Puzzle Box, version 1

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Project by PhilosopherSteve posted 12-22-2014 03:37 AM 1438 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For many years I’ve had ideas in my head to make a type of puzzle box. I wanted to create something which the user knows from the start is a puzzle and which has all the info needed to solve it on the piece. After several tries, this was born. It features four dials on the sides, a cipher wheel on the top and clues around the box to solve the cipher and set the dials correctly. Once the dials are set, the drawer will open.

My wife does the wood burning for me.

I never thought getting into puzzle boxes would have me studying cryptography, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m also looking at other language systems and glyphs to make more interesting puzzles. That’s along with seeing what other types of puzzles I can make.

This was my prototype, made from red oak and walnut, Finish was dye, seal, glaze and topcoat. I’m making more of these using cherry and maple in place of oak. We don’t like how oak burns, cherry and maple are much better.

In my user tests, most open the drawer in 5-10 mins, which is about what I wanted. I’m going to change the symbols as some of these are too similar.

3 comments so far

View flatrock's profile


108 posts in 2802 days

#1 posted 12-22-2014 09:05 AM


View NormG's profile


6576 posts in 4500 days

#2 posted 12-23-2014 04:22 AM

Great, what do you do if you forget

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View PhilosopherSteve's profile


43 posts in 5581 days

#3 posted 12-23-2014 01:53 PM

I’d have to re-solve the puzzle to figure out the combo. If the dial ever comes loose I have alignment marks on the dowel/lock piece. I wanted to make sure I could fix it if necessary.

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