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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Impossible Arrow (DIY Attempt)

There has been a bit of chat in puzzle forum world recently about 'Impossible Objects' and how to make them, and this sort of piqued an interest that I've had for a little while now of making something for myself.

Impossible objects are not always thought of as being mechanical puzzles in the traditional sense as many of them do not have a solved state. The puzzle involved with impossible objects is to try and work out how on earth they were created! Some are trivial to work out, others are incredibly difficult, some seem simple but end up being difficult, and some are down right impossible!

So today after two attempts, a bit of faffing around and a decent amount of saw dust inhalation I managed to make this:

 The arrow is carved and sanded down from a single piece of wood, and the metal washer is 100% stainless steel and has not been modified in any way.

I'm sure many of you will know how this is done as it is one of the more popular impossible object designs, but I definitely think it is a cool talking piece to have on display for when you have people over.

Next I intend to move on to working with glass. Perhaps even combine glass, wood and metal all in one piece. The options really are limitless, and soon I hope to come up with a design that can make people just as confused as I have been looking at the creations of some other great impossible object masters!

I'll keep you posted!

Also it seems by reading Neil's Blog that I'm not the only one to have been bitten by the impossible object bug recently.


  1. Ahh ... I get it now. You planted a pine seedling so it grew through a washer. After waiting 20 years, you cut down the tree and carved out the arrow. What could be simpler! :-)

  2. I suppose interesting questions to ask (for someone who doesn't know how it's done- like me, but is desperately curious to find out more) could you remove the arrow from the washer now it's where it is? what is the time scale like to produce something like this?

    Happy puzzling


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