Tag Archives: DIY

How to Make Your Own O’Beirne’s Puzzle

How to Make Your Own O’Beirne’s Puzzle

Last week I showed you the O’Beirne puzzle and 30 of you very quickly responded to the offer of a free puzzle. I hope you’ve gotten it by now. In future posts I’ll explore with you some ways to use the puzzle to engage students with Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice as well as Common Core Content Standards for fifth, sixth and seventh grades.

The purpose of this post is to show you a fairly easy way to create a version of the puzzle for yourself using 1 x 2 lumber. In the video below, we start in the studio talking about what we are about to do and how you can get the lumber. Next, we take you down to the shop where I demonstrate cutting the blocks needed to make the puzzle. I do this on a radial arm saw, but pretty much any power saw could be used.*

Finally, we are back in the studio and I show you how to glue up the twelve short and six long blocks to create the six puzzle pieces. Attached here you will find an isometric drawing of each of the puzzle pieces.

If and when you make a puzzle for yourself, please let me know how it went.

* I realized after making the videos that I didn’t tell you the length of each of the blocks we are cutting out. While the lumber is called 1 x 2, it is really ¾ x 1 ½. I have made the length of the short block three times the thickness, so that’s 2 ¼ inches long for the short block and the 4 ½ inches for the long block.

Click here for “Free Puzzle – O’Beirne’s Cube”.


Click here for “Further Explorations with O’Beirne’s Cube”