Introduction: Simple Rope Puzzle

Picture of Simple Rope Puzzle

This puzzle is similar to the other puzzles I posted here, here and here. The goal is to remove the rope/ball from the piece of wood. With very little parts, it was really easy to make - less than 15 minutes. Go to the video for the solution if you cannot mentally figure it out from the picture.

Step 1: Tools/Materials

Picture of Tools/Materials


  • Saw
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Drill Bits (1/4" and 3/8")
  • Sander
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Lighter


Step 2: Wood

Picture of Wood

I started with a 1/4" thick piece of scrap hardwood and cut it down to 5" long x 1" wide.

Step 3: Holes

Picture of Holes

Mark a center-line across the 1" dimension and then mark two locations 3/4" from the ends. Drill 3/8" diameter holes at these locations.

At this point, I cleaned up the holes and chamfered the sides with sandpaper.

Step 4: Ball

Picture of Ball

I used a 1" diameter wood ball. You can get these off Amazon, Ebay or a craft store. You will need enough space to feed two ropes through the hole. I started with a 1/4" diameter bit and then counterbored the other side with a 3/8" bit to capture the knot.

Step 5: Rope

Picture of Rope

Cut the rope to 26" to 28" long.

Step 6: Rope/Ball

Picture of Rope/Ball

Tie the rope together at the ends using a Double Sheet Bend Knot (see step 3 of my Buttonhole Puzzle for more details). Trim with scissors and melt the ends with a lighter. Bend the rope in half and feed the two pieces through the 1/4" hole. Pull the rope so that the knot is recessed into the counterbore. Fill the hole with glue or press a dowel into the space to prevent the rope from exiting the ball.

Step 7: Setup - Step 1

Picture of Setup - Step 1

Feed rope through one of the holes in the wood block.

Step 8: Setup - Step 2

Picture of Setup - Step 2

Feed rope through backside of second hole.

Step 9: Setup - Step 3

Picture of Setup - Step 3

Feed rope back through first hole and then around ball. Pull loop back through hole. The puzzle is now set. Reverse the process to solve. If it isn't clear, watch the video.

Step 10: Pictures

Picture of Pictures

Enjoy your puzzle. Thanks for reading.


funkysod made it! (author)2017-12-01

Made two of these as well as your other, similar, puzzle. Great gifts to have at the ready! Thanks for sharing.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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