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.
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)