There is some terminology you will need to know in order to understand this instructable. Here are some words to know.
Corner - a physical plastic corner piece. Has 3 stickers.
Edge - a physical plastic edge piece. Has 2 stickers.
Piece - A corner or an edge.
Sticker - One colored sticker. There are nine on each side. You know what I mean. (hopefully)
Side - one of the 6 sides of the cube.
Layer - the cube consists of three layers (top/middle/bottom).
This is a 3-dimensional concept, as opposed to "side" which is 2-dimensional. The "green layer" is the one with the green center.
Twist, twisted - how a piece is oriented. A corner can be twisted in 3 different ways, an edge in 2.
Turn, turning - the physical act of rotating a side.
Orient- to twist or flip a corner or edge.
Position (noun) - a space of the cube, occupied by one piece.
Positions don't move, pieces move by occupying different positions. For example the red-white edge can be in any of the 12 edge positions, and it can be in the correct (red-white) position but wrongly twisted.
Position (verb)- to put a piece in its correct position.
Permute, Permute- to switch cubies while leaving them oriented the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few questions that have been asked over and over through emails from various people so I want to post FAQs about them.
Q: What are the gray stickers in your example?
A: The gray stickers signify that the color of that sticker is irrelevant.
Q: When you say 2 Times which way do you mean to turn it?
A: It really doesn't matter which way you turn it. Two times clockwise is the same thing as two times counterclockwise.
Q: Where do you buy good Rubik's cubes?
A: I bought mine at Rubik's.com under the DIY section. With those cubes you can adjust the screw tension. The $8.99 ones with lube are very good. The lube makes your cube turn like a dream. If you want to purchase 2x2 cubes or other sizes try this site. If you want other puzzle shapes like the Pyraminx go here. Also Ebay some times has good and rare puzzles just search for "Rubiks".
Q: I have a fairly good cube but want to lube it. Do you know of any websites where I can purchase lube cheap?
A: This Website has lube that is identical to the stuff sold at Rubik's.com but cost a fraction of the price. Also NEVER USE W.D.-40!!!! IT DESTROYS YOUR CUBE!!! I put W.D.-40 on my first Rubik's cube and it didn't last me a year. The centerpiece broke in half from speedcubing. The W.D.-40 seriously weakens the plastic.
Q: What are the Official (and Unofficial) World Records?
A: Try Speedcubing.com they have many resources plus links to the records at the top of their web page.
Q: What exactly does middle: up mean? or middle: left?
A: Here are some graphics at the bottom that i hope will explain the moves.
Q: Are the Rubik's Cubes popular enough to have any forums or a place where I can talk to other Rubikian Fans?
A: Try http://twistypuzzles.com/ they have a large forum. The website also features a puzzle database, price guide, and articles to describe puzzle building.
Q: I'm having trouble understanding the Left: "Up" and "Down" concept. Can you illustrate the turns better?
A: Heres a video explaining the basic turnings.