Eight cubes

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.

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.

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Architect’s dilemma

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,

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)

Half cubes

This puzzle pieces are made by joining half cubes. I guess original idea belongs to Toshiaki Betsumiya. He was designed Gemini puzzle for Naef spiegel AG. This company has very nice products. You can see some of their other puzzles fom Rob’s puzzle page. Gemini puzzle is aiming to make a 4x4x5 block fom a mathematical set made by joining half cubes. After Stewart

Coffin was designed “Split cube”. He was designed a 4x4x4 cube by using some pieces of this mathematical set.

And lastly I designed my own puzzle “Half cubes” by using some other pieces of this mathematical set. This puzzle has four solution. Puzzle pieces are here,

For making this puzzle you must cut 16 half cube. For this purpose I used a 40×20 mm ready stock and I cut 40x40x20 mm pieces with my hand miter saw. If you glue first 7 th pieces (bottom line third piece) you can use this piece as a jig for gluing other pieces. Another easy to make and difficult to solve puzzle. If you need solution you can preview or download this free PDF file including pieces photos and solution from here. ( 0.3 MB on secure server box.com)

Skyscraper

This puzzle is one of my old puzzle designs and craft. I made this puzzle long time ago from Jenga parts. I was found some small  Chinese Jenga sets for a very low price. You can make this puzzle very easily with a hand saw by cutting and gluing Jenga pieces. If you want you can make also a better copy by using ready stocks. I painted puzzle pieces with acrylic paint. I am sure you can paint also better than me. Puzzle pieces are here,

Wooden knot 1

This is a well known 3 pieces wooden puzzle. This puzzle was published in a article by Jerry Slocum. Unfortunately this puzzle was difficult to make. Because most of the dimensions are related with material thickness and if you don’t have a thickness planer finding the right material was difficult. I decided to make a parametric design according to material thickness.

You can calculate your dimensions easily according to your material. I made mine from pine but I advise using a hard wood between 18 – 25 mm. (3/4 ” – 1″).  You can cut holes easily with a scroll saw or a hand jewelry saw. If you want you can make pieces longer or you can change their end shape. You can make rounded ends etc. This puzzle isn’t very difficult to solve but push you to think, for this reason I like this puzzle.

Jags and hooks

This is an eight piece puzzle. Four piece is tetramino “L” and other four pieces pentomino “Z”.  according an article this puzzle is the earliest rectangular puzzle formed from polyominoes. There are different problems for this puzzle.

1 The aim of the puzzle is making a 6×6 rectangle. This problem has only one solution.
2 You can make also an 3x3x3 cube by using only 3L and and 3Z piece. This problem also has one solution.
3 You can make a 4×9 rectangle. 1 solution again.
4 You can make a 3x3x4 block. this problem has 13 different solution. You can try to find all of them.
5 You can also find different shapes for this parts and make your own booklet.

A very easy puzzle to make and with different problems it is nice to play.

Big wafers

This puzzle is similar to “Small wafers”. This puzzle has 7 pieces and you must make an 8×8 square. Material thickness is 8 mm and each square is 15 mm. Puzzle pieces are here.

You can make all pieces by cutting two wooden 2a and 3a wooden strip. I hope you like them.

Small wafers

After very long time, yesterday I returned back to my workshop for making my two new puzzle design. This puzzle has six pieces. The aim of this puzzle is making a 7×7 square. Puzzle pieces are here,

Making this puzzle is easy. Because all parts has only two different width. You can set your table saw two time and cut  2a and 3a wooden strips. After you can cut all parts from this two strips. I cut all pieces with my hand miter saw. Puzzle pieces are small and cutting them with power tools is dangerous if you haven’t special fixtures. I made this two puzzle (with big wafers) in 4 hours. Material thickness isn’t critical. I used 8 mm thick wood. For my puzzles each square dimension is 15 mm. Choosing thickness approximately as half of square dimension make looks better this puzzle. I used mahogany. Looks like chocolate. I like making saw traces on puzzle pieces. I make nearly saw traces to all my puzzle pieces. I make saw traces with my hand miter saw. I set cutting depth to 1 mm. You can make also with a small hand saw. Making saw traces take time. But puzzle pieces with saw traces looks nice. I make also chamfer to all edges with a sanding block. For this puzzle you can make also saw traces only upper side of each piece.

I prefer mostly oil finish. A lot of people prefer varnish or lacquer. You can find comparisons for different finish methods on woodworker web sites. An easy to solve puzzle but in same time very easy to make.

Cubes and planks

I designed and made this puzzle long time ago. For designing this puzzle I am inspired from “Stars and stripes” puzzle designed by Wolfgang Schneider. Thanks from here for his beautiful and original design.

This puzzle has nine pieces. I like this puzzle, because it looks nice and different. The solution isn’t very difficult but force you to think about assembly. This puzzle isn’t a beginner project, because it’s require a precise work. For my puzzle, cube dimensions are 20x20x20 mm. Planks are 20x10x80 mm. You can cut planks 0.2 or 0.3 mm longer according to your working precision. You will need 20 cube and 18 plank. The center of the puzzle and the center of each face is empty. Puzzle pieces are here,

After preparing your cubes and stripes, assembly also require precision. Before fixing cubes to the planks, you must be sure that a plank can enter between two cube. And the two plank of each piece must be perfectly perpendicular. You can make a simple gluing jig from your scrap woods or you can use a small machinist square. You can make also this puzzle with 3D printing like almost everything. 🙂  You can download or preview free PDF file including solution from here. (0.4 MB on secure server box.com)

Spot dice

This puzzle is from the book “Puzzles old and new” of professor Hoffmann. A very easy puzzle to make. You can make this puzzle in a few hours. For making this puzzle I used 20×20 mm beech ready stock. I cut them with my hand miter saw and I drilled some holes. For spots I inserted metal ornaments used in fabric industry. You can find your own solution. You can make also spots by wood burning or painting. Puzzle parts are here,

You can make two type dice with this puzzle,

You can find the solution of this puzzle here.

This puzzle has also an other variation.

You can make two type of dice with this parts.

An easy to make and funny to play. I hope you like them.