Wooden Puzzle

Make your own wooden puzzles
The solutions to these classic brainteasers are bafflingly simple

TWO CLASSIC PUZZLES challenge you to ar­range their geometric parts into a square or a capital T. They look easy to make but require careful planning and straight and accurate cuts.

Although similar puzzles are usually smaller, we made these a little oversize: the square has 11 Ma-inch sides, and the T is 10 inches tall. For durability and appear­ance, we made our puzzles from pieces of hardwood (ma­ple and cherry), but you can use any type of wood. You’ll need 2 feet of l-by-4 for the T and the same amount of 1-by-10 stock for the square.

If you don’t have a table saw, ask your lumberyard to rip the l-by-4 to 3 inches in width and the l-by-10 to 8 inches. From these, you can cut the puzzle pieces with a jigsaw or a handsaw. You’ll also need a sanding block, medium- and fine-grade sand­paper, a metal ruler, and a pencil. Sand and seal with paste wax.