Building A Wooden Jacob's Ladder, And More
October 20, 2007 10:15 PM   Subscribe

You've probably seen this toy Jacob's Ladder before. I'm wondering if there are any other illusions that use the same principle, and whether they can be easily recreated by crafty amatuers.

I bring this up because I've seen some card tricks and other magic schtick that appeared to use the multiple hinge concept, and I'd like to make some of these objects with my son. Googling didn't help; if this illusion has a name beyond "Jacob's Ladder" (which gets a ton of hits based on the religious meanings and the cool electric thingamajob), I'd really like to know how to search it out.
I know that the Rubik's Cube uses double hinges. Where can I find plans for toys or tricks that work on this principle?
posted by maryh to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"Rubik's Magic" is an even more elaborate version of the same thing, but there's no way you'd ever be able to make one for yourself. (It's held together with nylon fishing line in a very elaborate pattern.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:47 PM on October 20, 2007

Best answer: Can't help you with a keyword for the mechanism, but there are several DIY "magic wallet" projects online that use the mechanism.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:58 PM on October 20, 2007

I have a glasses case (I think Oliver Peoples) that uses the Jacob's Ladder principle to make it reversible. It's a staid, traditional brown--but if you open it up and flip the 2nd hinge, the outside becomes the inside and the inside becomes the outside, coloring it in regal purple.
posted by jbrjake at 8:44 AM on October 21, 2007

Best answer: I've no idea if these use the same principle but they seem to be along the same lines to me. They looks like they'd be fun at any rate.

The same guy has lots of different DIY videos, click on some of the thumbnails to the right of these.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:30 PM on October 21, 2007
Here's another and it looks very fast and easy. I haven't tried it yet, off to find my stapler now.
posted by BoscosMom at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks BoscosMom! Those paper projects look great.
posted by maryh at 6:44 PM on October 21, 2007

Cool, have fun!
posted by BoscosMom at 12:21 AM on October 22, 2007

I can't believe it too me this long to remember the Hexaflexagon. Those are a kick.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:40 PM on October 22, 2007

It looks like these are called flexagons. There are a bunch of sites about them. Here is one with printable templates for all sorts of different kinds.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:25 PM on October 23, 2007

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