Moon Phase Puzzle

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Project by LarryJoe701 posted 11-30-2017 05:21 PM 733 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I designed and built this puzzle to celebrate the birth of some friends’ daughter. They named her Mitsuki, which means “beautiful” and “moon”.

The first three pictures are of the original. I cut it out of maple with my jigsaw, then painted the pieces white on one side and black on the other. The three cuts each connect opposite points on the circle, spaced 60 degrees apart, and consist of one straight edge and two arcs of different curvature. I also made a frame for it, painted black with some stars and galaxies. The idea is that you can make various phases of the moon by flipping all of the pieces on one or the other side of a cut when starting with the full moon. Trying to make a particular phase directly can be pretty tricky.

I was somewhat rushed in making the puzzle, and not all that accurate with my arcs, so the pieces only fit in the frame in the original orientation. A year later I wanted to make a copy for my own kids. I liked the idea, but wanted to get a better fit than I could hope for and didn’t have the time, so I had a buddy laser cut and engrave a four-arc version of it out of pine. It ends up being significantly more difficult, going from 7 to 11 pieces. The engraving was of a telescopic picture of the moon, showing the detailed terrain. I spray painted it with white and glow-in-the-dark on one side, black on the other, then added a few details to the frame. I gave one to my own kids and another to another friend’s.

I liked the abstractness, simplicity, personal effort, and cartoon style better of the first overall; however the precision and detail of the laser cutting are nice for an older kid. It’s a nice toy for teaching about the moon.

-- Larry Joe in Georgia

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Jim Jakosh

24928 posts in 3907 days

#1 posted 12-05-2017 03:12 AM

cool puzzle and for a good reason!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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