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Make: Projects

Cross Puzzle

How to make a simple and unique wooden puzzle from scratch.

Cross Puzzle

I first came across this puzzle a few years ago at my uncle’s estate sale; apparently it was his father’s. I’m not sure if he made it himself or just came across it but I thought it was quite unique. I’ve made them out of hardwood and softwood. They also make great gifts for the young and old.

Steps

Step #1:

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As you can see from the blueprint we are working with 1 x 1 x 4 inch wood stock. If you would like to adjust the blueprints you can make it any size you like. You can use hard or soft wood, I myself had a piece of mahogany kicking around. I sawed it down to inch by inch stock (1" x 1").

Step #2:

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Now you can cut your inch by inch (1" x 1") to 4" lengths. You should mark the cuts that you'll make for each puzzle piece you'll be cutting; it's a little more accurate.

Step #3:

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I myself used a table saw set at 1/2" inch height and I eyed up the lines to get an accurate cut. You can use a band saw as that will work well too. After each piece is cut you could clean up the cut with a file.

Step #4:

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After your pieces are cut and cleaned up, sand for smoothness.

Step #5:

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Time for paint, stain, oil or boiled linseed for your desired look. I used the Tung N Teak oil on this project. Of course, I put about 3 coats on and let dry in between, buffed down with steel wool and one more coat, let dry for 20 minutes and hand rubbed.

Step #6:

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  • THE SOLUTION:
  • As you can see by the numbered layout, put 6 and 5 together as in the picture, then insert 4 as shown.

Step #7:

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  • Next step, add 2 as shown, then insert 3, then slide in 1, the piece that is not cut; I call it the KEY.
  • Hope you enjoy building your own cross puzzle as I did. It gave me many pleasurable years of messing with my friends' minds.

Conclusion

I myself had a piece of mahogany, but you could also use oak, cherry, or soft woods like spruce, pine or cedar. I used Danish oil since I used hard wood for this project.


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