5x5x5 puzzle cube

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Project by Derakon posted 770 days ago 1724 views 8 times favorited 7 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!

7 comments so far

View Murdock's profile


107 posts in 1088 days

#1 posted 770 days ago

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


590 posts in 2375 days

#2 posted 770 days ago

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


8476 posts in 2252 days

#3 posted 770 days ago

very cool project ,and a really nice build

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

View TheWoodenBox's profile


167 posts in 2213 days

#4 posted 770 days ago

Cool puzzle.

View Ken90712's profile


14847 posts in 1793 days

#5 posted 769 days ago

Very cool.

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

View David's profile


195 posts in 1267 days

#6 posted 768 days ago

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


872 posts in 1372 days

#7 posted 765 days ago

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."

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