The first time I saw a puzzle box I fell in love with the concept and I immediately started to make a design. This here is the first puzzle box I ever designed and made.
It's so easy to make that any beginner will be able to make it, and in case you think that you need expensive tools to make these kind of boxes you must know that I made it using no power tools... so there's no excuse to give it a try!
Step 1: Materials
- 4mm thick wood board
- 3mm thick and 18mm wide wood strip
- Wood glue
- Paint or varnish (optional)
- Metallic ruler
- Sandpaper (120, 280, 400)
Step 2: Design
I made this design inspired by a picture I found on the Internet long ago. I couldn't really find out how to open it so I decided to make my own opening system. Due to this, the box in the picture and the one I made are not opened in the same way.
In my box, you have to remove one of the brown strips to unlock the big compartment, which unlocks the small compartment. I found out that most people that tried to open it didn't notice that there was a small secondary compartment, so it turned out to be a perfect secret place to keep pen drives.
Step 3: Pieces
The box is composed by a main structure, and two compartments. In the pictures above you can see the structure and the pieces of each part.
The first time I cut the wood using a marquetry saw but I realised that the wood was so soft that I could use a cutter guided by a metalic ruler, and that's what I did for the second box I made.
The box measures 162x78x78 mm and these are the pieces needed:
70x162 x1 (side)
78x162 x2 (bottom & top)
74x70 x1 (back)
102x70 x1 (side)
94x66 x2 (sides)
98x70 x1 (bottom)
70x66 x1 (back)
70x70 x1 (front)
66x48 x2 (front & back)
66x74 x2 (sides)
56x74 x1 (bottom)
WOOD STRIPS (18mm wide x 3mm thick wood strips)
84mm long bars x8 (sides)
78mm long bars x8 (top & bottom)
Step 4: Locking Mechanism
For the locking mechanism you have to drill the holes that will connect the compartments. In some of them you will put 8mm long sticks so that they could lock the move of the compartment.
- Mark with pencil where the holes will be drilled. It doesn't really matter where you put them to connect the compartments, but in order to lock the big one you first have to place four strips spaced 30mm and mark their contour because you will have to drill two holes in one of these areas that the strips will cover.
- In order to align the hole and the locking stick you have to put those two pieces of wood together and drill both at the same time. You will have to do this with the back of the big compartment and the side of the small one, as well as with the short side of the structure and the left side of the big compartment. In the pictures you will see that I drilled four holes (that's when I made the first box), but when I made a second one for a friend I drilled only two (though one would be enough too).
- Once the holes are drilled, put some glue in the holes of the back of the big compartment and put the 8mm long sticks in them.
- Stick another two 8mm long sticks to one of the 84mm long strips.
Step 5: Assembling
- Put all the pieces together by putting a thin layer of wood glue and remove any excess using a paper.
- Check that everything fits and use sandpaper to adjust it all so that you can easily open it because if you decide to paint it you won't be able to.
- Finally, put the long strips (84mm) on the sides and the short ones (78mm) on top and bottom.
Step 6: Painting
I decided to paint the box because the wood I used didn't look beautiful. I applyed two coats of paint and sanded the surface using a 400 grit sandpaper to make it look shiny.
Step 7: Final Result
I made two boxes like this and their owners and every people that tryed to open it loved them. They use them to keep USB drives and jewelry.