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Some say that there is a rumour going round Glen Strathfarrar, in the Scottish Highlands, thirty miles west of Inverness, about a Scottish Laird who lived thereabouts a long time ago. This Laird was very wealthy, and he wanted somewhere to keep his valuables, so he asked a local carpenter to make him something strong for this purpose, but wouldn't have a key. The carpenter came up with a stout wooden chest about the size of a small bed, which didn't have a key. A series of panels had to be moved and turned to get the lid off. The Laird called it his "Wee Giftie" box. Now whether this is true or not, this is my smaller version of what I think the "Wee Giftie" box would be like. Four little panels on the lid with a disc above them. Nothing can be pushed or turned, so how does the box open? Size of this box is 5-1/4" by 4-1/4" by 3", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you make this at any size.
Yes, I know that it should be "Die" and not "Dice", but then "Die Box" sounds a bit creepy.... There's only one panel that will move, and it won't move when the box is closed. So how can you get it open? One way is to use gravity, and this box does that. So you have to turn it over and over, to move the interior sliding pieces until eventually the lid will open. But in what order do you turn the box around? The answer is actually on the box, staring at you. Easy to make, and only six moves to open, if you know them. Size of this box is 3" by 3" by 3" if made from 1/8" wood, and the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
This box is also available as a puzzle box Kit from: BHPenLaser
This is another “sliding panel” puzzle box, where only one panel will move to start with. That will leave a slight gap at one end, which seems to indicate which is the next panel to be moved. But that next panel won’t move. The next panel to be moved doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the first panel. How odd... And so it goes on, right round the box, and do the same thing again, until after twelve moves, the lid will come off. Size of this box is 4-1/2” by 3-1/2” by 3” if made from 1/8” wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
The Gothic box was going to be a highly ornate, very decorative casket-type box. But I would have to spend more time cutting out the very intricate borders and the ends of some of the moving pieces, than the time actually taken to make the working box. So I’ve decided to not make all the fiddly bits, which cuts down the time to make the box. This looks a bit like a 1930’s “Art Decor” jewellery or cigarette box made from marble slabs, with gold-coloured columns on each corner. Five panels on the lid and another outer panel on each of the four sides. None of these panels will move at first. So how do you open the box? If you have a look at the Photo Guide, you may be able to work it out. Or watch the video to see how to start opening this box. Size of the box is 5-1/4” by 5-1/4” by 3-1/4”, if made from 1/8” wood. The plans are T-Plans, which enable you to make this at any size. Photo GuideVIDEOPatterns
Apart from the “metallic” look, this box has the appearance of Diamondback, having an outer panel on each side. But this box opens very differently to that one. It has the traditional opening moves of an Oriental box, with a few of my own moves. Instead of having sliders and moving panels, a single outer panel on each side combines those moves together. The metallic look was done by covering the sides and panels with gold, silver and copper metallic paper. 21 moves to open this box. Size of this box is 4” by 4” by 4” if made from 1/8” wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
This puzzle box works very similar to the traditional Japanese puzzle box, in that all the moves are controlled by only two sliders, one at each end. These sliders allow the end panels to move vertically, and they in turn allow the top and bottom panels to move horizontally. Eventually, the top panel will slide off sideways. That's what normally happens... However, just when you think the lid is about to come off, the box appears to lock up. Strangely, the only way to get the lid off, is to start closing the box again... This sounds just like "The Bridge" puzzle box, but just when you think the lid is ready to come off, the box locks again! Because you've taken the wrong path. This box is similar to "The Bridge", but there's extras moves and an extra path put in, and now takes 53 moves to open. Easy to make, the size is 5" by 3-1/2" by 2-1/2", if made from 1/8" thick wood, and the plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this at any size. Yoshegi patterns included.
A six-sided cube, with a diamond-shaped outer panel on each side. These panels don’t push in any direction: they simply turn. All six must be turned to remove the lid, but you don’t know which way to turn them, or in what order. And yet, only ten moves to open the box... Size of this box is 4” by 4” by 4”, if made from 1/8” wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size. Note: There is some fairly precise cutting to do, and because of the “rotational” movements, you will probably spend some time “adjusting” the inner discs...
You may have seen the advert on TV, where a little girl is given a puzzle box with a coin inside, by her grandpa. She can't get the coin out, so she takes it to her dad. He can't open the box either, so she goes back to grandpa. He shows her how to open the box. Is this that box? It looks the same, and opens the same way, so it could be... Very easy to make, not so easy to open, even if you've seen the TV advert. Only four moves to open the box. Size of this box is 3" by 3" by 3", if made from 1/8" wood, and the plans are T-Plans, so you can make this at any size.
This box is also available as a PUZZLE BOX KIT from BHPenLaser
At first appearance, this is just another Oriental-looking box. But there are no "hidden" sliders, and none of the outer panels will push, pull or turn. In fact, nothing moves, so how can this box be opened? Well, the name is a clue. That and a little bit of knowledge about the early days of the wool industry. A "Jenny" was used to spin bits of fleece to make wool, and this box opens by... Well, you can guess the rest. The size of this box is 4" by 4" by 3", if made from 1/8" wood, but the plans are T-Plans, allowing you to make this at any size.
Imagine asking your friends if they can think of a four-sided, fully enclosed box, then after they’ve given up, produce this box. Twelve outer panels to move before one side can be removed. 15 moves in all. The size of this box- each edge measures 7-3/8”, but the plans are T-Plans, to allow you to make this at any size. WARNING: this box is VERY hard to make. Nearly all the cuts are at 30 degrees, and you will have to make some extra items simply to hold it while gluing it together. The extra items are a gluing jig, and three “frames”. Full instructions are given to make these items, and the plans include photos taken during the construction, and instructions to actually put the box together. The plans run to 40 pages (41 if you count the patterns). This is NOT a box for the novice or beginner!
This is another "casket-type" puzzle box, with three panels on top of the lid. None of the panels will move at first, so how does the box open? All the moving parts are held together with pegs, and operate using more pegs. Hence the name "Peggy". Fairly easy to make, and the size of this box is 5" by 5" by 3", if made from 1/8" wood. You will need about 6" (150 mm) of 1/8" (3 mm) diameter dowel rod at that size of the box. The plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this box at any size.
We know that spiders have eight legs, but this box, despite resembling a spider, has twelve. The top and bottom look the same, so you can’t tell which way is up or down. The lid is on the top, but whether that top is actually the bottom or not, you can see that because the legs overlap the top and bottom edges, there’s no way to slide the lid, or lift it off. The lid does come off, in a way that I’ve never used before, and it takes seventeen moves to get it off. Fairly easy to cut, assembly is a little tricky, because parts of the box have to be painted before completely assembling it. The size of this box is 5" by 5" by 3", if made from 1/8" wood. The plans are T-Plans, which allow you to make this box at any size.