These are current and past items made by Cryptic Woodworks. All products are sold through the Cryptic Woodworks Etsy site. Products are not always available and some can sell out quickly. We usually only do short runs of the different products - in the 4-8 of each range.
Mysterious Wood Puzzle Box
The first puzzle box made by Cryptic Woodworks, these were completed in the spring of 2015. The top is free to open, but the drawer is locked shut. Opening the drawer requires setting the 4 dials (2 on each side) to the correct position. Figuring out what to set the dials to is the puzzle. Around the box are symbols and on the top is a type of cipher wheel. Solving the puzzle takes searching, logic and deduction. Everything to open the drawer is on the box, no extra knowledge is needed. 4 of these were made. Both boxes included the Cryptic Woodworks logo and are numbered (1-4). A tips booklet was included that would let the solver only get a hint if needed, and not learn anymore than they wanted.
These boxes are completely hand made. The symbols and the cipher wheel on the top are all wood burned by hand as well. 2 were made from maple and two from cherry, both with walnut as the accent wood. The drawer is poplar and the divider and bottoms are birch plywood.
Each box is about 12” long, 8 1/2” deep, 7" high and weighs about 5 lbs. The upper compartment is about 8 3/4” wide, 7” deep and 1 3/4” high. The drawer (once you get it open!) is roughly 7 3/4” wide, 6 1/4” deep and 2 1/2” high.
Sale Price: $425 USD
Currently Sold Out
This is the second puzzle box from Cryptic Woodworks made in the fall/winter of 2015/2016. The goal of the box is to push the button on the top which will release the two spring loaded drawers. But the button is stopped by two locks. In order to open those locks, the two sets of sliders must be set to the right combination - once properly set, the locks can be slid open. Solving the two sliders requires using the sets of letter and number grids located around the box. These puzzles should take most people a bit of work as they are not straight forward and will require code solving, non-linear thinking and some exploration on the box itself. These puzzles do require a bit of extra knowledge, however it was kept to very common things that most people would know (or easily look up). 5 of these were made (2 are done, 3 more nearing completion) with the "0" box staying in the Cryptic Woodworks collection. All boxes have the Cryptic Woodworks logo and are numbered (0-5). A tips booklet is included that lets the solver get just the hints they need without revealing the whole solution.
These are entirely handmade and feature walnut as the primary wood with maple used in the sliders and grids and ash as the slider blocks. The top and bottom are plywood. The drawer has a maple face and body with a plywood bottom. The mechanisms that open and lock the drawers are a combination of coil and flat springs.
The box is 9" wide, 11" long, 5" high and weighs about 4lbs.
Sale Price: $475 USD - Sold Out
These cipher wheels are my take on a classic cipher wheel which was used during the civil war and dates as far back as Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire. Cipher wheels were used to encrypt and decrypt messages. They are based on the alphabetic shift principal in which one letter stands for another letter. 3 of the common types of shift ciphers are possible with these: simple shift, index shift and a keyword cipher. While the simple shift is very easy to crack, the index and especially the keyword are much harder to beat.
I became interested in these when I started researching secret codes to use on some of my other items. Once you start learning, it's hard to stop. A few internet searches later and I was discovering the different types of ciphers, the history and more.
For information on how to create the several types of ciphers, I have several videos on my YouTube Channel.
These were made in a variety of styles. Each featured English as the plain text language on the outer ring, but could have English, Greek, or Runes as the cipher text on the inner ring. Versions were made in both maple and cherry. All featured a walnut edging. Only a few were made of each. They have the Cryptic Woodworks logo but were not numbered. There are 8" across and 3/4" thick. All are made of solid wood.
Sale Price: $49.95
- English Cipher Text - Cherry - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
- English Cipher Text - Maple - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
- Greek Cipher Text - Cherry - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
- Greek Cipher Text - Maple - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
- Runic Cipher Text - Cherry - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
- Runic Cipher Text - Maple - Only 1 Made - Sold Out
Linkage Hinge Tea/Keepsake Box
This is a small box which uses a unique hinge mechanism to open and close the lid instead of a traditional hinge. The mechanism is a type of bar linkage. The two linkages on each side allow the lid to rotate up to a vertical position and then stand straight up behind the box. Using this mechanism, no chain or other stop is needed to hold the lid open. Plus, it just looks neat and it's motion is often unexpected to someone opening it for the first time. The boxes are made from solid walnut for the sides with birch ply as the tope and bottom. The linkage arms are also solid walnut. The box features mitered corners with maple miter keys. Each box comes with a set of dividers sized to hold typical tea bags in foil packs. The dividers are removable. 4 of these were made, each signed and numbered as LHB001 - LHB004
The boxes are 9" long, 7" wide, 4" tall and weigh about 1lb.
Sale Price: $125
Currently out of stock but more on the way
Linkage Hinge and Spring Open Drawer Tea/Keepsake Box
The same box as done before but this time sitting on a another small box that contains a spring open drawer. The mechanism that control the opening of the lid is a bar linkage. The two linkages on each side allow the lid to rotate up to a vertical position and then stand straight behind the box. Not chain or stay is needed to keep this lid open. The drawer, which looks hidden, is activated via a switch in the front inside of the box. Simply pull the little catch up and the drawer pops open. The springs were adjusted so that the drawer will open a bit, but not jump out of the box. A slight bit of hand pressure will close the drawer and re-latch it automatically. The boxes are made from reclaimed walnut beadboard, which means there may be slight imperfections left over from this wood's past life. The inside of the lid and bottom of the drawer have a fabric lined card. The finish is Danish Oil and Shellac followed up with paste wax. 12 of these were made, numbered 1-12.
Each box has a removable set of dividers that are perfect for holding tea bags in foil packs. The dividers were made from some wormy and spalted maple and have some great figure along with nature added imperfections (worm holes and grooves).
The overall box is 10 1'4" long, 8" deep and 6 1/" tall. The top of the box is the same as the one above. The inside of the drawer is 8 3/4" long, 5 3/4" deep and 1 1/2" tall. Weight is a little over 1 lb.
Sale Price: $250
Cipher Wheel with Numeric Shift and Symbols
This is my second version of cipher wheels. It has the same octagonal design of my earlier model but includes several new features. First are 4 numbers in the plain text that are used for creating a variety of new and more complex codes like numeric shifts, numeric keywords and symbol rotations. There is a whole section of the site dedicated to all the ciphers you can create and the list is steadily growing. These wheels are great for anyone interesting in cryptography. They make great desk or table talking pieces. Escape rooms should especially like them for the variety of puzzles they can be a part of.
These wheels are made from a veneered substrate for stability edged with hardwood, reclaimed walnut. The center wheels are also veneered substrate to keep them working perfectly. The characters and symbols are all deeply engraved and then stain filled. The edging is finished with danish oil to bring out the grain. All the parts are then coated with a wiping poly for protection. The center wheels are removable if a repair or re-waxing is ever needed.
These measure about 11 inches across, are 3/4 inches thick and weight about 1 lb.
They each cost 87.50 with free shipping in the continental US.