Last week I posted a dowel puzzle that contained 8 segments. To my surprise, it turned out to very challenging for my coworkers because there was only a 25% completion/success rate. The typical time before someone asked for a hammer to make the pieces fit was about 5 minutes.
This week, I’ve upped the challenge with a larger, 16 segment version. As you will see, symmetry doesn’t help out this time.
Step 1: Tools/Materials
- Saw (table, miter, band or hand)
- Wood Clamps
- Wood - 6.5” x 4” x .5” thick
- Wood - 1.5” x 24" x .5” thick
- Dowel – 1” diameter x 48” Long
Step 2: Build
You will build your puzzle to this drawing.
Step 3: Box
You will build the box to this drawing.
Step 4: Base
Cut 1/2" thick wood to 4" x 6.5". Since the dowels are 1" in diameter, you might want to add a small amount to the 4" dimension.
Step 5: Sides
Cut the sides as shown. If you grew the base, grow the 4" dimension on the side as well.
Step 6: Assemble Base
Use glue to attach the sides to the base. Use wood clamps to apply pressure. I filled in a few small gaps with glue & saw dust at this point.
Step 7: Segments
The first 8 segments are cut with a 60 degree angle. Make two for each piece that has a (x2) note. I used a combination of a miter saw and band saw. For safety reasons, I used the band saw for the smaller pieces.
Step 8: Segments
The straight pieces are simple to cut. The green piece with angles on both sides took a little time since you will need to make the cuts parallel. Take your time and this shouldn't be an issue.
Step 9: Ready to Put Together
Step 10: Fit Issues
OK, it's hard to cut all of these pieces to the exact size. Use a sander to fine tune the fit.
Step 11: Everything Fits!
Step 12: Stain or Paint
I didn't have that many colors so I took the easy route and stained the puzzle with a cabernet colored stain from Varathane.
Step 13: Solution
Place the segments in the box as shown.
Step 14: Solution Steps
If you plan to build this for someone, you might want to print solution instructions to go with the puzzle.
Hope you enjoyed the project!