Introduction: Wood Dowel Puzzle – Advanced Version

Picture of Wood Dowel Puzzle – Advanced Version

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

Tools:

  • Saw (table, miter, band or hand)
  • Sander
  • Wood Clamps

Materials:

  • Wood - 6.5” x 4” x .5” thick
  • Wood - 1.5” x 24" x .5” thick
  • Dowel – 1” diameter x 48” Long
  • Glue

Step 2: Build

Picture of Build

You will build your puzzle to this drawing.

Step 3: Box

Picture of Box

You will build the box to this drawing.

Step 4: Base

Picture of 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

Picture of Sides

Cut the sides as shown. If you grew the base, grow the 4" dimension on the side as well.

Step 6: Assemble Base

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Ready to Put Together

Step 10: Fit Issues

Picture of 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!

Picture of Everything Fits!

Step 12: Stain or Paint

Picture of 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

Picture of Solution

Place the segments in the box as shown.

Step 14: Solution Steps

Picture of 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!

Step 15: Smaller Version

Picture of Smaller Version

Click Here for smaller version.

Comments

jakeers (author)2016-04-23

Man I freaking love this!

mtairymd (author)jakeers 2016-04-23

Thanks.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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