LumberJocks

Luban Ball Puzzle

  • Advertise with us
Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 07-09-2021 07:00 AM 955 views 2 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Boy and Girls,

The arm is getting a tad more usable… contrary to what’s nestled behind my eyes… I can continue my puzzling resurgence after being subliminally coerced by NHdude's post.

Some people make boxes, other’s make chopping boards, a few make pens (guilty me) and the twisted ones turn bowls (sorry bowls for associating you with the twisted), while others just turn bowels. This independent, thrill-seeking duck seems to have gravitated towards puzzles lately and when I discover a new one, I just cannot ignore it and unleash my discovery on you unfortunates here on the LJ site.

This puzzle is not in the ranks of hardware or even Viagraless software, but rather in the brainware of why? It may be attributed to me looking at far too many bloody sideways pictures here at LJ… am I being mean… blood oaf… I have a phobia that alcohol or medication cannot treat.

I found this puzzle that is referred to as ”Luban’s Balls” by Mr. Luban and Luban Sphere by others, and anything in between (who’s ever appendages you desire or chose to ignore) by others still.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find any plans, however, I found countless versions of it on sale. I can’t for the life of me understand how any one can sell one for around $6.00(Aus),

OK, the above is a selective reduced item on eBay. At $50 an hour for my labour, it takes me 15 minutes ($12.50) to just package the bugger before I even considering other costs.
I was also inundated by nearly as many videos on the solution… I proudly added another video just to add further congestion…. see further down.
One of the videos recommended an order of assembly which I blatantly refute and somewhere in this thread I hope to poo-poo him/her.

I have managed to create the puzzle in SketchUp

with this (supposedly) assembly “aid”, using a colour code mentioned further below,

The design was based on snapshots of the pieces in one of the downloaded videos. My initial design was formulated on using 3mm MDF (2 layers to get the laminated profiles) with dowel alignment,


however, the dowels seemed to have faded into insignificance along with the holes to hide them in…

not due to mechanical efficiency, but rather to LBD laziness

Nevertheless, I am no way discouraged as here is a picture of the laziest member of my family.

in action!

By laminating 2 layers of MDF giving a thickness of 6mm and the fact that the shape was circular, basic mathematics (and a shitload of trial and error) dictated the final dimensions… and eventually concluded that laminating 6mm MDF was easier and faster than the same with 3mm… however, I didn’t discover this till a few paragraphs further down in this article.

I “printed” off a prototype set and glued the pieces together only to find that the 3mm MDF was too fragile and had a propensity for easy breakage.

I managed to assmble it,

but it was a bugger to disassemble… my 6 piece puzzle turned into 7 and just one deft maneuver saved it from 8.

Consequently I promoted the pieces to 6mm MDF size using CorelDraw (resized 200%). The shapes still had to be laminated to get the correct shape, however, the 6mm MDF was much more robust and could take a bit more abuse…

no not from my cussing when I couldn’t solve it, but rather due to tight fits because of the 0.15mm kerf of the laser. This was rectified by sanding both outside faces and a dose of my Beall Buffslippity doo-dah!

This doctoring with the sander made me reconsider my 3mm MDF pieces.

After replacing the broken pieces and a bit of sanding, 3mm went back on the production line.

Interesting feature of this puzzle is that it seems to self-lock (oh the mind boggles) when assembled. Because of the geometry, during disassembly, there is a marginal tendency to jam up the puzzle if you pull on the wrong puzzle piece. To make life easier, owners may choose to mark the key part (the turquoise #3 in the instructions below), however, that does make it easier to disassemble… this is determined by your degree of masochism.
Some people choose to colour code them like my diagrams… fortunately I’ve yet to hear of one… but then again I wear glasses over my nose.

Because of the labour intensive gluing requirement for laminating, I’m not overly keen in adding this puzzle to my freebie goodies and I will reserve this puzzle for closer friends and potential Chrissy presents.

To solve the puzzle, simply line your ducks in a row (as per instructions),

and follow the bouncing green arrow

Anyone interested, the following are available here:-

  • SU SKP diagram.
  • PDF of pieced and measurements. Can be used as templates for scrolling or laying out for routing… may need resizing to dumbo imperial.
  • PDF of solution… each step per page… exported out of SketchUp.
  • Coreldraw CDR file for importing into freebie Inkscape.
  • Cask of cheap vino, if you have the very expensive alcohol download App.

