Introduction: No-Weld Horseshoe Puzzle

Picture of No-Weld Horseshoe Puzzle
Very recently I published an Instructable on solving the Horseshoe and Ring Puzzle. I made my own puzzle and it involved welding. Here is a way to make a horseshoe puzzle without any welding.

I used some 1 x 2 firing strip and 1/2 inch dowel rod to make the horseshoes. This works, but the puzzle would be a little easier to use if horseshoe shapes were cut from 1 x 6 wood or from plywood.

Materials
  • 1 x 2 firing strips
  • 1/2 inch dowel rod
  • Six links of chain
  • Steel wire
  • Electrical tape
  • Glue
Tools
  • Side cutter pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Saw
  • Drill and bit

Step 1: Cut 1 X 2 Wood

Picture of Cut 1 X 2 Wood

I sawed 1 x 2 to make two pieces 4 1/2 inches long.

Step 2: Drill

Picture of Drill

I drilled a 1/2 inch hole in both ends of the 1 x 2 pieces. I drilled them at a 15 degree angle. The holes nearly went through the 1 x 2, but not quite. Although I used a drill press, a hand-held drill would work very well, too.

Step 3: Next Steps

Picture of Next Steps

I put the dowel pieces into the holes drilled in the 1 x 2. I drilled a small hole through the end of each dowel. Cut two pieces of chain with three links in each piece. The links should not be any shorter than what you see here. Longer might be a little better. This is what I had in my leftover materials.

Step 4: Attach Chain

Picture of Attach Chain

I cut four pieces of steel wire about 4 to 5 inches long each. I bent them as you can see in the photo. Both ends go through the dowel in the holes from the previous step. Slip the wire through the chain before finishing with the attachment of the wire to the dowel ends. I used a pair of pliers to crimp the wire tightly around the dowel ends and covered the ends of the dowels with electrical tape. 

Step 5: How It Should Look

Picture of How It Should Look

When finished attaching the chain to the dowel ends, this is what you should have. I did make one mistake you can see. The chain nearer the camera has a 1/2 twist in it. Later I had to disconnect the chain at one end and remove the twist.

Step 6: The Ring

Picture of The Ring

I cut two feet of steel wire and made a coil. I covered the coil with electrical tape. The diameter of the coil needs to be large enough to pass over two pieces of 1 x 2 next to each other so both can slip through the ring at the same time, but smaller than 4 1/2 inches, which is the length of the 1 x 2 piece. (This is why horseshoe forms made from 1 x 6 or from plywood would be easier to use.)

Step 7: Using the Puzzle

Picture of Using the Puzzle

The first photo shows the puzzle ready to solve with the ring on the chains. 

The second photo shows the puzzle in the process of being solved. Notice how a puzzle made with 1 x 2 requires a ring large enough to fit over two pieces of 1 x 2 at the same time.

The third photo shows the puzzle solved so that the ring can be lifted of of the wooden facsimile horseshoes.

Comments

coolbeansbaby68 (author)2013-04-10

Excellent Job Phil

I think i have seen one before but im not sure ...

Phil B (author)coolbeansbaby682013-04-10

Thanks, Jim. Do you have one of these puzzles, or have you used one?

iceng (author)2013-04-08

I see you have wrapped your mind around that puzzle :)

A 3D printed one could be the next material.

A

Phil B (author)iceng2013-04-08

The husband of one of my wife's cousin said he has had a horseshoe puzzle for 20 years and still enjoys it. I have not gotten involved with 3D printing technology. There are too many simpler things to explore, yet. It is a strange phenomenon that a metal ring is held securely by chain, but very quickly and simply is free with only a couple of movements. I would like to talk to the guy who made this puzzle first. Anyway, it seemed good to present a version for those who do not have access to a welder.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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