12 Secret Steps to Open this Japanese Puzzle Box

Newton Makes -- Jan 07

I made a 12 step, 4 Sun Japanese Puzzle Box! It took a lot of tricky woodworking techniques to pull off.

It takes 12 moves to open this small puzzle box and I think it's pretty crazy to think about all of those components into a wood box that is so small. I've always wanted to make a Japanese style puzzle box. Puzzle boxes are usually described in "suns", with 1 sun equaling about 3cm. My wood box is approximately a 4 sun puzzle box. This is the kind of woodworking that I love, making something fun and creative. Woodworking doesn't need to be utilitarian or serve a specific need. This project requires a ton of woodworking techniques and it is one of my biggest woodworking challenges in terms of precision. Each wooden part has to fit snuggly, yet still move freely. Making a wood box already requires a mix of woodworking skills, but trying to make a wood box with moving parts is a whole other ordeal. That said, while it takes a lot of patience it is completely doable when broken down into a series of small steps. Take it one step at a time and next thing you know you have a cool Japanese puzzle box.

My puzzle box requires 12 steps to fully open. When all said and done, it has a traditional interior compartment and a secret drawer that pulls out from underneath. To make this happen, the puzzle box has keys that move side to side, allowing parts to move up and down.