Just a little Puzzle

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Project by Mike posted 06-13-2014 01:38 AM 3100 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This little wood puzzle was made from a piece of scrap 1 by 1 cherry. Take a look at the pieces unassembled, you can see how they go together then once you shake them up they’re locked together. The test is can you get them back apart?

10 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8773 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 03:02 AM

Very cool… there a special trick to get it open, or just pure luck?

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2827 days

#2 posted 06-13-2014 11:47 AM

Very nice. I have one of these sitting on my desk. My at the time 5 year old found an easier way to solve it than I could. I’ll just say you need all four pins to slide outward at the same time.

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View ccanderson102's profile


34 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 06-13-2014 12:55 PM

I have the answer Any points for posting the solution?

View J Azuma's profile

J Azuma

30 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 06-13-2014 01:02 PM

Are the pins just dowel pins? Are they weighted in any way? Just curious about the action and how well the pins slide.

-- J Azuma

View abie's profile


914 posts in 4570 days

#5 posted 06-13-2014 01:54 PM

much harder to make ,
than to solve

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View gepatino's profile


217 posts in 2924 days

#6 posted 06-13-2014 02:55 PM

very nice, could post the instructions how to make it? or does it have a name to google it?


View oldnovice's profile


7591 posts in 4167 days

#7 posted 06-13-2014 04:46 PM

If the pins are loose enough you can spin it about the center, where the two pieces cross, and the pins should move apart!

Is that correct?

I like puzzles and this is a good one!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View TechTeacher04's profile


447 posts in 2331 days

#8 posted 06-13-2014 05:36 PM

Yes, that is correct. Just spin from the center and the 4 dowel pins are forced to the outside allowing the 2 pieces to be separated.

View Mike's profile


78 posts in 2694 days

#9 posted 06-14-2014 03:25 PM

Thanks for the input and complements. One of these days I’m going to start taking pictures while I build so I can share the process. The correct solution is a quick spin, centrifugal force moves all 4 pins out and the puzzle opens.

The pictures may not show it, each half of the puzzle is made up of 3 pieces of cherry and 2 pins. The cherry pieces at all 1” x 1”, one is 4” long and the other two are 1 1/2” long.

I used a drill press set up with a jig to drill the hole on the middle of the long piece and then the end of the short pieces. Alignment is pretty important.

The pins are made from a 3/8” wood dowel, I sharpened both ends in my pencil sharpener to help them move in and out more smoothly. the holes in the short piece have to be just a little longer than the opening between the two shorter pieces or the pins will fall out of the puzzle when its unassembled. The hole is 1/64th larger than the dowel to leave room for them to move in and out.

When you have everything cut out and drilled just glue the 2 short pieces on top of the longer piece. use the second long piece set across the first one to get everything aliened. Then flip it over and glue the short pieces on top of the second long piece.

Let the glue dry, give it a spin, take the halves apart and sand everything. I finished with bowling alley wax giving everything including the pins a nice slippery finish.

You can alter the dimensions to fit your scrap. I made several at a time because tool set up take a bit of time. You’ll want more than one after you show your friends they are going to want one.

I show people the two halves, put them together, shake them, and tell them to give it a whirl and try to take the halves apart. You will have fun watching people try to solve the puzzle and see who really listens to your instructions, “give it a whirl”.

View Schwieb's profile


1900 posts in 4261 days

#10 posted 06-15-2014 11:10 AM

I seen this referred to as Archimedes helicopter. I’ve made several and folks love them

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

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