzle box.

After making a cube puzzle box, you can make anything that you wish . I made my old movie camera puzzle box with this cube. A cube with clock , thermometer and barometer, cute robots, an old TV or radio are some ideas.

Three disk puzzle

Three disk puzzle

A simple but nice puzzle. I made this puzzle according to an old patent. This puzzle was designed by A.H.Wheeler in 1910. You can see original puzzle patent US0968218 from here. I made some versions with different art works made by my sister. The aim of this puzzle matching each body with a head. Discs are two sided. I prepared a print and play version of this puzzle with a different art work. If you want make your own puzzle you can preview or download this free PDF print and play file from here. (0.6 MB on secure server box.com)

Super sleeper stopper

Super sleeper stopper puzzle

This puzzle is designed by Stewart Coffin too. The aim of this puzzle also moving one of the beads to the other loop and putting two beads on same loop.This puzzle is a more complex version of  “Sleeper stopper“. Rope arrangement is visible from photo but you can find also this puzzle in his 1985 edition puzzle craft book. Both end of the rope are fixed to the wooden block. For this you must drill a small hole according to your rope dimension and glue the rope ends into this hole. I made this puzzle from 20×20 mm ready stock. Wooden part dimensions 20x20x100 mm and rope hole is 10 mm. I advise making wooden block larger and holes bigger than mine. 20x40x100 mm wooden block and 20 mm holes may be a better dimension.  Wooden beads are from a craft store. I decorated wooden block by painting with acrylic paint. I rounded corners of wooden block by sanding. You can see original puzzle made by Stewart Coffin from here. This puzzle also looks impossible to solve.