Hexagon Puzzle

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About: I like to design and build random things.

This is a fun and simple project to make. It consists of 12 pieces that are all the same size. The pieces are glued together to make 3 assemblies. Getting it apart or putting it together is the challenge. As always, there is a trick.

For those that want to get straight to chase - see the solution video here.

Note that I'm not the originator of the design. If you are not up to building it, similar versions can be purchased online.

Step 1: Tools/Materials

Tools:

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Wood Clamps
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Material:

  • 1x4 by 12" Long
  • Wood Glue

Step 2: Top Level Drawing

The puzzle size is arbitrary. After viewing the solution, you will see that something that fits in your hand is ideal. However, feel free to scale this up or down based on your preference.

Step 3: Part Drawing

This is the only part drawing with dimensions. The thickness doesn't really matter. I used the standard thickness from the 1x4 (.75"). The chosen width will drive the length of the block. I picked 1" since the geometry worked out to a roughly 4.5" wide puzzle. With this, the overall length of the block turned out to be 2.887". Note that the cut length (2.31") is twice the hypotenuse (1.155") of the triangle. Keep this in mind if scaling up or down.

You will need to cut 12 of these pieces.

Step 4: Strips

I used a scrap piece of pine 1x4 and cut it into 1" strips. Note that this piece was 24" long so I had enough to build 2 puzzles.

Step 5: 30 Degree Cuts

I used a miter saw to cut the 30 degree angle. The stop block allowed me to cut all the pieces in a few minutes.

Step 6: Gluing Parts - Step 1

Four pieces are required for each assembly. I found it easier to make subassemblies first. Glue the pieces together as shown. Due to the geometry, this was tricky to get the clamping pressure. I finally found a use for the clamp I won in a previous instructables contest :). Another option is to use a small amount of superglue along with wood glue (separated) and hold the pieces together by hand for 30 seconds.

Make six of these.

Step 7: Gluing Parts - Step 2

Glue two of the subassemblies together as shown. This was obviously much easier.

Make 3 of these.

Step 8: Fit Check

Do a fit check of your puzzle (refer to video in the intro). If it binds, sand the surfaces as shown. I had to hand sand each surface for about 30 seconds.

Step 9: Ready to Assemble

Refer to video :)

Step 10: Pictures

Hopefully, these help if you can't figure out the drawings.

Step 11: More Pictures

Step 12: CAD Files

I include STP & STL files for those interested in 3D Printing. Note that you might need to do some post sanding to get a workable puzzle.

Step 13: Final Thoughts

I'm happy with how it turned out. The cost was minimal - less than a $1. Besides waiting for the glue to dry, it took me about an hour to make the puzzle. I feel I could have done a little better with the gaps but being patient was never my strong suit :).

As always, thanks for viewing!

Pocket Sized Contest

This is an entry in the
Pocket Sized Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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2 Discussions

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TheRammer

4 weeks ago

Here's a different, yet similar, hexagon puzzle: http://www.cs.brandeis.edu/~storer/JimPuzzles/SHAP...

My glue-up of 4-levels must have had an error (or too much friction) as I cannot disassemble. My second attempt is only 3-levels high. One of the sub-pieces sticks out a little due to improper alignment during glue-up. I cut 49 pieces, so still have 28 for a few more attempts.

1 reply