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Cube in a Cube

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Cube in a Cube

By Jock Holmen

“I'm a carver. I've always admired whittled curiosities like balls trapped inside a cage, but never wanted to spend the time to make them. I figured there must be some way to make a similar object with a drill press. Kids play with it like a toy, but it drives adults nuts. They think it's a puzzle. They're sure there's some way to get the little cube out of the big cube. You can't.”

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Crosscut a 3x3x14-in. blank into four cubes. Solid wood is best, so it doesn't look like you put the little cube in the big cube by gluing parts together. Three-in. table-leg stock works well, but you can make the cubes from 2-1/2 in. or smaller stock if you want.

Click any image to view a larger version.


Drill holes in the end-grain sides first. Then drill the other four faces. Always place the X's in the same corner relative to the fence and stop block.


Release the inner cube by cutting the attachment points with a thin knife, going with the grain. After cutting all eight corners, the inner cube will drop free. But it won't come out!


Dip the cube in oil to finish it. Rub thoroughly with a rag to remove the excess oil, and you're ready to play!


This story originally appeared in American Woodworker September 2007, issue #130.

September 2007, issue #130

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