Introduction: Rope / Ring Puzzle

Picture of Rope / Ring Puzzle

This is a really easy project to make. The goal is to separate the ring from the puzzle. Refer to the solution video if you can't figure it out.

Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Table or Miter Saw
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Drill Bits (1/8" & 3/8")
  • Sander
  • Scissors
  • Lighter


  • Wood (3" x 3" x 1/2" thick)
  • Ring, 1.5" diameter (wood, metal or plastic)
  • Paracord (~30" Long)
  • Wood beads (1" Diameter)
  • Glue

Step 2: Base Build

Picture of Base Build

You will build to this drawing.

Step 3: Cut Wood

Picture of Cut Wood

Cut wood to a 3" square.

Step 4: Holes

Picture of Holes

Mark the hole locations per the drawing. Drill 3/8" diameter holes. Round the edges with sandpaper.

Step 5: Beads

Picture of Beads

These 1" diameter beads were purchased from a craft store. Drill 1/8" diameter hole through each bead. Counterbore a 3/8" diameter hole about 3/4 of the way through each bead. This counterbore will capture the knot in the string.

Step 6: Run Paracord

Picture of Run Paracord

Route the paracord as shown. Place the wood beads at the ends of the paracord and tie knots to capture the end of the paracord. Trim the ends of the paracord and use a lighter to sear the ends. For each end, pull the paracord knot into the wooden bead. Cover the wood bead ends with glue to clean it up.

Step 7: Add Ring

Picture of Add Ring

Watch the second half of the video for installation.

Step 8: More Pictures

Picture of More Pictures

Thanks for viewing!


NguyenT295 (author)2017-10-27

I was wondering if you have any ideas for substitutes to the wooden base, since I don't have the tools for that at the moment. thanks!

mtairymd (author)NguyenT2952017-10-27

You can use almost anything. A piece of cardboard will work but it won't be very durable. A would try to find a scrap piece of wood or plastic and ask someone to drill the 4 holes.

Mad Chat made it! (author)2017-09-07

Very simply to do, very pleasant to solve,
Thanks you !

mtairymd (author)Mad Chat2017-09-07

I like the clear plastic and different color rope...nice ideas!

Mad Chat (author)mtairymd2017-09-08

Thanks, it's a polystyrene glass, cheap and easy to work.

Kris82 (author)2017-09-05

Simple and easy to make. Great job. I always love puzzles.

mtairymd (author)Kris822017-09-06


Yoruk (author)2017-09-06

I love this mix of woods, rope and metal. Thanks for sharing !

mtairymd (author)Yoruk2017-09-06

Thank you!

AlyssonR2 (author)2017-09-05

A ridiculously simple puzzle that has had me mystified for years.

I may go and make one, now - but in any case, thankyou for the solution!

mtairymd (author)AlyssonR22017-09-05

Thanks. I'll give you a hint. If you ever see a puzzle with ropes, holes and beads, consider a similar solution. Here are a couple of other examples:

Cayotica (author)2017-09-05

nice brain teaser. But it took me a few minutes to understand what the back is supposed to look like after running the cord.

mtairymd (author)Cayotica2017-09-05

Yeah, sorry about that. Step 6 is probably your best view. BTW, there is nothing tricky going on - string crosses between the back 2 holes.

MarkI36 (author)2017-09-05

Great project. I've learned to mark out and drill the holes and such before cutting the smaller piece from the larger board. I can use the additional board for clamping or holding against drill torsion. I've had too many small pieces get grabbed and spun out of my hands.

mtairymd (author)MarkI362017-09-05

Thanks. Very good point. BTW, notice the marks on the beads. I used vice grips to hold them while drilling the counterbore :).

BrigittM (author)MarkI362017-09-05

you are so right!

Cayotica (author)MarkI362017-09-05

I have hold downs on my drill press for that very reason but oddly enough it never occurred to me to drill the holes before cutting the wood. If using a hand drill I always, well at least since I almost tore my index finger off, clamp down small pieces.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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