Puzzles

Richo B

Richo
Senior User
So since last fall when I evacuated for Hurricane Florence and occupied some of my time away watching Mr. Puzzle videos on YouTube I've become more interested in puzzles. As some might remember I am currently building a sequential secret cabinet that is mainly a functional cabinet that requires a sequential order in which to open and find all the secret compartments. From a practical standpoint it will be used to hold my various puzzle boxes and mountain climbing books. The project is coming along well and I'd say more than half way done.

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This is how the piece looked in February back before I replaced some of the parts and glued up the carcass. But you get the idea with puzzle boxes, and books in place. The two side sections will have doors, only one of which will have a standard cabinet lock. The vertical board will lock the right hand cabinet like that used on a Dutch styled tool chest.

There is a lot more going on with this piece than you can see at this point. I've since built several of the mechanical and secret parts not shown in this image. Can't give it all away too soon.

But I started this thread not only to update on my project but also to talk about wooden mechanical models by UGEARS. Has anyone done these? Mr. Puzzle has featured a few on his YouTube channel and I bought the Treasure Box model last week when we were in Asheville. I've tried the popular Metal puzzles but they were just so small and the metal not very strong. Of course I was probably stupid to start with R2D2 which has rounded parts that you have to round. I've done plastic aircraft models for years and found that helped me with learning hand skills that I use in my museum conservation work on ceramics and glass. I've also done conservation on clocks and in fact once disassembled an Eli Terry shelf clock all the way down including all the wooden gears, put it back together and got it to work again. So I thought I would take a shot at this UGEARS construction project. Definitely something to commit a weekend to, not just start on a weekday evening. I bought it for a hot nasty summer weekend but I think I'll work on it today.

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Richo B

Richo
Senior User
Ok. It's Thursday and I have finally finished building this thing. It was suggested to take about 2 1/2 hours to build. It took me 15 hours. My main problem wasn't the complexity of the model but that it was very difficult to push the wood through its slots. I'm 45 and use my hands a lot at work but this thing was tough. There were times that I used Woodworking Quick clamps to do the job because my fingers were too sore. For some of the first pieces I used a brass mallet. There are YouTube videos showing how to do them and the models they have just snap together. That was not my experience at all. But in the end I have a completed box that opens and closes, mechanically, with a special key and even features a secret compartment which fits in with my current Woodworking focus. Always coming back to woodworking.

The videos for the tractor trailer model are over 8 hours long. For me that would be a year's worth of construction time. Though I would do another of these construction projects in the future there isn't currently one that I'm interested in. So for now I'll stick with my own woodworking creations.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I'm lost Richo. What was the problem fitting the pieces together? Where in your picture? Dados in the bottom and top to hold the vertical dividers were tight?
 

Richo B

Richo
Senior User
I'm lost Richo. What was the problem fitting the pieces together? Where in your picture? Dados in the bottom and top to hold the vertical dividers were tight?
No Jeff, I was referring to the UGEARS Treasure Box construction project referenced at the bottom of the thread. It is laser cut wood and I found them very hard to push together. My sequential box (the photo at the first part of the thread) fits together fine because I made it. The connection is that to me they are both mechanical/puzzle type items. One I'm making the other pre-made to assemble.
 

Richo B

Richo
Senior User
I realize now that my reply didn't clarify that I was referring to completing the UGEARS Treasure Box project. The Sequential cabinet has many days worth of work to go before it is finished. That will be a separate thread when that occurs.
 

Richo B

Richo
Senior User
UGEARS Antique Box.jpg


This post ties in with how this thread started back last June. At that time I worked on the UGEARs Treasure Box and had difficulty with the assembly. Now that I have the puzzle cabinet completed (also mentioned in this thread), I've started assembling the UGEARS Antique Box. I saw this several months ago and got it for my birthday back in November. Its really a jewelry box but I like the idea of the different compartments and how they spread out when opened. I started this Saturday and must say that this model is much easier to work with. I don't think this will take 15 hours but I am timing myself to be sure. It does have rubberbands as you can see in the box. Some of the other models also have rubberbands and the treasure box did not. So perhaps I should wait until the end to say whether this works.
 

Richo B

Richo
Senior User
So I completed the antique box build tonight and it only took six hours over the past week compared to the fifteen for the first kit. This compares to the over 200 hours it took to make the puzzle cabinet (got to tie in with woodworking to stay on the forum).
 

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