Rubik's Wood Cube

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Introduction: Rubik's Wood Cube

About: Hi, my name is Britt Michelsen, I'm a Chemical Engineer especially interested in Computational Fluid Dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work I like to make stuff in my free time.

In 1974 Ernö Rubik spent only 6 weeks on developing the mechanism of the Rubik's Cube, but it took six years for it's worldwide distribution. The puzzle was licensed to be sold by Ideal Toys in 1980.
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the world's best-selling puzzle a limited edition Rubik's Wood Cube was released. You can find it here:
http://www.rubiks.com/shop/product.php?pid=3

While I was waiting for mine to arrive, I started to make one myself by using the standard plastic core and wood for the visible parts.

Have fun building it

Step 1: What You Need

Material
  • at least 23 Wooden cubes (19 mm would be best. I used 20 mm ones, because I had them lying around, but had to sand a lot). You can either cut them yourself or buy them (you should use a hard wood, to prevent splinters)
  • a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube (Best is DIY type F II, you will see why in step 4, e.g. from Cube4You, 9spuzzles or RubikFans (Ebay)).
  •  sandpaper (80, 160)
  • lexan tiles (you can use normal stickers, but it will not look as good)
  • strong glue
  • I've used Apoxie Sculpt to fill up the holes, but you don't really need to
  • wood lacquer (optional, but good)

Tools
  • a dremel (I've used a 1/2 x 1/2 inch Sanding Mandrel and a SpeedClic Plastic Cutting Wheel)
  • safety glasses (use them!)
  • a drill (not a 100% necessary take a look at step 5), 9 and 12 mm drill bit
  • a permanent marker
  • a small saw

Step 2: Mark the Lines

In order to know where to saw, you will first have to mark the lines as shown in the pictures, by moving the layers.
After you've marked the lines you will have to disassemble the cube.

Step 3: Make a Corner Piece

To make sure, that only wood can be seen, mark a second line about 2 mm closer to the middle, as shown in the first picture.
Then cut along the second line with the SpeedClic Plastic Cutting Wheel. You can of course use a small saw (but it might be little bit more tricky).
Now place it onto your wooden block and mark a new line (as shown in the second picture). Use the Sanding Mandrel to fit the cube piece onto your wooden block, round the corners of the block and glue the pieces together. Congratulations you've finished your first piece. 

Step 4: Make an Edge Piece

Like for the corner piece you will have to mark a second line about 2 mm closer to the middle as shown in the first picture.
Then cut along the second line, this time you will have to place the part you don't need on the cube and trace it. Again you will have to use the Sanding Mandrel so that the piece from the Rubik's Cube fits onto it. Before you glue the pieces together you should round the corners.

NOTE: Here you can see why it's better to use a FII type cube. If you use a corner piece from an other type of cube, you will have to grind the curve and it has to be very precise.

Step 5: Build the Core

In order to build the core you will have to take the caps of the middle pieces and sand down the walls (If you don't want your cube to be adjustable don't grind all the way down and simply glue the cut down wooden piece on top of it).

Next mark the center of the cube and drill a 9mm hole all the way through. Now cut the cube into half as shown in the fourth picture and drill a second 12mm hole halfway through both halves. Sand down the corners and fit the piece onto the platform.

Before I've applied the tiles I've used see-through wood lacquer to protect the cube.

Step 6: Solve the Cube

Have fun solving it.

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    33 Comments

    how can they do it so good mine would turn out so gross and ugly .

    This is so amazing and cool

    This. Is. Colossal. A wooden rubiks cube! Awesome

    love how you simplified the design by using the guts of a regular cube. sure beats machining the whole thing yourself. I made one myself out of T6 alluminum and it took me 40 hours total, including the time it took me to make the jig for machining all of the radiused parts.

    center_assy.jpgcenter_axis.jpgnew_screws.jpgside_by_side2.jpgside_view.jpg
    2 replies

    Hi, your aluminum cube is beautiful. My 6 yr old son has asked me to help him make a cube. So I went to the Home Depot today and looked around the plumbing and hardware sections. I only found some PVC pipe attachments but nothing with 6 knobs. I also found some nuts and bolts but I don't know which kind to get. Could you give me some idea of what to buy? I don't have very many tools at home but I do have a drill if I needed to drill through the PVC pipe and copper pipe cutters if I needed to use metal piping. Please help.

    wow, this looks amazing!

    I was at Michael's one day when I noticed they had a really neat kind of thin, wood "stickers," which was like a sheet of contact paper but with thin balsa instead of a pattern. In the future, such would likely save you quite a bit of time over this method. ;)

    Sweet Frigga! You guys are freaking geniuses here! Here and on all of the Instructables where they have anything to do with the Cubes & Twistables. I bow before your superiority, and please be nice to me when you all take over the world :P

    Yes they do, it depends on the bit tough, just have a look at the packaging, there is usually a list of material on it.

    user

    No, she's solving the three layer by the beginner method, I think What a hard work, the wooden cube... I'll do it, :D PD: Sry for my english, I'm spanish, :D

    2 replies

    Yeah you are right, I'm solving it with the beginners method. I prefer building cubes to solving them.
    It is hard work, but it feels really good when somebody asks you where you got it and you can say:"I made it myself".
    Greetings to Spain I would love to see a picture when you made it.

    user

    I'm learning F2L, OLL and PLL now, but it's too dificult, D:

    I made once a twin 3x3 (3x3x3x2), and everyone asks me that, haha

    I'll try it, if I find a good and inexpensive cube, :D

    I think in the supermarket "Alcampo"(in Spain) is good for € 3 ... I'll see, and I'll show you the pic of my Wooden Cube, :D

    ¡ByeBye!

    LMAO!!! Nice... Love the d.i.y. on this too, very creative, i thought of doing this but staining each side a different shade...

    Thanks, staining it is a good idea. Please show me the result, when you are done.

    i think i can do this using only the plastic middle. it will mean alot more wood work but i think i can do it one day

    1 reply

    Yeah it is possible, but it requires a lot more precision. Tell me how it went, when you do it.

    Excellent! How much adjusting does the cube need now that the pieces are wood? I was wondering if you could cap the ends and use a colored stain on the sides instead of stickers but the cube might not last very long. Also, what are you doing with so much rubidium!?

    1 reply

    It doesn't need much adjusting, it is extremely smooth. Using coloured stain sound good. It's pretty stable and I think it will last pretty long. This is not my glove box, I'm a chemical engineering student and prefer computational fluid dynamics over practical work.