It seems to be becoming a regular ego trip, I star in my own blockbuster box office here and for the easily bored, a SketchUp animation solution , using obsolete data, can be viewed.
While making the video, I did cock up several times during glue up,


moral of the story is, don’t make videos in colour.
Can’t remember who started me off on the video craze… well, actually I can, but I won’t embarrass him/her/it in case someone knows their address and are prepared to plead the 2nd.

maj, 987 and the isolated DW… I don’t recommend mass distribution of these unless you have an appointment with the debt-collectors.

PS. APB… Any puzzle suggestions would be appreciated, as long as it doesn’t include wood, metal (including aluminium and bras), cloth (including brass), string, paper, glass, plastic OR THINKING… blank cheques that need my filling in, are acceptable.

PPS. The block plane in the gallery pictures is just to prove to others that I do own hand tools and not just a laser!

If you’ve managed to get this far, prepare yourself for another puzzle installment coming to a neighborhood near lucky you… Yey!

Keep safe, jocks... and your jocks, safe!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD





47 comments so far

View crowie's profile

crowie

5007 posts in 3189 days


#1 posted 07-09-2021 08:24 AM

Move over Ludwig von Drake we have “LBD”.

Our very own Professor of Puzzles and Words.

Another very clever puzzle Alex, but way too much reading,
even in lockdown isolation times.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8082 posts in 2059 days


#2 posted 07-09-2021 09:27 AM



... but way too much reading,
even in lockdown isolation times.
- crowie

You better start turning, as that famous turner pottzy continually bitches about the length of mine (jealousy is a curse)... yet it’s only me that has openly tendered their hate of reading…

Hell crowie, with all the dissidents in NSW, you’ll have time to read Venmurasu a couple of hundred times… over and above this post and my upcoming “puzzle tomes”...

Nevertheless, objection has been recorded… Next time I’ll leave the pictures and punctuation out to reduce the volume…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

17000 posts in 4106 days


#3 posted 07-09-2021 10:35 AM

Maaaan….you gave me headackes!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile (online now)

woodshaver Tony C

8256 posts in 4591 days


#4 posted 07-09-2021 11:05 AM

You got a cute little puzzle there Ducky the kids will like it! For me there’s too many other things in life to figure out so I’ll leave making more things to figure out to you LBD. “I’m smiling”

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

2161 posts in 555 days


#5 posted 07-09-2021 01:00 PM

Another wonderful education in puzzle making. Great puzzle.. Like the pictures and words. Keep it up. Ignore those bowel turners.

-- Ron

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

20594 posts in 2223 days


#6 posted 07-09-2021 03:32 PM

im with ivan this is given me headaches,way too much for me to read.maybe if i go turn a bowl it will clear my head.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

517 posts in 3573 days


#7 posted 07-09-2021 06:43 PM

interesting project and enjoyable read. Don’t mind the critics too much. I’m pretty sure they just envy your intellect and wit.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10693 posts in 3282 days


#8 posted 07-09-2021 07:57 PM

This is a very significant puzzle I must say. My head is more twisted than your puzzle. If this was done for a challenge then you sure accomplished that. Very impressed but I’ll leave the puzzle making to you.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

3712 posts in 2215 days


#9 posted 07-09-2021 11:49 PM

Interesting puzzle. I’m not a bowel turner so I like making puzzles meself. How complicated will this one be using woodworking tools?

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8082 posts in 2059 days


#10 posted 07-10-2021 01:03 AM

Thanks Boys for the encouragement and a special thanks to all you Girls...

It’s a shame that too many people consider puzzles above their pay grade... even the simplest ones get the brain waves flowing and I’m sure that many would prefer that rather than just the flow of alcohol… well others may.

My puzzle mania started with a puzzle I bought while at university in 1967

and was too dumb to solve… It only took me 50 years but at least I started.

