5x5x5 puzzle cube

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Project by Derakon posted 06-20-2012 07:03 PM 3450 views 9 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve always enjoyed puzzle and game design, so when I started getting into carpentry I naturally tried to combine the two. I made a puzzle where you have 25 pieces that you need to assemble into a cube, and where each piece is itself made of 5 cubes joined together (a “pentacube”). I initially solved the puzzle in Blender, a 3D modeling program, and then used that solution to decide on a coloring scheme for the blocks. The idea was that the person solving the puzzle should be able to use the color of the blocks to figure out where a piece should go. In practice the puzzle’s way too hard if you try to take color into consideration.

That first attempt was pretty crude—I cut all the pieces by hand and didn’t apply any finishing. The tolerances on the pieces wasn’t too great, and while the puzzle was doable, it wasn’t really all that pretty. Awhile back, I moved to a new home (with space for a proper workshop!), and recently I found that old puzzle in a moving box. “I can do better now,” thought I, so off to that workshop I went. Last time I used poplar and walnut; this time I replaced the poplar with cherry. I made the cubes bigger, rounded them off (carefully!) with my router, and used an oil finish. All told it looks much nicer. Just goes to show how much of a difference those last few steps can make!

8 comments so far

View Murdock's profile


129 posts in 2685 days

#1 posted 06-20-2012 07:12 PM

Puzzles and woodworking two of my favorite things as well. Great job

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View abie's profile


878 posts in 3972 days

#2 posted 06-20-2012 07:17 PM

Ok.. now that you are hooked
I have several books you may enjoy
1.”Crafting wood logic puzzles” charlie self..
2. “New wood puzzle design” Jas. Follette..
3. ” Puzzle projects” Alan Boardman…
then check out puzzles on the net.. there are several places to find puzzles, plans and design ideas.
Good luck and good woodworking…

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

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3850 days

#3 posted 06-20-2012 07:20 PM

very cool project ,and a really nice build

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View 1978's profile


167 posts in 3810 days

#4 posted 06-20-2012 08:02 PM

Cool puzzle.

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3390 days

#5 posted 06-21-2012 03:09 PM

Very cool.

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

View David's profile


199 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 06-22-2012 01:56 PM

You might enjoy burr puzzles too, although this looks much more difficult to build. Nicely done.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2970 days

#7 posted 06-25-2012 12:35 PM

That looks like a fun project to leave sitting around for your friends to put together.

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

View ORLANDO ROMANI's profile


9 posts in 1550 days

#8 posted 09-16-2014 03:38 AM



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