Wooden "X" Puzzle

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Project by KnotCurser posted 02-28-2010 03:28 AM 12124 views 30 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first saw this puzzle here on LJ, I was instantly hooked on it as well as trying to find out the solution! I was literally spinning in my seat when I finally figured it out!

I made a quick one out of pine to get the feel for it and quickly figured out that unless you get the spacing just right, one can kind of “cheat” at it to solve it – very frustrating when you tell someone it’s a very tricky solution and they jiggle it a little and it falls apart! :-0

So, I brought all the tolerances in tight and made it out of red oak this time – a quick coat of lemon oil and voila! It works perfectly – I have yet to have a “wrong way solve”. :-)

Oh yeah – you will have to read Junji’s post to try to figure out the solution – all credit and thanks go to him! And I BEG of you to NOT post the solution on this page! Keep the secret a secret! THANKS!

Here’s the link to Junji’s original post:


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

7 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18426 posts in 3916 days

#1 posted 02-28-2010 03:34 AM

You already posted the solution :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 02-28-2010 04:03 AM

Okay – I am like 99% sure I know the solution but I’m going to have to make one of these to confirm that I know the solution. Don’t you know I have other things I have to do and don’t you know that I will be unable to do them until I have this mystery solved? Dang!!

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 4179 days

#3 posted 02-28-2010 04:42 AM

I’m guessing I could work it out with a piece of paper?

-- Steven

View KnotCurser's profile


2031 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 02-28-2010 05:40 PM


Yup, a business card or a piece of paper can indeed prevent the pins from closing, but that’s not the answer. You can solve this puzzle with no external “tools” of any sort – and it’s a very elegant solution that involves no brute force either.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Bob Areddy's profile

Bob Areddy

193 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 03-01-2010 04:47 AM

I know how to open it, but how does one “lock” it?

-- --Bob

View KnotCurser's profile


2031 posts in 3309 days

#6 posted 03-01-2010 03:26 PM


All you have to do to “lock” it is to separate the four pins into the holes, carefully invert one piece over the other and put them together. A quick shake and it’s locked.

BTW, I don’t know if it’s really clear in the pictures, but the pins move freely – there are no springs or anything pushing on them.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View natebecker's profile


3 posts in 3239 days

#7 posted 03-11-2010 11:05 PM

thats a really cool project

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