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I love puzzles. Not jigsaw puzzles where you assemble a box of oddly shaped pieces, but objects that make you think. Objects that make you look at everything from a different perspective, that make you understand the world isn't always as it seems. These are the puzzles I love.

I first saw this puzzle posted by pocket83 and knew I needed to make my own.

This simple puzzle is made of metal, brass, and wood. The ends are not removable, the ring doesn't come apart, there is no optical illusion present, nor is the image changed to deceive.

With a handful of tools and some scrap wood, you can make this simple puzzle to amaze your friends and family.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

There are a few things you will need to make this puzzle.

Tools:

  • Saw
  • Drill Press - preferred (a hand held drill could also be used)
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Compass
  • Awl
  • Disk Sander, Palm Sander, or Sanding Blocks
  • Hacksaw or Angle Grinder

Material:

Step 2: Cut Wooden Discs

Cut two wooden squares that measure 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches (and about a half inch thick). I used a crosscut sled on the table saw. Using an awl or nail, mark the center of each block and draw a circle with radius 1 5/16 inches using a compass. Using a band saw or similar saw, cut out the circle just bigger than the mark made by the compass. Make the discs perfectly round by removing the excess material with a disk or belt sander.

Step 3: Drill Three Support Holes

Using the compass, draw a new circle with radius 1 1/32 inches and divide that circle up evenly with the compass. This can be done by keeping the compass at the same radius as the circle, select a point on the circle and mark the radius away from that point. Transferring the "center" of the compass to these new marks and marking the radius again will result in the circle being divided into roughly six sections. Select and mark three of these divisions.

Drill out the holes as deep as possible without drilling completely through the wood.

I wanted the grain of the two discs to go in the same direction, so I took special care to mark the points of the second disk so this would happen.

Step 4: Polish the Rod

Take a 10 inch section of rod and insert it into a drill. Starting with 220 grit and ending with 600 grit sand paper, sand the rod till it's as shiny as you'd like. You can even use buffing compound if it's available to make the rod really shine.

Step 5: Cut Rod

Using a hacksaw or angle grinder, cut the rod so you have three pieces 2 inches long, and one 1 3/4 inches (this center rod will be too long and will need to be cut to final length later on). Using a bench grinder or disc sander, remove the burs caused by cutting the rod.

Step 6: Drill Center Holes

The center holes are the core of this puzzle. Drill one hole deep enough to recess the magnet about 1/16 of an inch. This will be what holds the center post in place making it appear solid. Drill the other center hole as deep as possible without drilling completely through the wood. Then take a 1/4 inch straight router bit to flatten out the bottom of this hole. This will allow the center rod to slide as far as possible, and give clearance for the brass ring.

Step 7: Test Fit

Test fit everything. Make sure everything fits together and that the center rod gives enough clearance for the brass ring to be replaced. If there isn't enough clearance, carefully trim the center rod shorter until there is enough space for the ring to slide in and out.

Step 8: Chamfer Edge

Using a router, add a small chamfer to the edges of each disc. You could place any edging you like on the disk to suit your personal taste.

Step 9: Sand

Using a palm sander or sanding blocks, remove all rough edges and markings from the design layout process.

Step 10: Apply Finish

Insert nails through some scrap cardboard to support the pieces to be finished. Using fine sandpaper to clean up irregularities in the finish between coats, apply four or five coats of lacquer.

Step 11: Cut Notches in Outside Posts

Using a hacksaw or thin disk angle grinder, cut notches for the epoxy to hold onto the rods in the next step.

Step 12: Final Assembly

Using quick set epoxy, embed the magnet into its corresponding hole. Allow this to dry for a few hours to ensure the movable center rod will not pull it out of place when finishing the assembly (speaking from experience, trying to reattach the magnet after it has fallen out is nearly impossible to do without ruining the rest of the puzzle). Apply epoxy to each of the posts and ensure everything is square. Let sit for 24 hours.

Step 13: How It Works

If you haven't figured out how it works by now, it's deceptively simple. The center post slides down when pulled from the magnet. This allows the ring to slip over the top of the post.

If you happen to make one or something similar, please leave a comment showing your favorite puzzles.

