My Puzzle Box (The Unabox Project)

Heres a project I made from Make Magazine. The original plans can be a bit hard for the beginner so I modified the plans and created a box that still preforms just as good as the original. To open the box one must preform the following:

- Remove the locking pin (hold piece 1 and 2 in place).
- Slide piece 1 to the right (this allows piece 2 to move also).
- Piece 2 features a compound bevel cut that secures it to the box; the only way it will move to the right is if piece 1 has moved. 
-Move piece 2 to the right and the top can now be removed.
-To close the box simply follow the steps backwards.

The box is fairly good at keeping shut, but I used pine wood so it can break is theres enough force. If your more experienced I suggest you build yours out of oak or maple for a stronger box. For a better description on the box read Make Magazine volume 20 on page 65, or watch my video below.

If you like the Unabox Puzzle Box; you should check out my Enigma Puzzle box here:

EDIT/UPDATE!: Scans from the article are now available! Click the link to view/download via Flickr.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Instrument Contest

    Instrument Contest
  • Make it Glow Contest

    Make it Glow Contest
  • STEM Contest

    STEM Contest

6 Discussions


8 years ago on Introduction

You should write up an instructable for this rather than just have it be an ad for Make.

It looks really neat and I'd love to make it :)

1 reply

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

TheNetwerk, Believe me I'd love to. However I made this project over the course of two weeks in tech class with my very professional teacher.

The original instructions from make say to use oak instead of pine, and the locking mechanism in mine is simpler then the one in the article.

I guess it is logical that this project looks like a ad, after all I am taking Creative Advertising now. Give me a two days and I'll scan in the Make magazine article so you can get a better idea.



Yes, and no. The compound bevel cut is what the dove tail fits into. Essentially they form a lock and key.

\_/ = Compound Bevel Cut
/--\ = Dove Tail.

I hope that helps, let me know if you require some more info, and I will see what I can do.