Washer Puzzles

  • Advertise with us
Project by FaTToaD posted 1274 days ago 4517 views 54 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over the last couple months I’ve been saving all my small scraps in hopes of making a bunch of washer puzzles. Well, I finally got around to it this weekend thanks to the help of my brother.

We finished a total of twelve this weekend, but we still have ten or more to go, plus there’s a whole stack of scraps waiting for next round.

We used several different types of wood to make them: walnut, mahogany, maple (splalted & curly), paduk, cedar, hickory, cherry, and even some poplar. We just sorta mixed and matched until we found combinations we like then glued them up. The drill press table sure made drilling all the holes much easier.

We sanded each of puzzles to 220 grit, gave them a couple baths in BLO, and finished up with some wax. For those who are wondering, the string came from Joann’s Fabrics. They’ve got all sorts of different types for less than a buck a yard. I really like the red string with the paduk and copper washers. Speaking of copper washers, those things are expensive, about a $1.30 each at one of the local hardware stores, but they sure do look good.

My grandfather gave me one of these puzzles made out of a popsicle stick when I was little, but I had forgotten about it until I saw a few here on LJ’s. Thanks for those who reminded me of how much fun it is to watch people struggle with these things. And if people are interested, I’ll put a blog post on how solve them.

I plan on giving most of these away as gifts. Maybe I’ll save a few for stocking stuffers for next Christmas, but I’m sure I’ll make more by then.

Thanks for looking!


EDIT: I forgot to mention the object of the puzzle, which is to get both washer on the same “loop”. The washers do not fit through the center hole so it’s trickier than you think.

EDIT: I created a blog on how to solve the puzzle.

-- David

17 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2116 posts in 1645 days

#1 posted 1274 days ago

Those are very cool. You are supposed to get the washer off or something right? One vote for the blog.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View ShopTinker's profile


872 posts in 1371 days

#2 posted 1274 days ago

Those look like they would be fun to make and a great gift to give.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Max's profile


55956 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 1274 days ago

Nice looking for sure… Would like to see a blog on the solving of the puzzle.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 1892 days

#4 posted 1274 days ago

Here is the second vote for the blog, look good and use up scrap,good combo. And I would like to see how the puzzle works.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14612 posts in 2279 days

#5 posted 1274 days ago

Great idea for scrap. You might be the only solution out on the weeb ;-)

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

View Ken90712's profile


14830 posts in 1792 days

#6 posted 1274 days ago

What a great idea, yes I need to know how to solve them. Not sure what the object is, but what a great idea for all the little stuff we all save.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View christopheralan's profile


1105 posts in 2323 days

#7 posted 1274 days ago

Very nice! The one’s I made a few years ago don’t look half that good! Great use of scraps and a great game. I used to make these for the Marines I worked with and I can honestly say that many productive hours went to waste because of these puzzles.

Well done! I think I will make some new ones now. BTW, how did you secure the ends of the string into the end-grain? It looks really nice that way.

-- christopheralan

View turnkey47's profile


84 posts in 1295 days

#8 posted 1274 days ago

nice idea for gifts and scraps and i too would like to see a blog on how to solve it!!!

View Sailor's profile


533 posts in 1868 days

#9 posted 1274 days ago

After a few minutes Googling I ran across the puzzle. The object is to get both washers either on the left or the right side of the hole and hanging on the same loop. If that makes any sense. I am sure the OP will be happy to give the solution, I wont spoil it.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View drbyte's profile


557 posts in 2665 days

#10 posted 1273 days ago

Great looking puzzles. I too love the laminated look. I use it for bowls, pens and guitar/uke necks. I too vote for the blog! Making and working!

-- Dennis, WV

View FaTToaD's profile


374 posts in 1744 days

#11 posted 1273 days ago

Hopefully I can get a blog post up tonight on how to solve them. It only takes about five steps, but few people seem to figure it out on their own. Anyone that’s at my house and figures one out, they get to keep the puzzle.

Christopher – I drill ~1/8” hole in the sides/end grain, wrape a small piece of painters tape around the end of the strings, then just use CA glue to keep the string in the hole. I haven’t had any pull out or come apart yet, so I think the CA glue works pretty good.

-- David

View abie's profile


588 posts in 2374 days

#12 posted 1273 days ago

I made six of these for disadvantaged kids.
fun to make, great use of scraps.
Easy to solve once you have done it once.
don’t give away the solution too quickly.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Colin's profile


243 posts in 2524 days

#13 posted 1273 days ago

David, don’t listen to Bruce, please post the solution soon, I have tried many different ways to solve this.

help required

many thanks


-- Colin, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. "Every craftsman was once an amateur"

View MrsN's profile


939 posts in 2129 days

#14 posted 1273 days ago

How important is the length of the cord?

-- ----- ----- --

View FaTToaD's profile


374 posts in 1744 days

#15 posted 1273 days ago

MrsN – Not too important, but you still don’t want it to be too short. Most of these puzzles are four or five inches long and I use about 12” – 14” of string. I would leave at least 2” – 3” of space between the bottom of the puzzle and where the washer hangs.

-- David

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase