Woodworking

Who would have thunk it.

Who would have thunk it.

Hickory_3D_Puzzle

Never have your kid’s birthday party at a Chucky Cheese, unless you love kayos and want to go deaf. Of course, my kids had a great time and brought home a sack full of cheap party favors and toys. You know the ones that you could put a quarter in a vending machine and get a toy.
One of these toys was a plastic cube puzzle. It was only about one inch tall and came apart into six pieces. It took me forever to solve the puzzle.

While I was fiddling around trying to solve this puzzle, my daughter says, “Hay Dad you can make a version out of wood.” Therefore, I took my daughter’s advice, plotted out my version on graph paper, and went to work. I made four of them give away as Christmas gifts last year.

I resurrected the build this year when a friend wanted me to do a craft bazaar with her. I thought this was the perfect thing to make and sell at the bazaar. I went to work and made twenty-one of them. During the weeklong event, I only sold two. Not quite the big seller I thought they would be. Luckily, the jewelry boxes I made, made the trip worthwhile.

To make them I use a stack dado head in my table saw and cut out the notches 3/4 of an inch at a time. I made a quick jig in the same manner as you would if you were going to cut a box joint. In my first attempt, the pieces fit together too tightly, so I added a shim to the dado head to solve that problem.

To dress up the edges I used a chamfer router bit and easy the edges. The bearing on the bit did not allow it to chamfer the inside corners so I used a file to clean up the corners by hand. This handwork added a lot of time to the construction of the puzzles. I wanted to recoup that time in my selling price, and I think that extra cost is what made them a slow-mover at the bazaar.

I finished the cubes with Tried and True Danish oil, which is a kid-safe, food-safe, zero VOC finish.

Even though I only sold two puzzles at this bazaar, I view the leftover inventory as a deposit into my woodworking 401K plan. I will be able to sell them in the future, Etsy, my website, or even at another bazaar.

Who would have thought, that a kid’s prize toy from Chucky cheese could have sparked a fun project to build?

As of the writing of this post, I still have several in stock so you can purchase a puzzle cube here.

Once you have your cube and give up trying to solve it, I made a video showing step by step.


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I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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