Introduction: Ball and String Puzzle

Picture of Ball and String Puzzle

This is a fun and easy project to make. The goal is pretty simple: remove the large ball from the puzzle. You might notice that the solution is similar to the puzzle I made a few weeks back. As for materials, I used a scrap piece of wood, excess wood beads from the last project, paracord and a plastic ball that I scavenged from the kids old toy box. Note that I'm not the originator of either of these puzzles. I understand these types of puzzles have been around for 500+ years before patent protection :).

Unfortunately, I give away the solution while showing how to make the puzzle. As a challenge, try to figure it out from this picture. Once you are done or give up, watch the video to see the puzzle being solved and how to reset it for the next person.

Step 1: Tools/Materials

Picture of Tools/Materials

Tools:

  • Saw
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Drill Bits (1/2" and 1")
  • Sander
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Lighter

Materials:

  • Wood: 6" Long, 2" Wide, 1/8" to 3/4" Thick
  • Paracord: 5/32" Diameter x 36" Long
  • Wood beads: 3/4" OD, 3/16 ID (x2)
  • Ball (1.5" Diameter) or Block (1.5" Cubed), 1/2" Hole Through Center

Step 2: Block

Picture of Block

Cut a block to 6"x2". Thickness doesn't matter. I used a 3/4" thick piece of wood. Drill holes in block as shown. Sand to break sharp edges. You also might want to chamfer/round the holes to allow the cord to slide freely.

Step 3: Feed String Through First Hole

Picture of Feed String Through First Hole

Step 4: Feed String Through Middle Hole

Picture of Feed String Through Middle Hole

Step 5: Feed String Through Last Hole

Picture of Feed String Through Last Hole

Step 6: Counterbore Beads

Picture of Counterbore Beads

I used a drill to add counterbores to one side of each bead. These were needed to capture the knot in the paracord. Note that this picture is showing both sides of the beads.

Step 7: Place Beads Over Ends of String

Picture of Place Beads Over Ends of String

Tie a knot at he ends of the cord. Press the knots into the counterbores. Cut any excess string. Use a lighter to sear the ends of the string.

Step 8: Puzzle Is Now Ready to Add Ball

Picture of Puzzle Is Now Ready to Add Ball

Step 9: Pull String Out As Shown

Picture of Pull String Out As Shown

Step 10: Feed String Through Ball

Picture of Feed String Through Ball

Step 11: Feed String Through Hole on Beaded Side

Picture of Feed String Through Hole on Beaded Side

Wrap string around bead.

Step 12: Pull on Ball

Picture of Pull on Ball

This will pull the loop through the hole. Twist string to the opposite side of the beads to add more deception.

Step 13: Final Pictures

Picture of Final Pictures

Enjoy your puzzle!

Step 14: Similar Version

Picture of Similar Version

The previous version is shown here.

Comments

ClarkB9 made it! (author)2017-03-15

Here is a variation on this puzzle. One more step to solve.

mtairymd (author)ClarkB92017-03-15

Nice variation. Drilling a hole through a golf ball was pretty clever as well.

algotruneman made it! (author)2017-03-03

Thanks for the inspiration...again!

3D print version. As with the earlier puzzle, it's less manual skill to make, smaller, and so, easier to carry in a pocket! You've done it again. Great instructable.

mtairymd (author)algotruneman2017-03-03

That's cool. I want a 3D printer!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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