Category Archives: Puzzle boxes

DIY puzzle box projects

Cargo Boat

Cargo boat ft

Another small and unusual puzzle design from my workshop. The cargo of this boat is a matchbox. I designed this puzzle as a tricky opening matchbox safe. But I don’t advise to put matchbox inside of an object attractive for children.

This box has not an ingenious mechanism but an easy and funny project. Opening this box isn’t difficult. But can you guess this ? It looks like a small wooden boat. At first look it’s a child toy. But when you open it, inside there are a hidden compartment. If you make this box bigger, you can obtain a big box.

cargo boat open

If you like make your own puzzle, you can preview or download from here free PDF file (1.1 MB on secure server box.com) including more photos, plans, drawings and craft tips.

Lobster Box

Lobster puzzle box

This puzzle box is my another design. I can say this is third generation of “Twin Lock Box” This time there aren’t any visible keys or holes. For opening the box you must use gravity and magnetism. And lobster is a mile stone for the solution

I made the box from ovenghaul. It’s a nice hard wood with a rich texture. First I was planing a red lobster. For this reason I selected a clear wood for box. After some try, I decided to this color for lobster. On this box, I also rounded all edges. I think the box looks better. Overall dimensions of this box is 92x92x150 mm.

I carved the lobster from a hard wood. For my box ornaments I read a book about traditional Japanese small scale wood carvings called “Netsuke”. The name of this book is “Carving Netsuke”. A nice book for learning method and tools. Thanks for this free e book to Mr.Tom Sterling. You can visit his web site and learn more about carving netsuke and you can see his art works and download this free ebook. This lobster is my first attempt. I like use that type of carvings in my future projects.

The lobster on this box is only for hiding a small magnet. If you don’t have enough carving experience or ıf you don’t like carve a lobster, you can make a different ornament for hiding the magnet.

If you like make your own puzzle box, you can download from here free PDF file (1.4 MB on secure server box.com)

Toothpick Box

Toothpick puzzle box

I call this box “Toothpick Box”. Mechanic of the box is exactly same with “Twin Lock Box”. For this box I made side panels longer for hiding wooden keys. On each side of the box there are five small hole (5 mm diameter) For opening the box you must configure wooden keys by pushing them. Because of production clearances there are a small clearance on box cover. That makes easier to find the cover but it’s not important. Because finding the cover don’t help to open the box.

I made this box from padauk. They call some time “ Blood wood” I was expecting an orange color. But its red. I am not sure is that true color or the wood is exposed to sun light on seller shop. Because on woodworker sites they say this wood becomes darker when exposed to sun light.


This is my first puzzle with padauk. All workshop, my clothes and me became red because of sanding dust It paint everything like an oil pastel. This is a little bigger box (82x92x150 mm) Dimensions are planned for less scrap from my material.

From photos, you can see some inside details. If you like make your own puzzle box, you can download from here free PDF file (0.8 MB on secure server box.com)

Twin Lock Box

Twin lock box ft

This tricky opening box is my original design. This is a simple puzzle box. I applied the mechanic of my “Tricky opening bottle” to this box. On both side of the box there are 5 wooden sliding key. Each key has two position and can move until the borders of the box. For opening this box, you must find the correct position of each key. This is mostly a wooden combination lock mechanism. After opening the box you can remove all keys and you can arrange your own configuration by changing their order. If your friend have the same box, he can’t open yours.

You can see inside of the box from this photo. There are total ten keys, box and box cover. When you change the key configuration, you must memorize it for opening your box later. For this reason you must know front and back side of the puzzle. But I don’t put any mark or ornament on the box. Instead of this for making the box I used a kind of olive wood. This wood has a rich texture and it’s easy to memorize the front side of the box. I draw an other variant with hidden keys. This variation has a fixed key configuration. A project for next weeks.You can apply this mechanic to a coin bank with a funny coin send mechanism The overall dimensions of this box is about 70x82x150 mm.

If you like make your own puzzle box, you can download from here free PDF file (0.5 MB on secure server box.com) or you can see step by step instructions from instructables.com