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Merlin’s Casket This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
Extracts from manuscripts found in the ruins of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, in 1725. Translated into modern English.
"Sir Lancelot, one of the Knights of the Round Table, had his eyes set on Guinevere, wife of King Arthur, but she wasn't too struck on him. So he went to see Merlin, the King's magician, and asked him to make a love potion, but didn't say who it was for. Wise old Merlin guessed Lancelot's intentions, and made the love potion, but placed it in a casket. He gave the casket to Lancelot, and told him if he could open the box, the love potion was inside. Lancelot, being more brawn than brain, couldn't open the casket, so went off looking for another lady. Merlin gave the casket to King Arthur, who had no trouble at all in opening the box, including a secret drawer where the potion was hidden, and used the love potion on Guinevere." This is a rather nice looking "casket type" box, with decorative strips all around it. There are fourteen sliding panels around this box, and by moving eleven of these panels, it takes twelve moves to open the lid. There is a secret drawer, hidden in the base, and it takes five more moves of the outer sliding panels to release that drawer. Make no mistake: this box takes a lot of making. You won't be able to knock this out in a couple of days. There are about 160 pieces required to make this box, and the size is 6-3/4" by 5" by 3-3/4", if made from 1/8" wood, and you will need about four square feet of wood for this size, but these plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size.
The Inca Box This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
A black box, with four stepped sliders arranged around a central knurled wheel, also stepped. The lid is held in place by four latches, one in each side. So, how does it open? The wheel has to be turned to a certain position, and pushed in one direction, which will allow the release two of the four latches holding the lid in place. Then the wheel has to be turned to another position, and pushed in another direction to allow the release the last two latches. Now the lid can be lifted off. The second two latches cannot be released until the first two, even if you find the second wheel position before the first. All the moving parts are contained within the lid. The box measures 5-1/4" by 5-1/4" by 2-3/4", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
The Zig Zag Box This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
This is another "sliding panel" puzzle box, but one of the "sliding panels" is the whole top half of the box. The other two "sliding panels" are only half a panel each. So in a way, this is not really another "sliding panel" box... Part of the end panels have to be moved to allow the top half of the box to be moved, sliding along the bottom half lengthwise. Not really too hard to open, although there are a couple of "dead ends", just to make it a bit awkward to open. Fairly easy to make, and although the keyways are very precise, there is an easy way to cut and assemble these. Size of the box is 4-3/8" by 2-1/2" by 2", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
Better Odds This box is also available as a kit from BHPenLaser
This little puzzle box is a kind of hybrid; it's an easier version of Impossible Odds, together with the frustrating moves of Cul-De-Sac. One slider at each end of the box controls a peg moving in a keyway. There are four vertical slots in each keyway, and only one will eventually open the box. But if you choose the wrong slot, there's only four move or eight moves to make before you discover it's the wrong way to go. So it doesn’t take long to get back to the start. However, on this box, both end panels can move up and down, and the top and bottom panels can move left and right, so you can’t tell which is front or back, left or right, or top or bottom. There are 12 correct moves to open the lid, but there are 90 wrong moves. The size of this box is 4” x 2-1/2” x 2”, if made from 1/8” wood, but the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size.
Triangley “A three-cornered puzzle box? It looks like something missing.” “There you go again, talking about yourself....”
This is an usually shaped puzzle box, being triangular at the front and back, and having only three side panels. The side panels have to be moved in order to open the box, and it takes nine easy moves to do this. It is easy to make, despite most of the cutting being at 30 degrees, and the assembly is also very easy. The box is covered in Oriental-style patterns, and varnished, which makes it look rather pretty..... There are no small parts, which means it is suitable for a child. You could make this in a couple of days quite easily. The sides measure 4 inches each, if made from 1/8" wood. The plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size.
This is another sliding panel puzzle box, that looks very similar to most of the other puzzle boxes. But this one works differently to those. Two sliders at each end are connected to dowels which run in "keyways" in the end panels. These dowels must be in a certain position at the right time to allow those panels to move up and down, which allow the top and bottom panels to move. After 16 moves, the top can be taken off. After another 8 moves, the bottom can be slid out to reveal a little recess in the bottom panel. None of this sounds very difficult does it? But (there's always a "but"), one slider has 12 wrong moves and the other three have 13 wrong moves. Since the four sliders are independent, these wrong moves can be multiplied together. In all, there's about 26,000 wrong moves! No doubt there's a few repeated moves in there, but that's still impossible odds.... The size of this box is 3" by 3" by 4", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this any size.
Helter Skelter “This sounds like a fairground ride.” “Yes, and you could get a little dizzy trying to open this box.” This box is also available as a Puzzle Box Kit From BHPenLaser
This is a fairly strange puzzle box-none of the vertical corners are the same. There are seven sliders around the sides, but very few are in line with each other. You have to start at the top, and work around and down the box to get it open. It takes only 17 "progressive" moves to open: that is, you find the first slider to move, then find the next slider that will move, and it will be the right one. Then another one that will move, and that will also be the right one. When all the sliders have been moved, then the end, top and bottom panels can be moved to open the box. Very easy to make-no inside cuts, circles, curves or keyways. Also easy to open, after a couple of attempts. The size of this box is 3" by 3" by 4", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this any size.
Half and Half “That’s a stupid name.” “A bit like you.... ...with half a brain.”
This is another "sliding panel" puzzle box, with a slider on all four sides. The front and both end panels must be lowered to reveal the lid. But the lid won't come off. This is the only time when the fourth slider can be used, to lower the back panel, revealing all four sides of the lid. But the lid still can't be pushed off! What's going on here? You can see all four edges of the lid, but you still can't push it off in either direction! The answer is in the name of the box... The lid is in two halves, and each half must be pulled off. The box measures 4" by 2-1/2" by 2-1/4", and will require 1/8" wood to make it at that size, but the plans are T-Plans, which will allow you to make it any size.
Tik-Tak-Tok This box is also available as a kit from MyersCrafts
This rather nice looking puzzle box with nine squares on the lid faintly resembles a "tic-tac-toe" board, or as we call it a "Noughts-and-Crosses" board. But this is no "tic-tac-toe" game: it's another "sliding panel" puzzle box, and the sliding panels in this case are the nine squares on the lid, and they all have to be moved around to take the lid off. Twenty moves are required to open the lid. The only moving parts are in the lid, and they are very precise pieces. The rest of it is just an ordinary box. The size of this box is 6" x 6" x 3", and to make it at that size will require 1/8" thick wood. The plans are T-Plans which will allow you to make this at any size.
The 4 sun 24 step box This box is also available as a kit from PuzzleBoxKits
This is another "sliding panel" puzzle box, that looks and operates just like the genuine Japanese puzzle boxes. A "sun" is a Japanese measurement of about 1.22 inches, but only refers to the length of the box, not the width or height. Two sliders at each end have to be moved in order to raise one end and lower the other end, so that the top and base can be moved. Eventually the top will be released. In this version, there is a small drawer in the base panel, and the box requires 24moves to open. It is finished off with some nice pictures of Mount Fuji. Fairly easy to make, the size is 5" by 3-1/2" by 2-3/4", if made from 1/8" thick wood, but the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size.