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 Post subject: Wooden Pyraminx or Rubik's Cube?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2002 10:12 am 
Hi,

Have you ever seen a Pyraminx or Rubik's Cube in wood? If so, was wood suitable for such a puzzle? Could such a puzzle be easily made in wood? Curious. Thanks.


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 Post subject: In wood.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 10:12 am 
I've seen at least a few wooden cubes up for auction on ebay. I didn't check to see if they were actually functional though. I made a rubik's cube outta some lignum verdi years ago. Wood works pretty good as long as you use a dense hardwood. They're not quite as durable as one in polyurethane though. Yet, depending on what kind of wood you use and how you finish it they can turn out extremely beautiful.

-TE


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 Post subject: Wooden Pyraminx?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 6:14 am
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
I don't think a wooden one would be very feasible. The tongues that hold the pieces together aren't nearly as robust as they are on the Rubik's Cube. While in plastic the tongues are quite durable, I can see where they could be rather weak with wood.

It could maybe be done with a nice hardwood, but again, I don't think it would be practical for extended use.


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 Post subject: Wood Stickers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2002 6:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:36 am
Location: Washington D.C.
You might be able to glue a veneer on the outside if you can find a suitable glue. There is a glue for every application if you can find it.


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 Post subject: Wood cubes
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2002 6:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
The wooden actual Rubik cubes that you see from time to time on Ebay are actually regular plastic Rubik cubes but use wood veneers on their faces. I purchased one there. They are very nice looking. You can have an extra challenge if you also line up the centers so that the grain to match.

Some time ago (Spring or Summer 2002), Wayne posted a picture of Erno Rubik which I sent him that shows him playing with the first fully-function Rubik's Cube. It was made entirely out of wood. Maybe it's still posted there. A couple things which were evident from the picture was that the cube was much larger than most today. Also, because of its large size, he had the corner cubes truncated revealing triangular faces.

One of the most difficult things about making a Rubik Cube out of wood is that it can have different strength depending on the direction of the grain. I would think that the wood against wood surfaces would slide just fine, especially if they were waxed, but I would suspect that strength would be an issue on the internal features. If I were to make a wooden cube, I would either attach the wooden cubies to the plastic inards of a regular cube, or reinforce the wood on the interior features with steel pins/screws, especially in the grain direction of least strength.

Doug.


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 Post subject: Wood Puzzles
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2002 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:36 am
Location: Washington D.C.
I have made two puzzles out of wood. I know that a couple of pictures would be worth a lot of words but I don’t have a digital camera. Maybe I can take some regular photos and get them scanned sometime.

The first is a variation of Square-1. It has a middle layer that uses a bold with counter sunk heads to connect the two halves. The cut is perpendicular to the sides and not cut across at an angle like Square-1. The top and bottom layers consist of four pieces each. It is a simplified Square-1. The top and bottom layers are held on by sliding dovetails. The middle layer has a circular dovetail ridge on the top and bottom. The top and bottom layers have dovetail groves. The top and bottom pieces were placed on the middle layers then the two halves were bolted together. I used a router table to cut the dovetails. The top and bottom layers of a Square-1 could be cut up many ways. They could consist of pieces that are half a circle, a quarter of a circle, an eight of a circle, etc. or almost any mixture of these that add up to a full circle and have some divisions that go all the way across.

The second wood puzzle is a 2x2x1. It not much of a puzzle but it was fun to make. The innards consist of four circular arc pieces made from a pvc pipe that act as keys. They are in circular groves. They are connected in pairs across the center. One of the pairs is connected with a stiff wire made from a paper clip. The other is connected with a bolt. The wood pieces have wood cut from the inside to receive the bolt. One of the keys is permanently attached to one of the wooden pieces with nails that have had the heads cut off after being put in pre drilled holes. There are small square spacers placed in the tracks between the large keys at the intersections of the keyways. The outside is painted. It is not hard to come up with alternative mechanisms for a 2x2x1. I came up with several. The trick is to find the easiest one.

The advantage of wood it that pieces can be machined from it using common tools and it is cheap. The weakness is that it is weak but for a puzzle you don’t play with much this is acceptable. Some designs with delicate parts would obviously be weaker than others. It should be possible to cut, drill and route plastic with the same tools as used for woodworking. I would require some adaptations such as slowing down the tools to avoid overheating the plastic. I don’t have any experience with this. Perhaps some readers can share info about what kind of plastic is best for machining and what tools are used.

Most of the discussion we here is about casting pieces. This has the advantage of being able to reproduce parts in small and medium quantity once the mold is made. Machining parts requires each one to be made separatly. This could be demanding if there were many parts but for some designs it is perfectly feasable.

Walt


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 Post subject: Re: Wooden Pyraminx or Rubik's Cube?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2002 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2002 1:10 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
I'm a little peeved, cause I "posted" a response to this thread yesterday, but it doesn't seem to be here. I must have hit Preview instead of Respond. Anyway, here I go again:

A standard plastic Rubik's Cube with six different real wood veneers stuck on the faces:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1747505821

This easily ranks among my more beautiful 3x3x3 variations, and it matches my display cabinet really well! (See it here: http://prevalence.com/puzzles, on the bottom of the "Middle Four Shelves" pic.) When my wife decided to try to tackle solving her first cube, she picked this one. I love it. You can still find them for sale on eBay from time to time.

Next, this seems to be a Pyraminx with plastic stickers designed to look like wood:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1745000688

Although I own this thing, it's still in Germany, so I can't really say much about it. Not a wooden Pyraminx by any stretch, but a variation on the theme, at least.

Sandy


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