Introduction: Rubik's Wood Cube

About: My name is Britt Michelsen. I am a chemical engineer from Germany especially interested in computational fluid dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work, I like to make stuff in my free time
In 1974 Ernö Rubik spent only 6 weeks on developing the mechanism of the Rubik's Cube, but it took six years for it's worldwide distribution. The puzzle was licensed to be sold by Ideal Toys in 1980.
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the world's best-selling puzzle a limited edition Rubik's Wood Cube was released. You can find it here:

While I was waiting for mine to arrive, I started to make one myself by using the standard plastic core and wood for the visible parts.

Have fun building it

Step 1: What You Need

  • at least 23 Wooden cubes (19 mm would be best. I used 20 mm ones, because I had them lying around, but had to sand a lot). You can either cut them yourself or buy them (you should use a hard wood, to prevent splinters)
  • a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube (Best is DIY type F II, you will see why in step 4, e.g. from Cube4You, 9spuzzles or RubikFans (Ebay)).
  •  sandpaper (80, 160)
  • lexan tiles (you can use normal stickers, but it will not look as good)
  • strong glue
  • I've used Apoxie Sculpt to fill up the holes, but you don't really need to
  • wood lacquer (optional, but good)

  • a dremel (I've used a 1/2 x 1/2 inch Sanding Mandrel and a SpeedClic Plastic Cutting Wheel)
  • safety glasses (use them!)
  • a drill (not a 100% necessary take a look at step 5), 9 and 12 mm drill bit
  • a permanent marker
  • a small saw

Step 2: Mark the Lines

In order to know where to saw, you will first have to mark the lines as shown in the pictures, by moving the layers.
After you've marked the lines you will have to disassemble the cube.

Step 3: Make a Corner Piece

To make sure, that only wood can be seen, mark a second line about 2 mm closer to the middle, as shown in the first picture.
Then cut along the second line with the SpeedClic Plastic Cutting Wheel. You can of course use a small saw (but it might be little bit more tricky).
Now place it onto your wooden block and mark a new line (as shown in the second picture). Use the Sanding Mandrel to fit the cube piece onto your wooden block, round the corners of the block and glue the pieces together. Congratulations you've finished your first piece. 

Step 4: Make an Edge Piece

Like for the corner piece you will have to mark a second line about 2 mm closer to the middle as shown in the first picture.
Then cut along the second line, this time you will have to place the part you don't need on the cube and trace it. Again you will have to use the Sanding Mandrel so that the piece from the Rubik's Cube fits onto it. Before you glue the pieces together you should round the corners.

NOTE: Here you can see why it's better to use a FII type cube. If you use a corner piece from an other type of cube, you will have to grind the curve and it has to be very precise.

Step 5: Build the Core

In order to build the core you will have to take the caps of the middle pieces and sand down the walls (If you don't want your cube to be adjustable don't grind all the way down and simply glue the cut down wooden piece on top of it).

Next mark the center of the cube and drill a 9mm hole all the way through. Now cut the cube into half as shown in the fourth picture and drill a second 12mm hole halfway through both halves. Sand down the corners and fit the piece onto the platform.

Before I've applied the tiles I've used see-through wood lacquer to protect the cube.

Step 6: Solve the Cube

Have fun solving it.
Woodworking Contest

Finalist in the
Woodworking Contest