Make a Speed-Cube

Lubrication makes cubes much faster.

Take the cube apart as shown on the first picture (don't use a screwdriver). Make it perfectly clean (wash and dry). Put the cubies on a flat surface, spray the cubies using silicon lubricant and wait for a few minutes. Switch the cubies over, spray the other sides and wait.

How to make a good speed-cube?
Difficult to give a short answer. There are objective criteria, and subjective ones (the kind of subjective things that seem very objective when you've got a cube in your hands, but people cube differently). You'll have to try many combinations before you find the right cube with the right tuning.
Trevor Holland wrote a guide where you can find many good points.

I like DIY kits from Rubik's for two reasons: Arched center pieces and screws. See below what you get when you buy one.

Problems with your stickers?

A lot of people have faced problems with the quality of their stickers. Quite often, they're not as good as they used to be in the 80's and official replacement ones are expensive. I've tried different solutions: Model paint, tape, and other stupid things. Here's the best solution I've found.

The tools you need: Robust plastic dividers, and neoprene glue. Choose the colors your prefer. The dividers cost 1 euro at my local supermarket, and that's enough for 8 cubes!

Draw and cut the stickers. 1.6 cm for a usual 3x3x3 cube.

Apply the neoprene glue to the cube and to the stickers (a thin and uniform layer). Wait for 2 minutes.

Press hard, everywhere, for 30 seconds. Believe me, if done correctly, it works. I restickered my main speedcube, and after years, the stickers still look new. If you want to cube under water, no problem.

See the video

There's another solution. You can buy adhesive vinyl film in specialized shops. If you manage to find all the colors you need, this solution is easier than dividers. Less resistant though, but a damaged sticker is quickly fixed (still more resistant than the official ones by the way).

Rolls of adhesive vinyl film.

Your restickered cube may even look better than a new one.

Wait! You can buy stickers, tiles, and more at Cubesmith. The stickers seem durable, and you can choose some bright colors for easier recognition.


The Glowing Cube

See the video

You want to cube in the dark? Just look for "glow-in-the-dark" plastic stuff.
Reload the tiles in front of a light bulb, and you can switch off the light for about 10 minutes.
Cubing in absolute darkness, with only glowing and dancing tiles in hands you cannot even see, is something out of this world. Try it!

The BurgerMat

In official competitions, people have to put their hands on a pad before and after solving the cube. That's what starts and stops the timer. The official timing device is the Stackmat. I had to find a similar tool in order to get used to it and compare my times to others' times.

If you've got an old flat USB game pad you don't use, building a BurgerMat is quite inexpensive (I bought a new one for 10 euros). Remove the screws and get its electronic guts, that's all you need. Install it between 2 slices of bread. You want the two buttons under your hands, so you'll have to prolongate buttons 5 and 6.

Plug it to your computer, write a small piece of code, and you'll have a very nice and cheap device that automatically computes averages and more (download a Java prototype source here). By the way, this pad is much more sensitive than the ones I tried at the French championships. You'll find a video showing it in action somewhere on this site.


Cube Case

Old socks make a good job protecting the cubes, but if you want people to believe you're a professional, this case is for you. With a block of hard foam, you can customize it for the puzzles you need to carry.
Lubricant, papers under the lid, replacement stickers.

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