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Puzzle: Balance all of the nails on top of the standing nail

Background: This is a puzzle that was first shown to me in the mid 1980s and ever since then I’ve shown to friends and family. It’s tricky, but given 10 minutes you should be able to figure it out. There are seven nails that balance on top of the 8th nail, and you cannot use glue or any other device to balance.

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  1. I went to the Ft. Lauderdale museum of science once and they had an exhibit set up that had this and several other simple spatial/mechanical puzzles. I had to do them all (because I was driven to, not any entrance requirement.) By the time I finished I had a crowd asking me how to do various puzzles.

  2. Turn the piece of wood with the nail upside down and then put the other nails on top of the wood. Correct?

  3. One of my favorite tricks. Don’t let the secret out unless they pay.

  4. yeah I’ve seen this done tons of times and with 10 nails as well. with the internet everyone can find out how to do it though

  5. As I don’t have nails or a board i decided to google it. I was thinking along the same lines though i think i would have liked to try it out.