Introduction: Free the Rope

About: I'm an ex IT professional and now enjoying retired life. The most stressful part of my day these days is feeding the chooks and mowing the grass on my mini tractor. I have always been a tinkerer and handyman a…
I saw this puzzle in a novelty shop a while ago and thought I would have a go at making one myself. I didn’t have any suitable timber for the required size other than radiata pine, but I did have some 30mm redwood strips that I have been using as paint stirrers, so I decided I would use them for this project.

Step 1: Sourcing My Materials

Step 2: Making the Frame

I started by cutting them into 150mm lengths (mainly because I could make two from each piece) and glueing them into 5 x 180mm squares as shown. To fit the eye bolts, I cut out sections about 25mm along each side of the centre square and chiselled off each side of the squares that would marry up either side of this square. In hindsight, I should have drilled the holes to accommodate the eye bolts first before glueing as it would have made for a much neater hole. I’m definitely not a craftsman. With that done, I glued all pieces together and gave it a quick sand followed by two coats of clear varnish.

Step 3: Prepare the Eyebolts

I bought four 200mm eyebolts from my local hardware store to use as part of this puzzle. I cut three of them down to 120mm just above the thread, and the fourth at 90mm. The internal diameter of each eyebolt is 25mm. I roughened the end of each by cutting grooves with a grinder to help with fixing them to the frame with glue.
I just used Araldite, which is an epoxy glue to fix them to the frame, but i recon wood glue would work just as well because of the grooves.

Step 4: Hiding My Mistakes

I assembled each eye bolt with a washer to tidy up the hole.
On the reverse side, I cut some steel rod and inserted them to hide the mounting holes I made during the construction phase. There is always a way to hide your stuff ups.
For the loop, I cut a length of braided rope and joined the tips by melting with a lighter.

Step 5: Task at Hand

The puzzle now is to remove the rope from the eyebolts – not as easy as it looks.
For those who give up and want the solution, it is included below in step 6.

Step 6: The Solution

Puzzle Challenge

Second Prize in the
Puzzle Challenge