This is a fun and easy little project to make. I made the main pieces with scrap wood and an old piece of rope. I purchased the wood beads from a craft store but these could have been made from scrap wood blocks as well. The solution is not intuitive so it might be a challenge for your friends and family. See the last step for a solution video.
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Step 1: Tools/Materials
Step 2: Drawing
You will be building two of these pieces.
Step 3: Measure/Mark Wood
I cut the blocks to 5" long. You can make this dimension smaller or larger based off your preference.
Step 4: Cut to Length
Cut two pieces.
Step 5: Mark and Punch Hole Locations
Mark hole locations per the drawing.
Step 6: Drill Holes
Drill 1/2" Diameter Holes per the marks.
Step 7: Small Bead Counter-Bore
I counterbored the small beads to allow a pocket for the knots. This picture shows the top side (counterbore) and bottom side (small hole).
Step 8: Ready to Build
Cut the rope to 14" Long - make two of these. You should now have all the parts to build your puzzle.
Step 9: Gather Pieces for One Section
Step 10: Feed Rope Through Wood As Shown
Step 11: Push Rope Through Large Wood Beads
Step 12: Feed Rope Through Small Bead
I used a lighter to seal the frayed ends of the rope. This allowed the rope to slide through the small hole pretty easy. The counterbore on the small bead should be oriented towards the end of the rope.
Step 13: Tie Knots at the Ends of Rope
Step 14: Cut Off Excess Rope
Step 15: Burn Ends of Rope to Seal
After melting the ends, add a little glue to the beads. Pull the rope into the counterbore of the outer bead.
Step 16: Puzzle Is Ready
Step 17: In Puzzle Form
See the video (next step) to show how to solve it. Reverse the process to get it back in puzzle form.
Step 18: Solution
Enjoy your puzzle!