Introduction: How to Build an Enigma Puzzle Stand

About: Me and My Dad's YouTube channel is about creating secret/puzzle furniture in a fun and interactive way. We thoroughly enjoy working together and hope to create many more projects in the future that will hopefu…

If you've just finished watching the video, you know that this build was not entirely our own. A lot of the elements in this project came from a puzzle box on Amazon. However, building this night-stand to scale was really quite difficult. All of the moving parts were hard to work with and getting them to fit perfectly was a struggle. But after some persistence, we managed to get it working just right.

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Step 1: Materials and Dimensions


- 1/2" Plywood

- 1 2/4"

- 2 1/4" Dowels

- Wood Glue

- Stain

Our dimensions are really simple as you can see by the picture, just 1 foot by 1 foot. The height of our stand is 2 feet. Simplicity is King!

Step 2: Lumber Milling-Frame

For starters, you'll want to cut your plywood to the actual size of your box. The pieces that you have on the sides will need dadoes in them directly across from each other. This is where the table top will slide.

You will also want to make sure that the piece on the front of your box is lower than these grooves otherwise you won't be able to get the top off.

Step 3: Lumber Milling-Swivel Piece

For the top pieces, things tend to get tricky. We started on the swivel piece in the back. It consists of a piece of plywood cut to size. We then attached two dowels on one end of the flap on both sides. Then we drilled holes in the pieces with dadoes in them so that the flap could spin in these holes.

Step 4: Lumber Milling-Back Insert

The back insert consists of 3 different plywood pieces. Two outer pieces that help complete the sides and the top of the nightstand. The inner piece that you can see in the first picture with the holes in it is probably the most important. These holes exist for the dowels in the main top piece to slide into. Primarily, they are there to prevent upward movement during the stand's resting position.

Another thing you'll notice is that we stuck a piece of plywood in front of the outside one making sure that it was low enough for the dowels to go right over the top of it. This is mainly there for the piece with the holes in it so that it can fit snuggly in between these two. This prevents back and forth motion of the insert.

Step 5: Lumber Milling-Main Top-Base Layer

The main top piece that you see in the picture is actually the first of 2. First, we cut it to size leaving it short. We left it short in terms of length because there needed to be some play in the board when we inserted the dowels. It is absolutely crucial that this bottom piece has movement. If it doesn't, there won't be enough room for all of the pieces to move in the right sequence.

Step 6: Lumber Milling-Main Top-Top Layer

On our project, we strayed away from the original puzzle boxe's design, but not on purpose. The original box had lips sticking out of both end pieces. These were to help prevent you from lifting out the individual parts right off the bat. So instead we had to go back and add two trim pieces to our project to account for these things. One on our top layer extending under the back insert and the other on the rotating flap extending under the top layer. If we had to do it again, we would have just made lips on the two end pieces saving us some back-tracking time.

If you've made it this far then you're almost done with the box portion!

Step 7: Wood Burning

Almost anytime we make a piece of furniture with a secret compartment we treat it to some woodburning. We do this because it hides any seams or cracks perfectly.

Step 8: Legs

For the legs, we kept it simple by ripping some 2/4s on the table saw and then adding some 45 degree angles to the tops. We also cut out sections near the tops of these legs that made them look more natural when they were attached to the box.

Step 9: Bottom Shelf

Super Easy! All we did was cut out one more piece fit to size out of our plywood and glued/nailed her down to the joists that we made with some of our left over ripped 2/4s.

Step 10: Finishing It Off!

To finish it off, we used a blow torch to darken up the wood and put on a golden oak wood stain to make it last for years to come.

If you want to see this thing in action you can watch the video up above as we go into more detail as to how we made this puzzle stand and how it works.

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