A strange and wonderful wooden safe

I've read the description of Alex Schlegel's beautiful wooden safe several times, and I still have no idea quite how it works.
The 13 drawers of this band-saw box rotate rather than open outward. Objects for safekeeping are placed into the large, central drawer through a hole in the bottom of the box. Since the arrows on the front of each drawer point toward the drawer's open side, objects may be moved from one drawer to another by first lining up the arrows on the two drawers and then rotating the entire box so that the objects fall from the first drawer to the second.
It's like a puzzle from a Myst game: let's hope it comes with a walkthrough! Band Saw Safe [Alex Schlegel via Make]

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Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  
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12 Responses to A strange and wonderful wooden safe

  1. mlw99 says:

    Band saw + me != “Safe” however you cut it.

  2. Scuba SM says:

    This is awesome. I kinda want to make one.

  3. risser says:

    It’s beautiful, but “safe” is a misnomer. Anything that a crook could open with a standard hammer, or just by dropping it on the floor real hard, isn’t really…. safe.


  4. bardfinn says:


    One of the cambers could contain a deterrent.



    Use your imagination.

  5. TabulaRasa says:

    As far as i can tell from this picture, this maze is only 2 levels deep, 3 if you count in the big central “starting” drawer. From there you can access the 3 medium drawers, which in turn can access 3 small drawers each. The End. So no matter in which one of the outer compartments your stuff is, it should never require more than rotate 3 drawers to get your stuff back.

    Of course I’m assuming that there are no hidden barriers or other obastacles.

  6. Waterlilygirl says:

    how can you not know how it works after reading the description… there is an opening underneath which we can’t see in this photo. You line up the largest arrow with the hole and it will line up an opening to the cylinder. Each cylinder has an opening where the arrow is pointing so that when you point to arrows at each other, the openings line up. You rotate the whole contraption to allow what was in compartment one to fall into compartment two and so on and so forth… very nifty and not really practical. I’d be worried that something would get stuck in compartment 6 and then everything would go to hell in a handbasket.

  7. loganbouchard says:

    i have a clear cube with a maze around the 5 of the faces. the other one has a door on it. after carefully navigating a metal ball through the maze, there is a little slide contraption that uses the ball to open the door. it’s kinda similar, only you can see what’s inside. i like to put candy (mostly lifesavers) in it, because otherwise, it would all be stolen, but it’s not valuable enough for someone to want to break it or spend their time solving the puzzle.

  8. Yreka says:

    As the person above me said, it’s actually quite simple.

    The hard part would be remembering what’s in each compartment.

  9. Felix Mitchell says:

    This is similar to a kids game which I’ve forgotten the name of. Where you rotate different chambers to try and get more of your tokens into your bucket than your opponant does with his.

    Why is the hole at the bottom? Gravity works downwards.

  10. Marcel says:

    Well Rob, you can always cranck up the ol chainsaw if it comes down to it.

  11. avraamov says:

    Heh Heh! i designed a chest of drawers like this once. i didn’t get far; after a bit of fiddling, i realised that underwear doesn’t behave the way you want it to when you can’t see it…it gets caught up in moving apertures.

  12. monstrinho_do_biscoito says:

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