I wanted make each face of the Rubik's cube out of a different type of wood. I did some research about interesting exotic woods and ended up ordering this wood online from a scroll saw supplier
. It came in boards that were 1/8" thick, 4'' wide, and 2' long, which was perfect for my purposes. Because I was ordering online and could not know for sure what it would look like, I got eight types of wood for possible outer faces. In the picture above they are, from right to left: lacewood, purpleheart, padauk, yellowheart, mahogany, zebrawood, cherry, and walnut. I didn't like the cherry or walnut as much as I thought, so I decided to use the other six. I also got four boards of Maple to use on all of the interior faces.
In addition to the thin boards, I needed base cubes to attach the various outer faces to. I ordered 5/8'' hardwood cubes
online for a few cents each. You need 27, but I bought about 40 to allow for some defects and to have some for testing.
A total of 108 magnets are needed. I followed the strategy of burzvingion and used large D62 neodymium magnets
for the connections along each core axis, so that the faces would pivot better around that axis when turned. 12 magnets are needed for this.
For the remaining connections, I used D42 neodymium magnets
. These are a little stronger than the D32s used by burzingion and gfixler, because I wanted to make sure my magnets would hold through a thin layer of wood. I needed 96, but I got a pack of 100 and had a few spares.
The cube is primarily held together with woodglue; I used Titebond III
. In addition, I used Liquid Nails
clear silicone adhesive to bond the magnets to the wood before I glued the wood together.
The main tool I used was a plunge router. I used three different bits: 3/8" and 1/4" straight bits for drilling holes for magnets to fit into, and a 45-degree V-groove bit for cutting tiles that fit together into a cube. Other important tools were clamps and sandpaper.
I tested a few different finishes on the various types of wood, and I decided that Minwax Wipe-on Polyurethane
looked the best. It was also the easiest to apply. I don't know what the long term affect on the colors will be, so I could only guess at that. Someone who really knows their finishes might have a better suggestion.
I used other random materials and tools, not for making the cube, but for making various router jigs. I'm sure there are many ways to do this, but I used some extra boards, nails, screws, glue, clamps, and a rubber band.
Unfortunately, the supplies for this project were fairly expensive. I spent about $80 on the wood with shipping, although I did have plenty of extra. The zebrawood board alone was $10. I also spent almost $50 on the magnets.]