Seeking advice on making perfect wooden cubes


Well, maybe 'perfect' is a bit extreme. I'd like to make some simple "Soma cube style" puzzles. Many of them are constructed by glueing together smaller cubes into varying configurations.
What I need is to learn how to make small wooden cubes. Clearly, the accuracy of the cuts needn't be microprecision, but that's no excuse for sloppiness.
Can anyone recommend a book or two that details this information? Or perhaps you can just give me a tip or two?
Thanks!
Jack
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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

How big is "small"? Assuming it's not too tiny, you might try something like the following:
Mill face and edge flat and square to each other (jointer, hand plane, etc).
Rip strips that are a bit oversize, then run through a planer once on face and once on edge to get uniform thickness. You should now have a long strip with a square cross section.
Cut to length on a CMS using a stop block for repeatability and a sacrificial backer to avoid tearout. A sharp crosscut blade will give very smooth cuts.
Chris
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I'm not sure how small I would need them. It depends on the puzzle. I don't think I'd ever need cubes smaller than 1/2" in length, and more likely it would be at least 1" in length.
Chris Friesen wrote:

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I can't say I've ever made small wooden cubes before, perfect or otherwise, and I don't think I've ever seen a cube-making book, but I'll share my idea for how I'd attempt this anyway. Say you wanted 1" cubes... I'd plane stock to 1" thick, then rip 1" strips of that as accurately as you can given the saws in your shop. Then I'd probably use a hand saw (dovetail or japanese) to crosscut those strips into cubes, or possibly a CMS if you have one you trust. The Veritas Right Angle Saw Guide might help here if you're going the quiet route. If size is flexible, than make cubes to whatever size stock you have planed flat and handy, i.e. 3/4" cubes if you have a lot of that. Does this help at all, or were you trying to get ideas for a really unique or simple way to make these? Andy
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That sounds like it would work. Like I said, real precision wouldn't be needed, but these burr-style puzzles work best when there isn't much slack.
Andy wrote:

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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

Make a rectangular prism and then use a stop block to cut it into equal sized cubes.
Dave
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On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 08:36:18 -0700, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

The only thing I'll add to the other replies is that when gluing them up to make the shapes you'll probably end up with having to glue end grain, and given that you'd want the unconnected sides to look the best you'd probably try to orient them with as much end grain to end grain as possible. I'd probably reinforce those joints with dowels.
Unless you're going to do some kind of treatment to all the edges of the cubes you can always cut yourself some 1x2 and 1x3 pieces to cut down on the number of joints.
-Leuf
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I'm not as concerned about the overall strength, since these would be for simple puzzles. But given that people DO often try to 'force' puzzles, pushing and pulling when they shouldn't, maybe it would be more prudent for me to consider reinforcing the connections.
Thanks!
Leuf wrote:

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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

No cutting ideas but for a puzzle to start with, try http://www.geocities.com/dnehen/soma/soma.htm Joe
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First you need a perfect margarita lolol "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

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