<p>A very enjoyable project - thank you and now two lucky people will receive a couple of unique &quot;talking point&quot; gifts for Christmas. Much appreciated.</p>
<p>That turned out looking great! </p>
I couldn't find a brass ring at my local hardware store so ended up making on out of a brass pipe fitting. Great gift for the coworker with all those wooden puzzles on his desk.
<p>That turned out great! Thanks for sharing. I hope your coworker likes it! </p>
<p>Great instructable. Well done for the way you have stepped through each individual stage of construction. Will look forward to making this one for my neice.</p>
<p>I can't wait to see yours! Be sure to share a picture when you make yours! </p>
<p>I love it. One of the BEST and with pictures. Kudos.</p>
<p>Good idea and good instuctions! Great stocking stuffer idea! </p>
<p>You provided the solution to &quot;what can I make for the grandchildren this year?&quot; THANKS! Neat puzzle. So I made a dozen. I did use a shortcut that may be of interest to those making multiple copies. I used a hole saw in my drill press. Once the saw had cut about an 1/8&quot; and the pilot hole had not gone all the way through, I removed the pilot drill (i.e. the 1/4&quot; twist drill). clamped the workpiece in place and completed the cut with the hole saw. Then I sanded the edges by mounting the blank discs in the lathe and sanding as the disk rotated fairly slowly.</p><p>You might also be interested in the note I attached to each gift puzzle:</p><p>This<br>year I decided to make a simple little curio for a few friends &mdash;something<br>totally useless, just a novelty with a brass ring secured by steel posts<br>between wood caps. </p><p>Quality<br>hardwood lumber is becoming very expensive and there is a growing market in<br>reclaimed woods. I went on line<br>and ordered several pieces of oak and maple. Responsible dealers always share the origin of the materials<br>they sell. Imagine my surprise<br>when the beautiful pieces I ordered came with a tag stating that the wood had<br>come from &ldquo;shipping coffins&rdquo; which had been stored in a New York City warehouse<br>for many years. </p><p>In<br>more detail than I wanted to know, I learned that the wood used in these curios<br>had been a coffin in which Eric Weisz&rsquo;s body had been shipped from Detroit, where<br>he died to New York City on October 27, 1926. (He is now interred<br>in the Machpeiah, a Jewish Cemetery in Queens.)</p><p>I<br>wondered why, in making your gift I had such a hard time keeping the ring in<br>place.</p><p>Could<br>it be because the wood in your gift had once transported the body of Eric<br>Weisz, born in Budapest, Hungary on March 24, 1874. The same Eric Weisz the world came to know as Harry Houdini? </p>
<p>That's really interesting! Thanks for sharing your story. If you have any pictures of the ones you made I'd love to see them! </p>
<p>Nice! I gotta try this one! One thought about cutting the discs; I plan to select a hole saw with in ID of the proper disc size, cut a hole in a scrap piece of ply, then clamp the hardwood to the piece of plywood, remove the center drill bit from the hole saw, cut the hardwood to form one of the discs through the hole I just cut in the ply, reclamp and cut a second disc. That should save time in making the two pieces the same size and &quot;perfectly&quot; round.</p>
Thanks for the link and the heads up; I have added this to my &quot;TO DO&quot; list, right now with X-mas around the corner I'm finishing a work desk for my grandchildren (Rustic-Modern) style, so right after the holidays I have a new &quot;Trick/Puzzle&quot; to work on.
<p>My grandson would love this.</p>
<p>Why not have a go at it and see how it turns out? </p>
<p>Well done! I agree with people who are commenting that it is a trick and not a puzzle but really, that doesn't matter. Its an excellent 'ible, well laid out and clever. Thanks! BTW... just as a warning... using a router with a small round disk is pretty risky. Perhaps come up with a jig using the holes to stabilize the disk and stop it from spinning by accident?</p>
<p>Great idea! When I used the router it didn't feel like it wanted to get away from me at all. Probably because I was only taking off a very small amount. If I was taking off much more than what I was, I would have definitely come up with another way to hold the wood. Thanks for the comment! </p>
<p>Hello: It's always amazing to read &quot;critics&quot; who obviously only have the talent to shoot off their mouths &amp; not TRY to use their &quot;FREE THINKING BRAIN&quot;; Trick or puzzle, it's very entertaining, simple in all elements and looks easy to build. Finding the metal ring and similar thickness rods might be a chore; however, it's a good challenge. </p><p>Finding the ring</p>
<p>I posted a link in step 1 with where I purchased mine. If you make one, be sure to let me know! </p>
<p>Thanks for all the detail, now I can build one for my daughter</p>
<p>Be sure to share a picture when you make yours! </p>
<p>Really clearly explained, thanks. I'm going to make this, all being well...</p><p>I'm not sure which part of the 'We have a nice comment policy' isn't clear to some of the people who have commented on this excellent instructable.</p>
<p>its a nice gimmick</p>
<p>Cool idea!</p>

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Bio: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am ... More »
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