Hi, my name is Thomas, and in this tutorial I'm going to show you how to make a puzzle cover for speedsolving.
If you don't know what this is, it's basically a box to hide a puzzle like a Rubik's Cube before you start to solve it.
Theses covers are usually used in cubing competitions, that way, the person solving the puzzle won't see the scramble before the timer starts.
I wanted one of those to practice speedsolving at home in competition settings. You can buy them online but they are expensive for a cardboard box, plus they are pretty fragile, so I decided to make one myself. I drew plans and tried several designs before choosing this one. It should fit most of the WCA puzzles, I tried 3x3, 4x4 and Pyraminx and there still a lot of space around, I hope it could fit up to a 7x7.
It's very easy to make and you probably already have everything you need to do so, just make sure you read the entire tutorial before starting, it will save you time on avoidable mistakes.
Let's get started !
Step 1: Plans
I designed those plans on my laptop, they are free and should be at scale if you print them on A4 paper (all the measurements are in centimeters). You can either choose to print them to use as reference to cut the pieces you'll need, or do like me and draw them directly on the material you will use (more on that later).
Step 2: Tools
You will need :
- A ruller
- Glue, I used PVA glue (avoid stick glue, not very strong)
- A pen or pencil or anything you want to draw
- Something to mark folds (just a pen is fine, you don't need a fancy thing like mine)
- Something to spread the glue (if you use a brush wash it carefully when you're done)
A box opener or scissors (don't cut yourself)
Step 3: Materials
You are free to use what you want, but I don't recommend simple paper because it's too flimsy.
I think the best way to go is with cereal box cardboard, it's just the right thickness and it's sturdy enough to keep its shape, but any thin cardboard is alright.
It can work with thick paper too but it's not as durable, finally the ultimate material would be a plastic sheet thin enough to be folded.
In the rest of the tutorial I will be using cereal boxes.
Step 4: Preparing the Boxes
Now we start the build, if you chose to use cereal boxes like me, you will need two of them.
It's better if they have colors that you like because they will be showing on the outside when the build is finished.
Open them by cutting on the existing folds, preserving the big parts, you should have four sheets of cardboard now (two by box).
Step 5: Drawing
Using the plans provided in the PDF, draw the four pieces, one on each cardboard sheet (if you printed them, cut them and glue them one the cardboard pieces).
Don't forget to write down the number corresponding to each piece, it will be important. It's not in the picture but I also wrote it on the piece itself, to be able to recognize it when it's cut from the cardboard sheet.
The order is also very important, don't mix them up ! The pieces number 2 and 4 look alike but them are mirrored, be careful.
Step 6: Cutting
As you probably guessed, now you need to cut them, as shown in the picture.
The lines still showing one the pieces represent folds, don't cut them.
Step 7: Folding
You should have four nice pieces, now you just need to fold along the lines.
It's easier if you mark the folds beforehand, you can do that by going over the lines multiple times with a pen, applying pressure on the cardboard.
Fold slowly and carefully, the cardboard will take shape.
Step 8: Gluing
Now we need to glue everything together, the order is very important, if you do it wrong (like I did the first time), the top wont close. Another advice, keep the pieces flat when you are gluing them, don't try to hold them in your hands.
The easiest way to do it is to lay down every piece on the table, blank side facing up, in the order 1, 2, 3 and 4 from left to right like in the picture.
Then take the first piece on the left, apply glue on the flap on the colored side, and stick it to the piece directly to it's right (1 with 2, 2 with 3 and 3 with 4).
When you're done and it look's like what is on the pictures, glue 4 with 1.
Step 9: Closing
We are almost done, now we need to close the top.
First fold the U shaped one, then the two L shaped ones, and finally put the last one it the slot in the center.
Again just look at the pictures, the last one is what you should see inside.
Step 10: Conclusion
And you're done, I hope it wasn't to complicated !
If you want to take it with you somewhere just open up the top and fold it flat, you can also stack them if you have made more than one.
To finish, English is not my native language so I apologize if something wasn't clear.
Ask me if you encounter any problem and I'll try to help you.
I will go back to my cave now because my averages are terrible...