Introduction: THE RED STONE PUZZLE BOX WITH PLANS
SPOILER ALERT: This Instructable will not only give you all the dimensions you will need to build these puzzle blocks, but it will also show you how to solve it.
OBJECT: Fit the RED STONE in the box with the other blocks and close the lid.
THE STORY: My youngest son loves puzzles and I make him one a year which he solves very quickly. While this might not be a difficult puzzle to solve, when I saw it I knew I had to build it. I searched for plans online and found nothing but a video from Mr. Puzzle. This video took me on a journey of trial and error that I refused to give in to. Here is how I figured out how to make the Red Stone Puzzle Box.
Step 1: MEASURING THE VIDEO IMAGE
That metal ruler is what enabled me to get all the measurements I needed. It is a ruler I've had for about 50 or more years. (Yes, I'm that old--celebrating three-quarters of a century on my birthday this July which both JK Rowling and Harry Potter share with me.) It was made by the Chicago Etching Corporation and has the following printed on it: BUSINESS FORMS AND FORMS HANDLING EQUIPMENT BY STANDARD REGISTER. I was able to pause Mr. Puzzle's video and take measurements with one of the many incremental markings displayed on the ruler. Then I looked around my Little Shop of Jarfold for some scrap lumber. A neighbor had built a deck and let me take all the scraps. I would build a prototype out of it.
Step 2: NEW TABLE SAW CROSSCUT SLED
My old table saw had seen better days and had lost its accuracy. So I tossed together a new one.
Tools used for this Instructable: Cross-cut sled, miter saw, back saw, router table, metal incremental ruler, tape measure.
Step 3: THE PROTOTYPE MATERIAL
From the incremental measurements I took off the video I expanded them into working measurements. Since I had one-inch-thick decking and the basic design of the puzzle called for blocks of thicknesses of X and 2X, glued some of the boards together to give me 1" and 2" thick material to work with. So I had my X=1inch and 2X=2 inches. I then converted all my small measurements to the one-inch, two-inch format.
Step 4: ONLY FOUR SHAPES AND TWO THICKNESS
There are 8 blocks used in this puzzle plus the RED STONE which is the same size as one of the 8 blocks. There are only 4 different shapes with two thicknesses each: one-inch and two-inches. The accuracy of my new crosscut sled made the cutting of the blocks very easy.
To convert to cm = inches x 2.54
Step 5: USING NICER WOOD
Once the prototype was finished and fit together nicely, I decided to make one out of some scrap hardwoods I had. This didn't go too well. The hardwoods weren't exactly one-inch and two-inches thick. These small variations really threw the finished product off. Thus, I stress to make your cuts accurately. I needed a solution.
Step 6: MATH TO THE RESCUE
I multiplied all my one/two-inch dimensions by 3/4 or .75. Now I had 3/4" thick and 1 1/2" thick dimensions to work with. I cut all the blocks to size. I sanded all the blocks to 220 grit, finished them in Tung Oil, and added paste wax. Not only did they look nice, they felt nice, too. Tung Oil only enhances the wood's natural color and grain. It doesn't "stain" it. That red color on the RED STONE is natural. I think the wood is cocobolo.
And for those who do not use inches: cm = inches x 2.54
Step 7: THE BOX
I measured the L x W x H of the blocks in both the unsolved and solved configurations. I found a piece of walnut with the scrap lumber. I put the box together using my finger-joint jig. I made the inside of the box a fraction larger than the larger of the measurements. I found some scrap pieces of ebony and made a frame for the RED STONE to sit in on the top of the box.
Interior Dimensions of the 3/4" and 1 1/2" version box: L: 5 3/16 x W: 3 5/8 x H: 2 3/8.
Interior Dimension for the 1" and 2" version: L: 7 1/8 x W: 4 5/8 x H: 3 1/8
cm = inches x 2.54
NOTE: I've only given the interior dimensions of the box as all other measurements will depend on the thickness of the material you use to create the box.
Step 8: SPOILER ALERT
Next is the solution on how to fit the RED STONE into the full box of blocks.
I hope you enjoyed this. As usual. all comments appreciated and all questions answered.
Step 9: THE SOLUTION
Once you realize all the blocks are incremental to each other: 3" wide blocks are equal to the 1" and 2" thicknesses; the 4 1/2" length is equal to the two 2 1/4' blocks combined, and so on, the solution becomes obvious. As I said, it is not a very difficult puzzle to solve, but it makes a heck of an attractive gift. One the receiver will marvel at.
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