Picture of Wooden/Magnetic Rubik's Cube
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A fully functional Rubik's cube, made from 7 different types of wood and 108 neodymium magnets.


The Story:

I made this cube as a wedding present for my good friend Dave. Dave and I are both what could be described as nerdy, and we are both fans of the Rubik's cube (although Dave's interest is closer to obsession than mine). This project was inspired by another Instructable, Magnetic Rubik's Dice Cube by burzvingion, which was in turn an adaptation of an earlier project by gfixler. A couple of years ago, Dave and I followed this Instructable together and made our own magnetic dice cubes.

At the time, I had recently developed an interest in woodworking, and I wondered if I could do something similar out of wood. I immediately recognized how hard that would be and threw out the idea. But later I realized a sufficiently momentous occasion might motivate me to try. When Dave got engaged last year, I knew I had to get to work.

Although I enjoy woodworking, I do not have a lot of experience yet. My interest would probably be a more developed hobby if I didn't live in New York City, with no access to a decent shop or tools. But that is part of the unique story of this cube. I did all of my work in the bedroom of my small Manhattan apartment (except for applying polyurethane at the end). The only power tools I had at my disposal were a cordless drill and a plunge router that I borrowed from my dad. I had to sweep up sawdust frequently, and I tried to only use the router in the middle of the day, for the sake of my roommate and neighbors.

I would love if people reproduce or adapt this project, but be warned that it is fairly tedious and time intensive. I estimate that I spent at least 100 hours on it over the course of last summer. That said, someone with more experience and more specialized tools might be able to do it much faster. I would love to hear comments from experienced builders on how the process could be improved.

I hope you enjoy my project!

elliotnash2 months ago

This is sooooo cool. I especially love the stripes on one of the sides. This is so much cooler than the standard Rubik's cube.

Laszlo2 years ago
Grease pencil would probably work great!
Nobin2 years ago
Belissimo trabalho, coisa de profissional.

Obrigado por compartilhar.
espdp22 years ago
Seriously, this is amazing, and I will guarantee that Dave will be telling his grandkids about this cube some day. :-D
hohohe2 years ago
GREAT JOB!!! Your explanation, your pictures and your detail were EXCELLANT.
Plus it came out terrific.Thanks
Arghus2 years ago
kudos for this project. love it
Your work and documentation are impressive!!! Next PUBLISH !
OTP12 years ago
Fantastic work, who knows what you could do with a full workshop. thanks
kaijne2 years ago
This is gorgeous! I love the concept!
Willard2.02 years ago
That cube is stunning!  You picked the perfect finish, the Minwax wipe on poly is my first choice for any hardwood projects that will get handled.  The poly should also make the dark stripes in the Zebrawood 'pop' without darkening the light areas too much. 

Danish oil is great for the darker woods, but I have found that it tends to yellow the white woods.
ehudwill2 years ago
This is fantastic. I am impressed with your level of craftsmanship.
bcavaciuti2 years ago
you could magnet mark with a whiteboard marker as they do work on metal and can be easily wiped of with a cloth
Gotta love jigs! GREAT job!
I would like to make one on my CNC or 3d printer....
Just beautifully done! Now, if only I could solve one :)
instruct392 years ago
Wow! That turned out really nice!
dreens2 years ago
Wow- the wood is so beautiful! Excellent project! I loved getting to read through all the steps and understand how everything works. I wonder what your friend will do for you if you get married!
Nice work!Thanks for sharing
Wow! You did a really fantastic job with this project, great work and thanks for sharing all of these steps and details!