How to Make an Easy 4 Step Puzzle Box (Out of a Log)

Introduction: How to Make an Easy 4 Step Puzzle Box (Out of a Log)

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…

Puzzle boxes are tricky, as they come in the name, but this one is simple, we promise!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Step 1: Tools/Materials

1 Log

Wood Glue:

1 Foot Quick Grip Clamps:

Natural Wood Stain:

Table Saw:

Combination Square:



Dato Blades:

Chop Saw:




Belt Sander:

Tape Measure:

Bible (not an affiliate link):

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Step 2: Log Milling

Now personally, we wouldn't recommend making any puzzle box out of a log mainly because they're extremely hard to get straight. But if you do choose to make yours out of a round log, you will need to at least have a planer and a table saw to get your ripped pieces cut down to size.

Step 3: Main Box Construction

The overall construction of the main box was fairly standard. However, the two things that you will have to do before you nail and glue everything together. The first is that you will need to make some dadoes along the long edges of your box so that you can slide in the two locking panels that you will be making in a moment. The other is that you will need to keep one end of your box detached from the rest of your box. The reason for this is because that end piece will need to be cut into two separate pieces so that you can hide one of the locking mechanisms of your box.

Step 4: Panel Locks

These next two panel locks are quite complicated which is why I think it would be best to watch the video at the top of this instructable so that you fully understand how they work.

Step 5: The Actual Steps

Technically you could call this puzzle box a 5-step puzzle but really it is only 4. The way that this box is opened is by twisting the knob on the right so that the peg below the panel can be lined up with the pre-drilled hole. Once the peg is lined up, you can then pull on the knob so that it lifts the panel up entirely. After this step, the second panel can then be slid backwards toward the first panel so that you can remove the end piece and access the box.

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    Joseph the III
    Joseph the III

    3 years ago

    What size of wood planks would I need if I don’t use a log


    Reply 3 years ago

    Probably one 1/4" sheet of plywood would be good enough. Maybe even an 1/8" if you want some more pliability with the wood.


    3 years ago

    The woodgrain on the finished box looks really good :D


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you Jessy! We're starting to wonder if making things out of logs is really just a cheap way of finding amazingly patterned wood!