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.
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. I prepared a detailed document with dimensions and instructions for making the cube part of this puzzle. If you want make your own old movie camera you can preview or download this free PDF file from here (1.2 MB on secure server box.com). If I can find some time I will add here later some drawings and instructions for other parts of this box. 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.