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The Jail Cell "Either open this box, or spend 30 days in jail." "I'll take the 30 days, Judge." This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
This little box looks like a model of a jail cell. It isn't just a model; this is another "sliding panel" puzzle box, where the aim is to open the cell door. This is one of those puzzles where you have to think "outside the box", as it were. The box measures 5” x 3-3/8” x 3-5/8”, and is made from 1/8" plwood and 1/8” dowel rods. Easy to make. Fairly difficult to open, using four sliders to release the cell door.
“I made a box for this. I keep all my valuables in it. ..then someone stole the box.”
More of a mechanical gadget, than a puzzle. But I know you can't open this without the solution! This is not a trick title-it really is just a door. However, it's a safe door, controlled by a genuine combination lock-not one of those "combination locks" that require you to turn three or four wheels, but a proper combination lock, with four discs controlled by one dial-just like in the movies. You make your own combination when building this, and can change that at any time. The door has a transparent back, so that you can see the lock in operation, and is mounted on a frame. You could easily make a box instead. However, since it's made of wood, it may not be very safe...
This box is also available as a kit from BHPenLaser
This rather nice little puzzle box, with pictures of Japanese garden bridges all around, works very similar to the traditional Japanese puzzle box, in that all the moves are controlled by only two sliders, one at each end. These sliders allow the end panels to move vertically, and they in turn allow the top and bottom panels to move horizontally. Eventually, the top panel will slide off sideways. That's what normally happens... However, just when you think the lid is about to come off, the box appears to lock up. Strangely, the only way to get the lid off, is to start closing the box again...The pictures of bridges give a clue as to the reason why... Very hard to open: even if you know how, it takes 44 moves to open! And 4 more to take all the panels off... The size of this box is 4" x 2-1/2" x 2", constructed entirely from 1/8" plywood. The plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this any size.
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Medieval Casket “He’s a witch. Away to the village pond with him.”
This puzzle box is a miniature version of a 16th century linen chest-those very dark heavy wood chests, about two or three feet long, with overhanging lids and usually heavily, sometimes roughly, carved faces. Some had iron bands with stout padlocks, to hold valuables. This little box could hold smaller "valuables", but it doesn't have carved faces. Instead, it has fretwork panels on the front, back and side faces, and lion head "reliefs" in the centre of these panels. These lion heads actually move, and form the locking mechanism that holds the lid shut. These moves are made in a certain order, to release the lid. Apart from the lion heads, there are no moving parts visible.If you know how, takes only 14 moves to open. If you don’t know , it’s fairly difficult! The box size is 6" x 4" x 2-1/2", made from 1/8" plywood and 1/4" stripwood. Fretwork pattern and lion head images are included in the plans.
The 25 move box “I’d rather move house, than try this.”
This is another puzzle box that resembles closely the traditional Japanese puzzle box, with all the moves are controlled by only two sliders, one at each end. These sliders allow the end panels to move vertically, and allows the top and bottom panels to move horizontally. All the moves on this box are very similar to the 14-19 box, but in this version there are four more "secret" sliders, that don't seem to do anything. To start with, they won’t move at all! They only come into play at different times during the sequence of moves. Which makes it a bit irritating trying to get the box open... Box size is 4" x 2-1/2" x 2", made from 1/8" and 1/4" plywood. Easy to make. Difficult to open. A pattern is included in plans, but you can use your preferred finish.
The Knight’s Tomb “May you rot in hell forever more.”
Verily I say unto thee good person, do not be tempted to touch this, for ‘tis the work of the Devil himself, may the saints preserve us. It is but a tomb, worthy of good King Richard himself, indeed, his shield and cross adorn all around. These shields have to be moved to open the fiendish thing. Aye, some shields be going up and down, and some be going side to side, but they all have to be moved before the lid can be slid off. Forsooth, I say again, do not be tempted by the this toy of Satan, for thee will doomed to spend the rest of thy life trying to open this terrible, devilish thing. Looking like the Medieval Casket, this puzzle box works quite differently, and is much easier to make. The box size is 5-1/2” x 3” x 3”, made of 1/8” and 1/4” plywood. It looks just as good without the knight’s figure: it’s up to you. 16 moves to open, if you know them. Otherwise, very difficult to open. Cutting list supplied by Ron Locke.
Grey Squares “If I put white circles on it, would it be any easier to open?”
My first sliding panel box. Four of the panels have one or two “secret” sliders that must be moved before that panel will move. That will unlock another panel, eventually coming to the last panel. But that also seems to be locked! With what? The answer is there, if you think backwards. Fairly easy to make, using ⅛” and ¼” plywood. Covered in paper, the grey squares printed from computer. Grey squares pattern included in plans. Difficult to take solve; minimum 13 moves.
“Sounds like a night-club.” “You’d have a better time there, than trying to open this.”
This puzzle box resembles very closely the traditional Japanese puzzle box, in that all the moves are controlled by only two sliders, one at each end. These sliders allow the end panels to move vertically, and allows the top and bottom panels to move horizontally. All the moves on this box are very similar to the customary moves on the Japanese style boxes. In this version however, you can decide to make a 14 move, or a 19 move box, the difference being only a couple of extra pieces of wood. Box size is 4" x 2-1/2" x 2", made from 1/8" and 1/4" plywood. Easy to make, moderately difficult to open. There is a pattern included, but you can put any kind of finish on.
Looking rather like a solid block of wood, this is another sliding panel puzzle box. Moving three of the side panels will allow you to get the lid off, thinking that you’ve done the puzzle. But there is a secret drawer hidden in the bottom, and you have to move all four of the side panels to get the drawer out. There are more moves to get the drawer out, than there are to release the lid, and the box is deep enough to disguise the fact that there is a drawer there at all. The box size is 4-1/2” x 4-1/2” x 3-1/2”, made of 1/8” wood, but the plans are now T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size..
A realistic looking Japanese puzzle box, realistic not only in looks but also in size and operation. A “sun” is a Japanese measurement of about 1.22 inches, but is only an indication of the length of the box, not the width or height. This is a very easy puzzle to make, as all the cuts are straight cuts, with only one inside slot. No plywood used here:the whole thing is made from 1/8” basswood. The box is not too difficult to open. This is an ideal puzzle to make as a first attempt. The box measures 4-3/4” x 3-1/4” x 2-1/4”, if made from 1/8” wood, but the plans are now T-Plans, which allow you to make this box at any size.