Introduction: Free the Heart III - Wire Puzzle - Level 3 - Wire Bending

About: I love to craft and my sons and grandchildren keep me going!

In connection with the announcement of the "Metal" contest I have decided to make another wire puzzle - one with an even higher degree of difficulty. "Free The Heart III" is the third variant to free the heart from a "difficult situation“. The completion of the trilogy!

Puzzle I and Puzzle II consist of 3 parts each. This puzzle consists of 4 pieces and therefore a bit more complex to build.

The projekt corresponds in many work steps to the variants I and II. But in order not to constantly refer to the previous instructions, I go through the assembly here from beginning to end!

This project needs the same skill requirements as the previously released "Free the Heart" and "Free The Heart II" projects, such as fingertip feeling and a good eye. As this wire strength is relatively easy to work with, it doesn't matter if you need a second or third try to get a satisfactory result.

Have fun building it ... and watching your friends try to free the heart!


For the construction of "Wire Puzzle III" you need the following material and tools:

  • electric cable (copper wire, 1,5mm², approx. Ø 1.4mm), minimum 75cm
  • various pliers (for bending, cutting)
  • cutter (for stripping)
  • ballpoint pen or felt-tip pen (Ø 10mm)
  • something round with Ø 30mm, for example small paint can
  • something round with Ø 25mm, for example the thread of an E27 bulb (thread inner groove)
  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • flux
  • small metal files (round and flat)
  • folding rule 
  • a "third hand" can be very helpful (copper has a very high thermal conductivity. Holding one end of the wire with your fingers is hardly possible because it gets too hot very quickly. So you should fix the wire with the help of a "third hand".

Step 1: Prepare Wire

First we need to prepare the wire for further processing. For this you need: 

  • copper wire, approx. Ø 1.4mm, 75cm
  • wire cutter, pliers
  • cutter
  • folding rule

If you have copper wire without coating (in craft supply stores you can find copper wire Ø 1.5mm), then you can save yourself this somewhat tedious step.

I still had coated copper wire left over from my previous wire puzzles projects.

First cut a piece of copper wire about 75cm long. Then carefully cut the sheathing piece by piece with a cutter knife. This is unfortunately a bit fiddly.

Proceed carefully. Try not to damage the wire core when stripping and bend it as little as possible. Small bends are difficult to remove and damage to the wire surface will spoil its appearance. 

Step 2: The Big „U"

There are two "U's" in this puzzle. A larger one with an inner Ø of about 30mm and a slightly smaller one with an inner Ø of about 25mm.

We start with the larger one. For this you need:

  • copper wire, approx. Ø 1.4 mm, minimum 75 cm
  • pliers for bending and cutting
  • ballpoint pen or felt-tip pen (Ø 10 mm)
  • something round with Ø 30 mm, for example small paint can

We start with the complete wire length of 75cm. There are no single wire lengths for the different parts as it is not possible to predict exactly how much wire is needed for each individual part.

Bending the first eyelet is the easiest. It should have an inner Ø of about 10mm, outside approx. 12-13mm. All 4 eyelets should have the same Ø! A good aid to bend something approximately circular can be, for example, a ballpoint pen or felt-tip pen. The diameter of the felt pen should not be more than 10 mm.

Step 3: The Small „U"

After bending the big "U" we now have about 60cm of wire left.

With the smaller „U“ we proceed as with the larger one, only we have to bend a smaller Ø.

For this we need:

  • something round with Ø 25mm, for example the thread of an E27 bulb (thread inner groove)

Otherwise, it is the same steps as for the large "U".

Step 4: The Crossbar

We still have enough wire. It is now used for the "crossbar".

  • copper wire, approx. Ø 1.4 mm
  • pliers for bending and cutting
  • ballpoint pen or felt-tip pen (Ø 10 mm)

You can bend the first eyelet as before using a felt pen as a bending aid. The second eyelet is bent at right angle to the first eyelet. Doing it this way is not a must. Of course you can also bend it at the same angle.

You should work on the crossbar separately from the "U". Only to determine the distance between the two eyelets, you can insert the cossbar into the slightly bent up eyelets of the big "U". The crossbar should have about 5 mm of play. Under no circumstances should the eyelets of the cross bar be tight against the eyelets of the U.

When the eyelets of the crossbar have been bent, you can insert them back into the eyelets of the large "U". Afterwards, the openings must be closed again by pressing it together.

Step 5: The Heart

The rest of the wire should be about 30 cm long. This is enough to bend the heart from. It is probably the most difficult work step, as we have no other tools to bend the heart shape, except pliers.

You need:

  • copper wire, approx. Ø 1.4 mm
  • pliers for bending and cutting

Take the middle of the remaining wire and bend it as shown in the pictures, so that they are practically parallel. To get a distance of about 2-3 mm, it is necessary to help with a flat pliers.

Now gently shape the long sides into a heart and bend them until the heart shape remains stable. Only when the wires at the cross point reach the approximate length dimension for the heart, the protruding wire ends can be clipped off.

There will be about 10cm of wire left in total.

Step 6: Soldering

For this last step you need:

  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • flux
  • pliers
  • small metal files (round and flat)
  • “third hand“

To prevent the eyelets from bending open, it is necessary to solder the gaps. In addition, the relatively thin wire thereby receives more stability and the object is qualitatively upgraded! 

To improve the flow properties of the solder, it is useful to apply soldering grease to the wire ends. It is important that the wire ends are as close together as possible. Usually it is enough to press the wire ends together carefully with your fingers. You can also use pliers for this purpose. But always make sure that the rounding is intact. 

Copper has a very high thermal conductivity. Holding one end of the wire with your fingers is hardly possible because it gets too hot very quickly. Therefore, it makes sense to work with a "third hand".

Here is the soldering steps:

  • start by soldering the eyelets of the crossbar.
  • insert the crossbar into the eyelets of the big "U"
  • solder the eyelets of the big "U
  • insert the eyelets of the small "U" into the big "U"
  • solder the eyelets of the small "U"
  • last solder the heart point (outside the "U"! You don't know how to free the heart yet) 

If at any soldering points the solder joint has become too thick, you can carefully work on it with a small metal file.

I hope that you will like the result and will enjoy it when you ask others to solve this wire puzzle.   

Step 7: Bring the Heart Inside the Small "U"

To make the puzzle "sharp" you need to know how to guide the heart into the small "U". A real challenge!

The first step - for those who have already dealt with "Free the Heart" I or II - should not be a problem.

After that, however, the heart is only in the big "U". Now comes the real challenge: the heart must now be guided further into the small "U".

At this point the sequence of pictures begins. If you don't want to spoil the fun of the challenge, skip this step. Besides, I'm afraid that the pictures can only help to a very limited point.

I love to build puzzles but solving them always gives me problems. So, be comforted ... it took me some time to solve it and remember the way!

Step 8: Video: Solution

... and here additionally the attempt to demonstrate the solution in a video.

Warning! Don't look at it, it will spoil your puzzle fun! 😉

Metal Contest

This is an entry in the
Metal Contest