Pencil Puzzle 

This is a pencil puzzle that a friend of mine has. The fellow that gave it to him has died but never told anyone how it was made. Hope you can see from the pictures, but in hand none of us can see any glue line where a part has been broken off to insert the pencil, then glued back on.


More pictures for those who think I am trying to hide something. I have tried to get all the details. I don't know how it was done , that is why I am asking. These are large pictures so you can see the detail better.

Pencil25.jpg (209381 bytes)Pencil26.jpg (185336 bytes)Pencil27.jpg (280623 bytes)Pencil28.jpg (259459 bytes)Pencil29.jpg (283747 bytes)Pencil30.jpg (251443 bytes)Pencil31.jpg (208381 bytes)Pencil32.jpg (197218 bytes)Pencil33.jpg (296414 bytes)Pencil34.jpg (362710 bytes)Pencil35.jpg (291509 bytes)Pencil36.jpg (277841 bytes)Pencil37.jpg (351221 bytes)Pencil38.jpg (225336 bytes)Pencil39.jpg (225732 bytes)Pencil40.jpg (162598 bytes)Pencil41.jpg (137979 bytes)Pencil42.jpg (262811 bytes)Pencil43.jpg (157400 bytes)Pencil44.jpg (107779 bytes)Pencil45.jpg (119849 bytes)Pencil46.jpg (166573 bytes)Pencil47.jpg (155551 bytes)Pencil48.jpg (325843 bytes)Pencil49.jpg (288965 bytes)

Thanks for all of the replies. I think I have the answer now. Just wetting the wood and crushing, drill , insert, then wetting to bring it back. This was fun and interesting.

ANSWER from Joel Mueller :

My uncle has a Nail Trick very similar to your pencil trick. The "trick" is to boil one end for several minutes. Then put the boiled end in a vise and squeeze it down and insert the nail (or pencil). Then let the end expand back to it's original size. I've never tried it but he as made several using this method. Good luck.

Another solution:

Plus here is a link to pictures of the solution:

Here is a video:


Another puzzle about the same

Rick--------I went to a Woodcarvers show here in Wichita this morning and while looking around I found a puzzle similar to the pencil trick except it only had 3 or 4 notches in it and he had a big wood screw through the holes. I talked to the gentleman for some time and told him about the one you have and that you were trying to find someone who could figure it out. Apparently he makes these all the time and after some questioning he finally told me how he makes them.       
Here's how:
saw out the piece on a band saw making any number of notches. Stand upright in a pan of very hot water. It should only come to the first notch. After it has set for about 15-20 minutes take it out of the  water and place the piece in a vise and tighten down hard to compress the wet end to the bottom level of the other notches. Let it set in the vise for 2-3 days until completely dry. Take it out and then drill the holes through the other notches. The end will stay compressed until you have drilled the holes and inserted either a pencil or a screw. Then, place the end back into the water and let it soak for a while . The compressed end will return to its original shape. And, use only basswood. Enclosing a couple of pictures of his item.
P.S. This guys name is Roy Hosie. He lives in Hesston, KS. You can contact him at

Paul Jones