This puzzle box has five keys on both side. You must push all wooden keys to correct position for opening the box. After opening the box you can change order of keys and you can make your own box configuration.
I designed an other variant of this box with hidden keys. This variation has a fixed key configuration. You can see my other puzzle box and puzzle designs from my blog “Diypuzzles” and you can find a lot of free plans.
Step 1: Box Mechanism
This puzzle box has three main section
1. Wooden keys
3. Box cover
I started to make this puzzle by making wooden keys. After I made box and box cover.
The overall dimensions of this box is about 70x82x150 mm. But I advise understanding the design and making your box according to your materials an the dimensions. This is a simple design for converting dimensions.
Step 2: Materials and Tools
For this project I prefer hard woods. When you change the key configuration, you must memorize it for opening your box later. For this reason you must know front and back side of the puzzle. But I don't put any mark or ornament on the box. Instead of this for making the box I used a kind of olive wood. This wood has a rich texture and it's easy to memorize the front side of the box. For inside construction I prefer ready beech stocks from a big hardware store.
But if you like make a cheap prototype you can start with plywood. The wood choice isn't critical. But I advise using hard woods especially for keys and frames
For making this box I used a hand mitre saw, a jewelery hand saw, a small desktop table saw and a drill press. Acoording to your woodworking experience you can fnd your best methods.
Box Material List
All dimensionsare in mm
Wooden keys 10x10x58 10 pcs
Slider support columns 14x10x70 4 pcs
Frame base and top 10x10x70 4 pcs
Left and right panel 6x70x70 2 pcs
Front and back panel 6x70x118 2 pcs
Bottom panel 6x70x150 1 pcs
Cover Material List
Slider body 30x10x70 2 pcs
Cover plate 6x70x150 1 pcs
Wooden pins D3x10 10 pcs
Wedges for corners 20x20x30 2 pcs
Step 3: How Wooden Keys Works
I made 5 right hand key and 5 left hand key. You can make any combination that you like.
The 3D picture show only left and right keys. NOT IN SCALE. See drawing for key dimensions.
Total dimension of each key 10 x 10 x 58 mm
Step 4: Making Wooden Keys
I developed an alternative method. The keys on the top of the photo (made from mahogany and with dark color) are easy to make. You can cut the slots easily with any method that you like. I cut them by using a hand mitre saw and a jewelery saw.
Step 5: An Alternative Key Design for a More Complex Box
Step 6: Making the Box Frame
Prepare the material given by the material list. Make a grove 5x5x10 mm to the middle of the “frame top” pieces.
When making assembly I used small paper pieces for giving necessary clearances.
Step 7: Left and Right Side Assembly
Step 8: Box Construction
Step 9: Fixing Front and Back Panels
Step 11: Making Box Cover
Step 12: Making Sliders
Step 13: Fixing Cover Sliders to Correct Position
Step 14: Finish Your Box
If you like puzzle boxes and puzzles, you can visit my small non commercial puzzle blog and you can find more woodworking projects.