Puzzle Box Safe





Introduction: Puzzle Box Safe

This is my first instructable so bare with me. Feedback is greatly appreciated both positive and negative.

The puzzle box is a mystery box that can only be opened once you pull out the lock key and then both adjacent corners have to be grabbed in order to open.

It will take them awhile even if they get the lock key out because they still have one more step to open it. Which experience shows that grabbing the corners is the trickiest part. The puzzle box will keep your nosey siblings and parents out and even the amateur thief.

Step 1: What You Will Need

6" x (1/4)" x 48" pine plank. I found mine at the local lumber yard
Wood glue
Finishing nails
(1/4)" wooden dowel

Saw: Table saw, miter box saw and band saw will help you out greatly

Hammer: to pound in the nails of course

Drill and .25" wood bit

Step 2: Making the Outer Box

Cut 2 pieces 3.5" x 7" (top and bottom)
2 pieces 1.5" x 7" (sides)
I piece 1.5" x 3" (back)

Lower your table saw to a height of (1/8)" inch and cut a grove 1.25" from each side of the top and bottom piece.

On the top and bottom pieces cut a a square (1" up and all the way to the grove) out of a corner. Make sure that they are cut out of same corner. Save the pieces you cut off.

Now you can assemble the box together and make sure not to nail in the middle of the box or the nail will get in the way when you drill your holes.

Step 3: Making the Drawer

Cut 2 pieces 1.25" x 6.25" (sides)
2 pieces 1.5" x 3" (front and back)
1 piece 3" x 6.25" (bottom)

Once you have assembled the drawer make sure it fits into the outer box or some sanding may be required to get a snug fit.

Put the drawer in the outer box and glue the two pieces onto the drawer and make it look like you didn't cut them out.

Step 4: Adding Strips and Lock Key

Once your glue is done drying mark all sides 1" from both ends and one in the middle (3.5") . Then cut 6- 4" x .75" and 6- 2" x .75" wood strips and glue all of them but one of the short middle ones. Having the line be in the middle of the strips.

Next drill (making sure your drawer is in the box) two .25" holes .75" from each side where you didn't glue the strips. Then drill half way through the strip you didn't glue on and and glue your dowel (about .75" long) in the holes.

Step 5: Finishing Up

To make it look better and take away all your imperfections and make the cuts less noticeable give your box a dark stain or burn finish.

Then stash all your valuables in the box and only you will know how to open it. Enjoy!

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2 People Made This Project!


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Please be positive and constructive.




Man, in a zombie apocalyps no one is going to get to those bullets anytime soon...

Man, in a zombie apocalyps no one is going to get to those bullets anytime soon...

i want to really make this but none of ur dimensions really make sense to me. I have gone over n over them and cannot fit anything with the measurements u have posted...help!!!

1 reply

Dimensions worked for me but required some extra thought and eventually my belt sander to snug things up

seemed simple enough, running into a lot of problems though, i followed your dimensions, nothing wants to fit or line up...ill just keep trying

very nice! If the little bars were shorter and the side ones longer, you could use a slot on the drawer and two slots on the side pf the box to make it slide up. Use the bottom pin to keep it from coming up out of the box by making sure there is material between the full up position and where it unlocks... so no lost piece. You can also put a small nail through the bottom pin so it won't pull out either. Lovely little box, thanks for the build and welcome to the site.

I'm gonna try this this weekend. I'm always trying to make new and different things and this is different, never saw one before. I let you know how it turns out. thanks for the project and time, good job!

Thank you for the instruct able. It makes a great gift for kids.

14, 7:28 PM.jpg

Awesome project! Very clever idea too.

The box looks great! I like the burned effect on the outside. Any other variations of this in the future?

I made one for my girlfriend, she loves it! She has a Grandma that wanders and looks through stuff... congrats! Its Grandma proof!!!!

If you continue making these you will have a very cool hobby.

Eventually the "key" will loosen if you glue/staple a piece of rubber inner tube over the spot where the two pins go in then make a smaller hole then the diameter of the pins it will the pins tighter.

Also I ting a non removable key is best (you can't loose it, drop it and have dog run off with it)

Another intelock that must be pressed either first or as you pull the key would make it extra tricky.

Keep them coming this was simple and very doable price / skill for average person w/o wood working shop. Especially for Scouts, (of all ages)!

1 reply

That should be

I think a non removable key is best.


And adding another interlock that must be pressed....

Sorry 12 years Catlick School 8 years with psycho nuns left me unable to type engrish belly well.

Nice project

Thanks for the feedback. Never thought about the rubber tube that would be a good idea. Yea I made it as a box to put my brother Christmas present in. You could make it way more complex but with the pins and having to pinch the corners it takes about 3-5 minutes for everyone to open.

I used to buy these in China. Very cool little box. Thanks!

the art of simplicity!

I have one like this, although I bought it, and when I saw your opening image I thought this had to be the same kind, it even opens the same way. It never ocurred to me to make one myself, but seeing how I got deeper into woodworking recently, I might just as well try. Thanks for sharing!

how well dues it work verse a household hammer?

Thanks for the feedback and please vote for me in the secret compartment contest.... Thanks again