30 minute puzzle

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Project by bent posted 07-18-2008 12:28 AM 6514 views 50 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

i found this puzzle in a book, and made one from some scrap pine i had in the shop. it’s a nice little project to use up leftover pieces, as it doesn’t require much wood, and can easily be scaled to any size. it is constructed in the same fashion as this game by garyk. the six pieces go together to form a 3×3x3 cube. it sounds easy, but the puzzle lives up to it’s name. i’ve had about a dozen people try it out so far, and only 2 have gotten it (30 and 45 minutes). if anyone builds one and needs help, let me know and i’ll send you the solution.

11 comments so far

View Dan M's profile

Dan M

121 posts in 5435 days

#1 posted 07-18-2008 12:44 AM

Very cool—I think I will definitely be building one (if not more) of these … but I have to ask a very simple question … you build and finish the cubes first and then glue long-grain to long-grain, correct? I’m not sure why but at the moment I’m having a moment very similar to the one the ape men had when they found the obelisk in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Given that you can bet I’ll need the solution!

-- Dan M, SW Suburbs, Chicago IL

View Çggghgyt's profile


306 posts in 5121 days

#2 posted 07-18-2008 01:49 AM

Great puzzle. I may build some. One question. How did you edge the cubes? Once you cut them down to individual cubes they are going to have at least 2-4 edges that you couldn’t edge before you cut them. Did you do it on a router table? If so, what did you use to hold the cubes as you ran them across the table?

View trifern's profile


8134 posts in 5258 days

#3 posted 07-18-2008 04:45 AM

Fun project. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 5591 days

#4 posted 07-18-2008 06:37 AM

Good project!

-- John

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6883 posts in 5471 days

#5 posted 07-18-2008 04:05 PM

Nice project to drive me closer to the edge. I understand I’m very near it now.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 5194 days

#6 posted 07-18-2008 05:37 PM

Great work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View bent's profile


311 posts in 5160 days

#7 posted 07-18-2008 11:40 PM

i’m glad you guys like this so much. i guess i should have posted some of the production methods along with the pictures. i started with a 3/4” thick board about a couple feet long. i then cut it on the table saw into 3/4” x 3/4” x 2’ strips. just a little tip: put the board on edge against your saw blade, then set the fence up against the other side of the board. this will set your cut to the exact same thickness as the board’s thickness. i then cut the strips into 3/4” cubes on the miter saw. again, i placed the board against the blade. i then clamped down a stop block against the other side of the board. you’ll need a minimum of 27 cubes. however, i recommend making a few extra in case you ruin a few with the router or in glue up. to add the chamfer on the edges, i used a router table. since the cubes were small, i didn’t want problems with the gap between the bit and fence. to take care of that, i clamped scrap pieces of 1/4” plywood over the router table top and fence, and then with the router running, raised the bit up into the plywood so that just a small portion of the bit was exposed to cut the chamfer. after the cubes were all cut (and finished if you choose to do so), i just superglued them into the neccesary shapes. given shapes of the pieces, you can’t always have an end-grain to to end-grain glue up. it’s not really neccesary though, after they set up, i tested them and couldn’t break them apart by hand.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5738 days

#8 posted 07-20-2008 03:46 PM

I have always loved wood puzzles. This looks like fun.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 5205 days

#9 posted 07-20-2008 04:07 PM

Very cool… I like this idea a lot. I’ll be trying it in the future…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View cotterm's profile


6 posts in 4080 days

#10 posted 04-28-2011 02:00 AM

Did you cut these as individual blocks, then glue them up?

View bent's profile


311 posts in 5160 days

#11 posted 04-30-2011 03:47 PM

yeah, i cut the blocks individually then glued them together. i cut up a bunch of blocks and made 14 puzzles all at once.

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