This is my first post so let me start with a short introduction. I'm Thomas, 30 something, designer from The Netherlands. I got my first cube in 1981 and was able to solve it a year or two later, with the help from a book I got from the library. I'm not into speedcubing. I'm more into the 'beauty of the cube'. In 1986 I bought Jerry Slocum's book on mechanical puzzles and could stare at the 'Rubik page' for hours. I was just amazed by all the different shapes and wanted to have them, to feel how they turn.
A while back I had the same sensation when I stumbled upon a website with all kinds of cube mods: 'Fishers Golden Cube', 'Greenhills Tetrahedron', 'Case Cube', 'Skewbbrick', 'Bump Cube', 'Kite Cube'. I want to feel them! And so, a new hobby was born.
Last week I made my first mod. It's just a simple 2x2x3, but hey.. it's a start. I'll try to explain step by step how I built it. Maybe it will help someone out there and perhaps some of you can give me a few pointers, because I didn't really get it right this first time.
I used a new Rubik's 25th Anniversary Cube and a new 30mm Rubik's keychain. First I looked for any text and images I could find on the web. Of course especially helpful were Ton Dennenbroek's tutorial for the 2x2x3
and Dieter Gebhardt's article on Tony Fisher's Cuboid 3x3x3 Transformations
. Most helpful was the composition plan on the latter page.
I began by cutting eight edge pieces of the keychain cube. Unfortunately these are hollow, but I found that if I leave just enough material on one side, the piece will be strong enough to turn. I managed to ruin one piece, so I had to restore that with Milliput. I decided to fill all the edgepieces. That wasn't necessary, but gave me an opportunity to practise with the Milliput.
I just had the Super Fine White Milliput, and had bought some pigment to get it black. But I couldn't get it any darker than lightgrey. Later I found out that Black Milliput is directly available from the fatory. And only for a mere € 8.15, including shipping. So, I will use that next time.
For a possible next 2x2x3 mod I will not fill the edge pieces again with Milliput, but try to cut more careful. Or even better, find keychain cubes with solid pieces.
For the corner pieces I cut away about 50% of two outer sides. This should be sufficient I guess, but later on I cut away an extra millimeter or so to be on the safe side.
After I put the keychain cube back together, I was happy to see that it really resembles the above drawing.
To make it a functional 2x2x3 you have to glue one center piece to two edges and a corner. I played with the cube a few times to see which pieces turn bad. These were then of course the ones that I glued together.
Now I got to the large cube.
Four edge pieces and eight corner pieces needed to be modified. Unfortunately I forgot to take some shots of this process. But just look at some of the other photos in this post and you get the idea.
Now comes the real work: connecting the large cube pieces to the keychain pieces.
I realised that a very important, and perhaps the most difficult part of constructing this (or in fact any) mod is to put the kernel cube right in the absolute center of the outside pieces.
I decided to attach the four edges to the kernel with tape. I used some tissuepaper to fill the space between the pieces and the kernel, where later on the Milliput will go. I spent quite some time to position the pieces in the right place.
Next I put Milliput in four of the large corner pieces. A very good tip from Ton Dennenbroek's tutorial is to first put some tempex in the holes. That will save a lot of Milliput, and therefore weight. And with a lot of care I pushed them on the keychain cube, one by one. The corners had to go against the four edge pieces that were already there, but without moving them, as they were only held in place by some tape. After an hour or so I connected the remaining 4 corner pieces on the other side of the keychain cube. The following morning I was able to dismantle the whole thing. The corner pieces now look like this.
And yes, it happened exactly the way I was afraid of. The keychain cube is not in the exact center of the outer pieces. As you can see, it looks okay, until you turn one face 180 degrees. Every millimeter that the kernel is not in the exact center now becomes a two millimeter difference in height.
But I decided to continue and connect the large edge pieces to the keychain cube edge pieces. This was fairly easy to do.
I used stickers from cubesmith.com
. I have access to a sticker cutting machine myself, but the stickers from Cubesmith are just perfect and don't cost much. I'll probably use the machine when I build a more advanced cube mod.
As you can see it is possible to turn all the faces of the cube. The problem of course arises when I want to really scramble it. It just gets locked. But, look on the bright side. This one will always be easy to solve
In conclusion. It ain't a truncated rhombicubocosidodecahedron or anything. It doesn't even work. But I think it looks great and it makes me wanna create more cube mods.
Edit: For history's sake, I've since made a new, fully functional 2x2x3. I built it the same way. I just was more careful.