Introduction: How to Make a Hard Puzzle Box!!!

This is a puzzle box with three hard riddles. Each step makes the person opening the box have to think about what the riddle means and what needs to be solved from the riddle. This box is not for people who are very young because they might not get it, but find a friend and test their knowledge.


Wood (you can use any kind but I just grabbed some simple wood from my local Lowe’s)
Hinges (4)
Big wooden dowel
Small wooden dowel
Wood glue
Saws to cut wood
Paper and printer for designs
Drawer lock and key
Small magnets
3 Square bend hooks
Plastic sheet
3 number combination lock
Metal wire
Super glue
A prize for whoever can open your box

Step 1: Make the Frame

First, decide on how big or small you want your box to be and cut enough wood for 4 sides, two long, two short, a base, four layers, and a lid that covers the entire box.
Start by cutting a small piece from the back panel to be the front of the sliding drawer.
Then glue the front and left and right sides together. Let that set, then glue the base on but leave a slot of the drawer to slide in flush.
Do not glue the back panel on or it will be hard to figure out where you want your inside layers.

Step 2: Create the Sliding Drawer and Locking Pin Mechanism

Use one of the inside layer panels for the base of the drawer.
Cut three sides to match the height of the front panel. Make sure to account for the base offset.
Leave room behind drawer back for pin locking mechanism.
Cut a thick piece of wood a little bit shorter than the length of the box and cut it into three section. The middle section should be significantly shorter than the side pieces. Mine was two four inch sections and one two inch section in the center.
Drill a hole in the center of each piece and make sure it lines up.
Then, cut small wooden dowel into two four-inch pieces. Glue a small magnet onto one end of each dowel. Make sure the pull of the magnets are the same so they don’t attract each other.
When dry, slide the dowels into the holes and make sure the magnets are on the outside of the box. Glue the long wood pieces to the actual box and glue the short wood piece to the bottom of the drawer. Make sure that before the glue dries, the dowels can freely slide between the three pieces of wood. When dry, the magnets should be able to be held to the sides of the box by magnets on the outside. This should allow the middle section to be free and the drawer should slide free. When the drawer is set, follow the instructions on the drawer lock and install it as so.

Step 3: Create the Clock Riddle

Grab two more of the layers to create the next riddle.
Start with one of the layers and drill three holes that are a tad bit bigger than the large wooden dowel in the center of the wood. Cut three circles from the large wooden dowel. Make them all the same thickness as the wood itself.
On the second piece of wood drill three 1/8th or bigger inch hole and a 1/2 inch slit for the square bend hooks to go through.
On each of the wooden circles, drill one of the square bend hooks in the center. Make sure they are straight up and down. I put a dab of wood glue in each hole to make sure the hooks didn’t move or rotate when finished.
Grab the back wall and attach two hinges on the big circle panel and to the back wall. Set the back wall in place with clamps but don’t glue it in yet. Make sure the panel can move freely inside the box. Mark where the panel lies flat and where the other panel should lie beneath it. The two layers should be touching each other. Don’t glue either but instead, glue two small scrap pieces on the left and right of the box under the second layer so it can be removed.
On the bottom of the panel with the big circles, glue six small, scrap pieces of wood on each side of each hole as shown in the picture. Then glue four small scrap pieces of wood onto the bottom piece but make sure the pieces interlock.
Beneath the two clock layers but above the drawer locks, glue in the last panel. This will be where the last clue and the key will be.
For the three circles, create a riddle that involves three numbers between one and twelve to represent numbers on a clock. Point each lock so it unlocks the box and mark where you want to put your small magnets. Drill a small hole just deep enough for a magnet in each of your marked places and glue a magnet in.
I then attached a small handle onto the top and glued another magnet in it.
Cut a small piece of the small wooden dowel and glue a magnet to it. Sand it down to make it nice.
Cut a piece of plastic to cover the three circles and pin it down with tacks.

Step 4: Finish Up

To finish up the box, glue back wall in place.
Then, attach the lid with the last two hinges. Sand everything down to make it look nice and finished. (If you want, you can also stain it but I was happy with how mine looked.)
Then drill a slit into the side of the lid to place your first riddle.
Print and cut out your riddles and clocks and glue them all over the box. The only two clocks that matter where they go are two on each side that are at midnight. Find where the magnet holds on each side and glue each midnight clock there. Glue the riddles where they belong and I lace a prize in the drawer.
Then, I used metal wire, and put one loop on the lid and one loop on the box to hold the number lock.
Now go out and test your friends with this fun puzzle box.

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