Stand up African ball puzzle

Stand up affrican ball puzzle

I made this puzzle also long time ago. If you turn this photo (or this puzzle) upside down, you will see this puzzle is exactly same with African ball puzzle. The aim of this puzzle is transferring the ring to the opposite side. This puzzle is very nice for making as a coffee table puzzle. It looks nice, very easy to make and difficult to solve for your visitors and friends. My puzzle dimensions are here,

Stand up affrican ball puzzle1

If you are planing to make one as a coffee table puzzle you can make a little bigger. I made wooden ring from a wooden dough roller. You can cut it with a scroll saw or you can make something square etc. Rope arrangement is visible from photo. Two end of the rope are fixed to base.

Dumb-bell puzzle

dumb-bell puzzle

The summer is hot and I am very lazy. I found a lot of small string puzzles in my puzzle storage box. This puzzles are easy to make. I made this puzzle long time ago with very limited workshop possibilities. I bought wooden balls from a craft store. The rod that connect two ball is 10 mm round ready stock. And I made for wooden ring from a wooden dough roller. The aim of this puzzle is removing the ring.

Dumb-bell puzzle

If you want make your own puzzle this small drawing can help you for dimensions.

Dumb-bell puzzle dimensions

If you can find wooden beads, you can cut wooden round disks and you can make a puzzle looking like a barbell. This may be a different and nice design.


Eight cubes

Eight cubes puzzle

This puzzle is made of eight cubes. On each small cube there are six different shape (or color) The aim of this puzzle is to arrange eight cubes so each face of the cube will contain same four shape (or color) and all internal touching cube faces will have same shape (or color).  This puzzle is more difficult to solve than you expect. By turning cubes and trying, it’s nearly impossible to find correct solution. For each small cube arrangement there are two way. You can read more about the mathematics of this puzzle from here. I made for myself two different version of this puzzle. I used 30x30x30 mm (11/4″x11/4×11/4) wooden cubes. I cut them from a 30×30 mm stock with a miter saw. For the version on the left I draw shapes with some templates and painted them with an ink pen. For the colored version I draw circles on each cube face and I painted outside of the cubes with black and inside of the circles with color ink pens. You can make also with wood burning or by pattern transfer methods on wood. If you want you can also print labels and you can put labels on school cubes etc. Or you can find your best method.

Eight cube pcs

If you want make your own puzzle, puzzle pieces are here. You can read also more information about this puzzle and you can find the solution of this puzzle from Jaap’s octacube puzzle page. If you follow solution steps you can solve and also you can understand better this puzzle.

Puzzles from Yukio Hirose

Pattern match puzzles

A few years ago I discovered a very nice web site with a lot of beautiful color and pattern match puzzles. Mr. Hirose Yukio is a Japanese puzzle designer and designs very nice puzzles and share them in his web site. I made one for my collection almost all his puzzles. You can visit Mr. Hirose Yukio web site and you can see all his nice puzzle designs. You can also download free patterns from his web site. Mr Hirose also describe a method for making your own puzzles you can read his method and develop your own

Here I will explain my method for making this kind of puzzles. I start by printing puzzle sheets with a laser printer. Laser printer printouts are more durable than inkjets. I prefer using a heavy paper. My printer limit is 160 gr/m2 and I use this limit. For tiles I am using 3 mm grey cardboard. I cut grey cardboard to same size with my sheet (I use A4 sheet 210×297 mm). I apply carpenter glue quickly to grey cardboard and to paper. I fix paper to cardboard with care. You can start from top or bottom side of paper and fix it without trapping air between cardboard and paper. After I place this to a flat surface and under something heavy. I let it to dry. After I glue a wallpaper to the back side of the cardboard. You can see from photo my red wallpaper. You can find very cheap wallpapers from stores. At end of seasons stores makes big discounts for out of production or end of stock products. Now your tiles are ready for cutting I am using a thick metal ruler and a heavy duty craft knife. You must be careful for your fingers.

After making your tiles you can find a nice box for them. I found first box shown on the photo in a small shop for less than 0.5 USD. Other two plastic round box are candy boxes. I made a label on their cover. I am sure you will find your own best method.


Ladybugs puzzle

The aim of this puzzle is arranging six tiles for obtaining 7 shape pair. This puzzle is my arrangement for vintage “Matador puzzle”. You can see the original puzzle from Rob’s puzzle page. The original of this puzzle instead of shapes contains half of domino tiles. I like share here my unusual and simple method for making this puzzle. I made puzzle tiles from 3 mm plywood. Each tile is 50×50 mm. Approx. 2×2 inch. For funny looking shapes I used baby dress buttons.

Baby dress buttons

This buttons are cheap and you can find a lot of different shapes. I was bought a lot of them for making game pieces and puzzles. But their back sides aren’t flat. For this reason I cut their back sides with a miniature side cutter. Unfortunately after cutting their back side, still a little plastic remains and I melt this excess plastic with a soldering iron and I obtain nice flat back shapes. Finally I glued them with hot glue to wooden tiles. I applied varnish to wooden tiles after gluing all pieces. If you want make your own puzzle, puzzle pieces are here. You will need to seven different shape.

ladybugs puzzle pieces

You can make also this puzzle on cardboard or if you want make a print and play copy of this puzzle you can preview or download this free PDF file (223 KB on secure server including black and white and color print and play versions of this puzzle.

Mortgage puzzle

Mortgage string puzzle

Save yourself from your bank. The aim of this puzzle is freeing the rope and the wooden man from the card. This puzzle is my arrangement for classic “Red goose puzzle”. You can see a vintage example from here. This puzzle is very easy to make. Instead of wooden man you can use anything bigger than your holes. My puzzle holes are 10 mm.  This puzzle is also  very easy to solve (unfortunately mortgage problems are more complex) and a lot of string puzzle have same principle. But if you need to solution or more information about making this one you can watch this video.

Chess cube

chess cube puzzle

Chess cube is another nice and easy to make puzzle. The aim of this puzzle as you can guess is making a 2x2x2 checkered cube. This puzzle designed by Russian designer Leonid Mochalov. I saw this puzzle in his website. In his web site there are also a lot of mechanical  and mathematical puzzles. I can advise to visit this web site to all puzzle enthusiasts. Thanks from here for this puzzle and for his nice web site.

Making this puzzle is very easy. You must cut or find eight cube. I cut from 20×20 mm ready beech stock with my hand miter saw. I made dots with my wood burning tool. You can paint or you can add labels. If you want you can make also paper cubes and play with them. But school cubes ( some times they sell as inch cubes) are cheap and widely available. Using them with labels or stickers is very easy.

After making this puzzle I tried to solve it. There is only one difficulty as shown on the right side of the photo. If you make 4 sides faces correctly checkered, unfortunately top and bottom faces don’t fit to this pattern perfectly. But in any case a nice and difficult to solve puzzle.