Recent true story (2 weeks ago)... I gave my ”..... therapist” a collection of my puzzles (mostly miniature versions) that she had scattered on her coffee table at home when her 91 yo dad and her sprighly 89 yo mum came visiting. Apparently he is getting a tad “senile”... not diagnosed with dementia, however, slow at memory recall and reaction. He sat at the table and played with the puzzles for a few hours, even rushing his favorite meal to return to the puzzles… yep hours (longer than to read this post) and I was told he hasn’t been so responsive for quite a while… even mum got stuck into them… actually they both managed to ”clock” a few and were chupped.
He/they was/were gifted the collection and I now need to replace my therapits’s set. Apparently he (dad) was very impressed with the miniatures as they helped with his hand/eye co-ordination.

... So....there’s hope for y’all yet!

Don’t know what I dislike the most… the wear and tear on the soapbox or the dethrowning kick up the arse?


Interesting puzzle. I m not a bowel turner so I like making puzzles meself. How complicated will this one be using woodworking tools?

- corelz125


Then you should be able to fart through colonoscopies with a breeze.

Biggest problem would be cutting a circle without the hole in the middle… but then again, when halved it doesn’t need to be a perfect semi circle. Then it’s a matter of a few dado cuts… a lot are repeated on each piece… for the dados all you need to do is pick a width, any width (I use 6mm) and all cuts will be to that depth with many double that width… either 1 or multiple pass… naturally the thickness of the timber should be double your chosen dado width… the diameter of the circle/oblong/square is irrelevant.
You just need to change the dimensions proportionately for your scale on page 15 of this link... based on 3mm MDF substrata. Will eventually update, but for now, the green circled 4mm x 1mm notch is NOT required…

Just bear in mind that 2 pieces are represented as circles as the laser kerf bisecting the circle is .2mm. They are then laminated.
As solids you will be working on semi-circles with the diagrams representing each side… so imagine folding my diagrams along the diameter, for dado cuts on each side (to 1/2 the depth of chosen thickness).
Picture parts on page 3 as one solid piece each.

Any queries can be PM’d to me at [email protected]...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View crowie's profile

crowie

5007 posts in 3189 days


#11 posted 07-10-2021 01:15 AM

Alex, While I don’t have the patience or inclination for puzzles, I do so appreciate all your time, effort and expertise in finding and making them.
I’m sure the crosswords and puzzles my mum who’s in her early 90’s helps keep her sharp, along with piano playing.
So a big WELL DONE to you for sharing your puzzling passion with us on LumberJocks and others like the old gent in your story.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8082 posts in 2059 days


#12 posted 07-10-2021 03:10 AM



Alex, While I don’t have the patience or inclination for puzzles, I do so appreciate all your time, effort and expertise in finding and making them.
I’m sure the crosswords and puzzles my mum who’s in her early 90’s helps keep her sharp, along with piano playing.
So a big WELL DONE to you for sharing your puzzling passion with us on LumberJocks and others like the old gent in your story.

- crowie


Thanks crowie... I never really gave my puzzles that much credit till I was told that story… after hearing that, any additional pleasure I can gleam from my puzzles will be a bonus. They have been enjoyed by many now through the mini give-aways, but that story took the cake… hmmm, maybe a cake puzzle???

While my gimme2us is nothing like your charity donations, I can start to perceive your motivation and satisfaction.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8263 posts in 3443 days


#13 posted 07-10-2021 09:51 AM

looks to be a bit scary to me I see the ski boots and ski’s but where is the fake snow.
Plus I want to see you kitted up on tread mill doing a cross country run.

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8082 posts in 2059 days


#14 posted 07-10-2021 01:23 PM


looks to be a bit scary to me I see the ski boots and ski s but where is the fake snow.
Plus I want to see you kitted up on tread mill doing a cross country run.

- robscastle


Actually, when I first took up skiing, I propped a door covered with carpet on my lounge suite… and in the middle of summer, in 35°C with full ski gear, me and the missus (at the time) were doing snowploughs down the door… i was these short runs that got me into grass skiing during the off season.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Pjonesy's profile

Pjonesy

428 posts in 2065 days


#15 posted 07-12-2021 03:07 AM

Love your puzzle Alex and the story to go with it. Hope your arm is getting better. We need to see a picture of you on the treadmill actually in motion. We all need to exercise more to keep ourselves above ground a little longer. Actually exercise is one of the main reasons for slowing my model making down. Why is stuff that is supposed to be good for us so time consuming?

-- Don't tell me it can't be done.

showing 1 through 15 of 47 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com