THE PUZZLE TABLE

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Introduction: THE PUZZLE TABLE

About: In my shop I have a name for hammer, saw, and plier. The saw is Tess, the hammer's Joe, and Glumdalclitch is the plier. Yes, I'm brillig, and my slithy toves still gyre and gimble in the wabe. With that, le…

Here is my entry into the SCRAPS SPEED CHALLENGE.

I built this for my first grandchild, Lincoln, AKA Link. Yes, my son was a big fan of The Legend of Zelda growing up.

Step 1: SCRAP WOOD USED

My neighbor built a deck and let me have all the scrap cut-offs which I stored under my assembly table. It is mostly 1" thick decking which I used for the entire puzzle table -- short of the secret drawer. For that, I rummaged through my lumber cart for more scraps, basically the frame and bottom of the secret drawer. And, of course, I scavenged dowels from that box of hardwood cut-offs to plug screw holes.

Step 2: TOOLS AND SUPPLIES

A picture is worth a thousand words. So here are the tools and supplies I used to create this puzzle table.

Step 3: THE PLAN

I build things from rough sketches, keeping the actual process in my head. So I jotted down the basics and began with the tiles from which the cut dimensions for everything else emanated.

Step 4: THE TILES

The edge of the decking was rounded so I squared them up on the table saw. I cut the tiles to rough size. The final size was 4.75" square. I routed a 1/4" grove in all four sides of each tile. I ripped down a bunch of 1/4" plywood strips for the tongues. To keep track of what I was doing, I turned all the tiles over, alternated the direction of the grain, and penciled numbers 1 through 15 on the back of each. Then all the tongues were glued in.

Step 5: PYROGRAPHY -- THE NUMBERS

After tracing numbers on the fifteen tiles, I used my wood burning set and darkened each number.

Step 6: THE TOP

The size of the assembled tiles dictated the frame. I secured a piece of thin plywood to the back and set the tiles in and secured the frame. I attached the frame to the base with screws and plugged the holes with dowels. A note: since I planned on making a secret drawer there was no frame to screw to on the far side. I only put dowels there to give the appearance of being secured down.

Step 7: THE LEGS AND BASE

I made a very simple leg tapering jig and cut the four legs, secured them to aprons on three sides leaving the back open for the secret drawer. I made a shelf, screwed it in, and plugged the holes with dowels.

Step 8: SECRET DRAWER

I added a secret drawer to the BACK of the table and initialed and dated it. I secured the drawer and will tell no one about it. Inside I'll leave a note to be read by the person who discovers how to open it.

Step 9: THE FINISH

I finished it with Tung Oil.

Step 10: THE DENOUEMENT

Here's a picture of Link for whom this puzzle table was made. He'll grow into it. Let me know what you think of this Instructable. And, as usual, all comments appreciated and all questions answered.

UPDATE: So nothing would rattle around inside the secret drawer, I wrote a congratulatory note to the discoverer on painters tape adhered to the inside bottom of the drawer. I secured the drawer by running a screw through the back of the runner into the finger pull section. The finished table was transported to my grandson's house and waits for someone to discover its secret. I also added an envelope of six $2 bills I have had for years. On it I wrote: The Treasure.

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    7 Comments

    Hi Kink, cute baby! I looked into your project and I think this is lots of fun. I would like to mention that if you cut 3 similar square pieces, all you need to do is stack the middle one offset and you can avoid having to cut and glue the lips. Let me know if I erred. Bye!

    0
    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, T, erred? I don't think so. That is definitely a way to do it. I love the way you think outside the box. It would be a simple procedure using thinner wood. As it was, I used 1" thick decking from what my neighbor tossed out and let me have. But you have no idea how much I enjoyed your comment. It made me realize there is more than one way to skin a potato. Big thanks.

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    telesphorelalancette
    telesphorelalancette

    Reply 7 months ago

    Sorry for taking so long to reply to you I didn't know how easy it was. Can't beat free material and I know what I'm talking about. I will spend the time needed to dismantle a desk and its drawers to recuperate the 1/4" hardwood or skin a discarded leather sofa on the curb to make pouches for my bits, small tools or other stuff. As a matter of fact, I made a very useful apron with side pockets for pen, measuring tape, etc. from the back of a white sofa with a cigarette burn in the middle of one of the cushion. Keep on instructing buddy!

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    31VOL
    31VOL

    1 year ago

    Wooow!! That is so educational for kids and i like the presentation.It's so funny! Good luck!

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    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    Reply 1 year ago

    Big thanks, John. I believe in starting the educational process early. Though I'm only the grandpa, anything I make for the little guy will have some educational value.

    0
    kcoreyedstrom
    kcoreyedstrom

    1 year ago on Step 10

    This is so cool. It’s been added to my list of projects - I love the whimsy!

    Ken

    0
    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, Ken, much appreciated. I know my grandson is only 5 months old and I did build this for him but I just had to give this a shot. I should mention that the scrap wood I used was decking. It shrinks. It also warps as it shrinks. If you do try this project, use better, more stable wood. The basic process should be the same. What I did for the secret table -- if you decide to do that part of it, too -- was to run a screw from behind the dust apron on which the drawer rides into the middle of the finger pull of the drawer. If you get under the table you can actually SEE the screw, and you can feel the screw if you put your fingers in the pull. So the solution of how to open it is "findable" and not totally hidden. Inside the drawer, I put strips of blue painters tape (so nothing would slide around and give away that something was in a drawer) on which I wrote a congratulation to the one who finds the secret and opens it.