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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The aim of this puzzle is to transfer both coin to the same side of the loop. Two coin and a credit card is a funny cash transfer theme. Rope arrangements are visible from photo. Red dashed line show the back side of the card. Holes on coins is about 6 mm and coins diameter is about 16 mm. Holes on credit card are 10 mm. I made this holes with a sharp wood drill bit by drilling same hole from both side but you can find also your own method. They must be smaller than coins. This puzzle isn’t different than “African ball puzzle” and solution is same. Another very easy to make puzzle. I hope you like this theme.
Another peg solitaire board. Mr. George Bell advised me this “Truncated triangle board“. Thanks again from here. When I saw this board I was think an owl shape but after drawing the board I decided for a penguin. A very small but very nice board. You can read more from George Bell’s triangular peg solitaire page and find problems for this board. Rules are same with peg solitaire but diagonal moves also allowed. You can play online from here.
This board dimensions is approximately 110×160 mm. I used 18 mm white pine. Marbles are standard 16 mm marbles. For penguin eye I used two 7 mm glass bead. I drilled marble holes with 13 mm drill. Hole depth is about 6 mm. Black lines are made by wood burning. I painted black parts with ink and I applied a very thin varnish.
If you want make your own penguin board I prepared two free PDF file. One of them include cutting, drilling and painting template, other file is problem cards. I prepared 35 card from easy to difficult. You can preview or download them from links given below. Template PDF for cutting, drilling, painting etc. ( 65 KB on secure server box.com) Problem cards PDF ( 11.4 MB on secure server box .com)
Yesterday I went to local market for weekly shopping. I saw this nice bamboo bowl. I planned making a cover on this bowl and transforming it to a peg board. When I arrived to home, I saw in a shelf in my workshop the wooden cover of a broken jar. I am very lucky. Both of them has same diameter. I decided to use this cap. First I draw on computer this star shaped board. But with a standard board outside circle holes was too much far from center and I decided to make curved lines. My cap also has a curved top. After I printed my drawing and transferred it on my cap. I drilled holes and made lines with a wood burning tool. For pegs I used glass beads that I was bought a lot of them for this purpose.
This star peg solitaire has same rules with peg solitaire. You must fill all holes with pegs except one. You must play by jumping a peg over it’s neighbor into the vacant hole and than remove from the board the peg so jumped. You can jump only over one peg and you must follow lines. The aim of this puzzle is leaving one one peg on board. You can start with any empty hole that you wish. If you start with an empty hole on outside circle holes you will finish on inside circle or if you start with an empty hole on inside circle holes you will finish on outside circle. You can read more about this puzzle from George Bell’s peg solitaire page. You can view also two nice vintage puzzle example “Penta” from here and “Star solitaire” here.
But back side of my cap was empty and I decided to make another small board, And this is back side of my cap (or board). This puzzle is “Mini triangular peg solitaire“. Rules are same. You must fill all holes with pegs except one. You must play by jumping a peg over it’s neighbor into the vacant hole and than remove from the board the peg so jumped. You can jump only over one peg and you must follow lines. The aim of this puzzle also is leaving one one peg on board. But if you start only with correct empty hole you can leave one peg. You must also find correct starting hole. You can read more about this puzzle or you can see solution from here. You can see two vintage commercial example “Mini solitaire” from here and “Little triangle solitaire” from here. Thanks from here to Mr. George Bell for this two puzzle and for his website.
If you want make your own puzzle you can find easily a small bowl. My bowl has 100 mm diameter. If you can’t find something wooden you can use small porcelain or glass cups etc. For making easy covers without a lathe you can cut with a scroll saw two circle and glue them. For this method you can see my “Ball truck” or “Ball and cube” puzzles. For pegs you can cut them from 4 – 5 or 6 mm ready round wooden stocks. And you can use this image file for transferring lines on your board. You can scale it according to your board and print.