Two ball string puzzle

two ball puzzle


I don’t know the name of this puzzle. The aim of this puzzle is to get both beads on the same loop. This puzzle looks like “African ball puzzle” but completely different. I saw this puzzle in an article written by Jerry  Slocum. In this article there are a few other puzzles to make and their solutions. You can find detailed instructions for making them and the solution of this puzzle from this PDF article. I used 20mmx20mmx120mm beech. I cut the center of the block only for a different look. Holes are 10 mm. For this kind puzzles, you can find ready wooden beads in craft stores. But if you cant find, you can make wooden cubes and drill them. Two end of the rope are fixed to small beads. A small and funny to solve puzzle. Thanks to Jerry Slocum for this article.

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Bottle safe

Bottle safe puzzle


This puzzle is my craft. I made this puzzle for a Coca-Cola bottle. The bottle is the imitation of the first Coca-Cola bottle (1899) produced for 125. anniversary of the company. This puzzle is inspired from well known wine glass puzzles. The aim of this puzzle is solving the disentanglement puzzle at the left, taking the key and opening the padlock at the right. This is a very easy mechanical puzzle to solve. But I made it as a decorative coffee table puzzle for my bottle. I used two kind of wood. The base is white pine, and other parts are a kind of beech. Finally I made an oil finish.

This puzzle is different. The upper dowel is fixed and on the middle part there is a slot. For
removing the bottle you must shift the middle part, but you can’t remove it completely from the assembly. If you want make your own bottle safe puzzle I prepared a file that contains detailed instructions, dimensions, drawings photos etc. You can download or preview this free PDF file from here (1.2 MB on secure server 

City square

City square puzzle

This small village has only four houses. But unfortunately there isn’t a square. Can you make a square by using this four piece ? The aim of this puzzle is to make a square with this four piece. I designed this puzzle yesterday. After drawing on my computer, I went to my workshop and I found some scrap woods. I made this puzzle from 6 mm mahogany. I cut pieces with a hand miter saw and hand scroll saw in one hour. Puzzle pieces are very small. Each piece is about 50×60 mm. You can cut from any material that you wish with a scroll saw or you can make a laser cut version. This puzzle hasn’t a replay value but you can put pieces in your pocket and have fun with friends. I added to Pdf file also a print and play version. Experienced puzzle enthousiasts can solve this puzzle from picture. Solution is on the last page of the PDF file.

If you want make your own puzzle you can preview or download free PDF file including scroll saw pattern to cut, print and play version and solution from here (0.3 Mb on secure server

If you want make a laser cut version asci dxf file (you can convert to other file formats)  is here. Red lines are for decoration and white lines for cutting.

Zebra hippo puzzle

fold zebra hipo  paper puzzle

Another popular vintage folding puzzle. You can see original from here. This one also invented by H.Edborg and patented in 1943. Patent number is US2327875. You can fold this puzzle for obtaining a zebra or a hippopotamus. Original puzzle illustration is a cow and horse. This paper is two sided too. If you want make your own puzzle free PDF print and play file with instructions is here (1.4 MB on secure server For solution you can see original puzzle patent.

Fold a red car

fold red car paper puzzle

This is a popular vintage puzzle invented by H.Edborg in 1942. You can see beautiful original puzzle from here. Patent number is US2327876 Original puzzle has a camel illustration. Old time camels are cars of today. I made a modern illustration for this puzzle. the aim of this puzzle is folding paper so you will obtain a red car. This paper is two sided. If you want make your own puzzle free print and play file with instructions is here (1.6 MB on secure server For solution you can see original puzzle patent.

The whale puzzle

Jonah and the whale puzzle

This puzzle was designed by Carl Hird-Rutter and was published in the Fall 2006 issue #24 of “Scrollsaw” magazine. Normally I am not interesting with jigsaw puzzles. But this puzzle is interlocking. You must remove the eye for dismounting. I made it from 20×20 mm ready stock and it’s small as a key chain puzzle. I didn’t made the third cut shown on the puzzle plane and I made a small modification on the tail. I cut this one with a hand scroll saw.  I made this puzzle according to a free pdf file published in the web site of this magazine. But unfortunately they removed this file from their web site. If you want make your own whale puzzle you can find cutting pattern from here. For this puzzle you must use a square ready stock. You can scale and print this pattern according to your stock size. Top side of pattern show top view and first cut and bottom side of the pattern is side view and second cut. My eye piece is a thin 3 mm ready stock. You can drill eye piece and cut mouth first. Here there are some step by step instructions for making this puzzle. I didn’t made third cut for obtaining a small Jonah. This is your choice.

Jags and hooks

Jags and hooks puzzle

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.

Tchuka Ruma

Tchuka ruma puzzle or game

Last year, I was browsing a book about traditional games. This puzzle is described as a single player game from Indonesia. This is a simple puzzle. But for me it’s very interesting because this is the first puzzle that I saw with the mechanic of “Mancala games”. I think may be a basic idea for different puzzles with same mechanic.

The rules are as described:
Start position is as seen on the photo. You play this puzzle on a board with six cell or five cell. Five cell version is easier than six cell version. But both of them are good puzzles. Ruma is the yellow marked cell on the board. To start, place two seed in each cell except ruma. Moves are made in clockwise direction.

Pick up the seeds from any cell and drop them, one in each cell, to the next cells, including the Ruma. This is called sowing the seeds. Plan your move so that the last counter does not fall into an empty cell. if your last counter fall on an empty cell you loose and you must restart.

After you have dropped the last seed, pick up all the seeds in that cell and continue sowing as before. If the last seed falls into the Ruma, you may pick up the seeds from any cell and sow them. But if the last seed in your hand falls into a cell that was empty, you lose the game. You win when all ten seeds are in the Ruma.

I am playing now with this puzzle. I am looking for is it possible to play on a board with more cell or start with more seed on each cell. If you like make your own CD in version you can download or preview free PDF file from here (1 MB on secure server, you can print and put in a CD case.

Panama canal

Panama canal puzzle

This is an old sliding puzzle. A simple puzzle to make but fun to play. You start with,
PANAL     empty square at bottom right
And you try to make,
CANAL  by sliding puzzle pieces. The solution of this puzzle require minimum 21 moves. I cut puzzle pieces from 30 x 10 mm ready stock. Each puzzle piece is 30x30x10 mm. For making the try, I used 10×10 mm ready stock and 10 mm plywood. If you round corners a little and chamfer all edges, pieces will slide better. For sliding puzzles, ı advise making the try 2-3 mm bigger than total pieces dimensions. If you want play and test before making this one, you can play online here.


Instant insanity

Instant insanity puzzle

This is a well known and popular puzzle. Invented or patented by F.A.Schosow in 1900. Puzzle patent PDF is here. After produced with different names and shapes by different companies. This puzzle consists of four separate cubes. On each side of a cube there is a color or a symbol. There are four colors( or symbol) for four cube version. The aim of this puzzle is to put the cubes on top of one another in a tower such that each side of the tower will have one from each color (or shape). The colors of top, bottom and hidden faces aren’t important.  I like share here my home made examples. Puzzle pieces are below,

instant insanity puzzle pieces

I made this puzzle from 30×30 mm wooden cubes. I cut them from a 30×30 mm ready stock with my hand miter saw. For ornaments my old technical drawing stencils was very useful. I painted them with color gel pens and applied very thin lacquer. I made also some other versions,


Example on the left has stand and I drilled each cube center. But this version isn’t good to play, second version is made from plastic school cubes. I drilled spots on faces. very easy to make.

This puzzle has also 5 and 6 cube variations produced with different commercial names. Five cube version has five color(or shape) and six cube version has six color (or shape). You can find all information for 5 and 6 cube versions and method for solving them from here.


You can make ornaments on each face also by wood burning. You can see some nice vintage examples from  J.A Storer page.