Free PlansMove the mouse cursor over an image for info and links.
Cubey 2 “I got this open just once. With a big hammer.”
Same size as Cubey: 2” each way. Same single panel on each side. So what’s different? Look at the edges-just a single line! Every side is joined to it’s neighbour by a bevel joint, and the grain on each side is 90° to the next side, making it impossible to tell which side you’re looking at. Is that all? NO. Every panel now has to be moved TWICE in order to open the box. Once you’ve started, there are two possible panels to move, the one you’ve just moved, and the next one to be moved, but because you can’t tell where you are, you might go backwards instead of forwards. You might never get to open the box, just going backwards and forwards for all time... The box is made from 1/8” and 1/4” plywood. Easy to cut, assembly is a little tricky. Very hard to open...
Modified Matchbox From plans supplied by Peter Wiltshire “Is this for people with big fingers?” “Are you saying I’m fat?”
This puzzle box is based on The Matchbox, in that all the movements are the same, but the box is bigger. The size of this box is 2-3/4” square, and it takes ten moves to open. Extremely easy to build - every piece is a simple rectangle. You could make this with any kind of handsaw. To make this puzzle at this size will require 1/4” thick wood, but the plans allow you to make this any size you wish. So easy to build, you could make this in a single day! This is an ideal puzzle to make as a first attempt.
Matchbox 2 “This is ridiculous. My fingers are bigger than this.” “You’ll have to go on a diet, then.” This box is also available as a kit from Myerscrafts
Is this the smallest puzzle box? Even smaller than The Matchbox, measuring only 1-1/2” long, by 7/8” high by 1-1/8” wide! Yet it takes 14 moves to open the lid, and a few more to remove every panel. Very easy to cut, every piece is a simple rectangle (admittedly, very small rectangles...) No curves, circles, holes, inside cuts, tongues or notches. Assembly is a little tricky, because this is a fairly precise little box, but not too hard. That’s a 50p coin in the top left picture, and a 5p coin in the top right picture....and 5p about all that will fit inside...
The Matchbox “So small, you can’t put matches in it.” “You could always break them in half.” This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
This must be the smallest puzzle box! Only 1-1/4” square, and 2” long, yet it takes ten moves to open this box! Extremely easy to build - every piece is a simple rectangle. No curves, no circles, no holes, no inside cuts, no intricate little tongues and notches to cut. You could even make this with a simple junior hacksaw! To make this puzzle at this size will require 1/8” thick wood, but the plans allow you to make this any size you wish. The inside measures 1” x 1” x 3/8”, so you could put a couple of rings in, or a few small coins. So easy to build, you could make this in a single day! This is an ideal puzzle to make as a first attempt.
The smallest and simplest of the puzzle boxes-the box is only 2” x 2” x 2”, with a little sliding panel on each side. Only one panel will move, simply find this, then another panel will move, and so on, like “follow my leader”, until one side can be removed. But halfway through, you discover that more than one panel can be moved. Easy to make and easy to open-it takes only seven moves. The little panels are covered with a Celtic pattern; these are included in the plans, which are now T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
Tangrams Donated by Salvatore Palladino Different sized and coloured pieces that fit into cutout shapes. The box has a sliding cover to hold everything in place. No sizes given, because you can make this at any size.
Chinese Torture NEW “Confucius say: ‘Wisdom is knowledge.’ If he’s so wise, let him open this box, then.” This box is also available as a kit from BHPenLaser
The red box is 2 ½” square, with two green panels on each side. Every outer panel can move, but none of the inner panels can move at first. By moving all of these pairs of panels, you can eventually remove one pair of panels, opening the box.. There is no obvious starting point, and if you move the wrong panels first, the box will lock. Even if you find the correct panels first, you canstill lock the box, but you won’t know this, because everything seems to be working! 13 moves to open, if you know how. Extremely difficult to solve! Cutting: easy. Assembly: Not too bad. Size of the box is 3” by 3” by 3”, if made from 1/8”, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
This is actually the smaller box that fits inside BboxX (see the Gallery Page 7), but it's such a neat little box that it deserves a plan of it's own. This is a "casket type" puzzle box, and is a good introduction to making those type of boxes, which can get quite complicated. This one takes only 11 moves to open, and is fairly easy to make. The size of this box is 3-3/4" by 2-3/4" by 2-3/4" if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size.
Black Nightmare “You think you’re really clever, don’t you?” This puzzle box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
A 3” cube, with a panel on each side. On two sides, this panel is split in two, both pieces moving independently. Whatever moves you do on this side, you must also do on the other side. By moving these four half-panels in unison, you can move the other sides, and eventually remove them altogether. Not too hard to make, using 4mm plywood. Very difficult to solve. Minimum 13 moves.
The Shield This box is also available as a kit from BhPenLaser
A rather plain, metallic looking box, with an embossed shield on the top, without any visible moving parts. Yet this is another ‘sliding panel’ puzzle box. The shield itself has to be manipulated in order to get the lid off. The only moving parts are in the lid. This is quite a precise little puzzle to make, and there are only 9 moves to get the lid off. However, it’s quite tricky to get off, because the shield seems to jam up now and again. That’s because the shield is in three parts, and the inside layers are interlocked. The box measures 3” x 3” x 4”: the lid is made of 1/8” plywood: the box made of 3/16” ply, with bevelled corners.
The Trinket Box “My daughter loves this. I don’t.” This box is also available as a kit from BhPenLaser
A rather nice little box, 4 x 2-1/2” x 2”, where the lid pattern is actually a “secret lock”. There are no parts that can be seen or stick out, so you could keep trinkets in the box. You could even keep, gasp, cigarettes in it! Help your friends to stop smoking-give them one of these boxes. Easy to make with 1/8” and 1/4” plywood. Easy to open.