A puzzle box

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Project by ruddy posted 06-20-2012 10:02 AM 5825 views 7 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Japanese style puzzle box that I made about 4 years ago. The box is made from some lovely West Australian SheOak with a wonderful lace grain. This is a 19 move box to open and making it was an exercise in accuracy. The remarkable thing is that even after 4 years, all the slides and joints are tight and there has been no movement at all in the sheoak, winter or summer. It has been oil finished to 1000 grit and is ultra smooth.
I got the plans for this box from Bruce Vineys website in the UK.
It is one of those projects that whenever the grandkids visit they always ignore their Nintendos and try and succeed at opening this Ibox!

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

18 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 06-20-2012 11:35 AM

Gorgeous wood, but I can’t get much of a feel for the puzzle. Any chance you could give us an “exploded view” or the design website or both? Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2829 days

#2 posted 06-20-2012 12:03 PM

What an incredible box. I have been wanting make one of these for a while now. I am not a big fan of oak but WOW, this oak makes me rethink my position on oak. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3157 days

#3 posted 06-20-2012 12:31 PM

Nicely done.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4034 posts in 4267 days

#4 posted 06-20-2012 12:32 PM

I’d be very interested in seeing more about the moves, or a link to the plans. I had one of these as a kid — wish I still had it to dissect. Very nice looking effort, and without the camouflage of the busy veneer, the joints have to be perfect. Thanks for posting!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3008 days

#5 posted 06-20-2012 12:54 PM

Wow! I’d forget all those moves for the right combination to open it.. Very nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3070 days

#6 posted 06-20-2012 01:41 PM

This is a really nice and I’m sure it was a challenge. It would be nice to have a video of someone opening the box.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3388 days

#7 posted 06-20-2012 02:51 PM

I have one of these at home, and it baffles me how it was made. Do you have any plans or diagrams? I’d love to try making one myself someday.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1059 posts in 2516 days

#8 posted 06-20-2012 02:59 PM

Another super box. Wish we had SheOak in the UK. I think you can find Bruce Viney on Google.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3700 days

#9 posted 06-20-2012 03:15 PM

Wow, this is just fantastic….. love the beautiful grain in this box! Would love to get ahold of some of that…
Looks like a great box to try to build. I went to Bruce’s website and he has plans for many, do you remember which plan this is? I like the simplicity of the look of the box, but the complexity of having 19 moves to open it.

Thanks for posting, this is great !

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4105 days

#10 posted 06-20-2012 03:27 PM

Marvellous Ruddy!

I imagine this could be the one on Bruce Viney's website

It’s the third from the left, called cul-de-sac.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4105 days

#11 posted 06-20-2012 03:29 PM

Ah but it’s only 15 moves whereas yours is 19 I may have misled.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 06-20-2012 03:38 PM

YorkshireStewart – thanks…. I checked that one out and thought the same at first.
15 “correct” moves, but, oh dear, 97 WRONG moves…... can you imagine ?!

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3507 days

#13 posted 06-20-2012 04:06 PM

first of all it as beautiful box, and i bet it was so fun to make it, you did a grand job..the thing i would be afraid of is if i came down with Alzheimer’s and i could not remember myself on how to open it, and i would sit there all day trying and trying…i guess it would be prudent to write down the combination…huh….maybe some day i shall do one, leave it for my grandchildren to figure out…lol…....i could go to my grave knowing there going to try to open that box..:)......

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21743 posts in 3309 days

#14 posted 06-20-2012 10:24 PM

It is a good looking box and you must have a lot of patience! Nice job completing it!!. I could never do one like that!! Hats off to you, Ruddy!!.............................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ruddy's profile


546 posts in 3143 days

#15 posted 06-20-2012 11:05 PM

Thanks all for the comments. Yorkshire Stewart has given the link to Bruce Vineys website and you can get the plans from that site. This particular box is the ” 14—19 ” move and if you click on his movie link on the site there is an animated display of this style of box being opened.
All the Sheoak was thicknessed to 1/8”and all the innards are made from 1/8” baltic ply. It is important to get everything the exact same thickness before you start.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

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