# Chess cube

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.

# 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)

# 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.

# Bottle safe

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 box.com)

# City square

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 box.com)

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.

# 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.

# Panama canal

This is an old sliding puzzle. A simple puzzle to make but fun to play. You start with,
CANAMA
PANAL     empty square at bottom right
And you try to make,
PANAMA
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

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,

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.