Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Six Pack

This 6 piece interlocking burr puzzle was designed by Jim Gooch and made by Steve Strickland and presented as an exchange puzzle at IPP23 in Chicago in 2003. I was particularly attracted to this puzzle because it is made from 6 different types of exotic hardwoods namely Bubinga, Red Oak, Paduak, Mahogany, Walnut and Pecan. The copy I acquired is apparently from the original batch that was made for the IPP23 exchange.

The puzzle measures a comfortable-for-the-hands 62mm square. Quality of my copy as well as the cut, fit and finish is very good. The 6 pieces move smoothly against each other with no jamming, even after several weeks in the sort of humid weather in Singapore.

While the puzzle is not very difficult, it was also no walk in the park either (for me). It took me a quite a while to study the right moves and try remember the sequential steps needed to put the puzzle back together after taking it apart. What is of help here is the 6 different woods of varying colours which act as visual cues in remembering the correct steps. If the puzzle had been made entirely of just one type of wood, I think it would have been a lot harder.

Overall I think its a nice puzzle which doesn't require a lot of time (nor a lot of moves) to solve...unlike the stories I have read of puzzles that really test the patience which require moves that can run into the hundreds to solve.


  1. I love reading your blog updates. And have a question. How do you keep the wooden puzzles working in the humidity here? I'm in HK, and I feel like a mass murderer when it comes to wooden puzzles. The humidity.....

  2. Thanks! Singapore is definitely very humid, and we don't have a winter season unlike HK. What I do is firstly to keep my wooden puzzles inside a ziplock bag (try to suck out all the air) and keep the puzzle inside a cupboard so its not left in the open. If this still doesn't work, I will usually place it in my camera drybox(that has a humidity setting)overnight and get it "dried out". So far this has worked well for me. Anything that becomes stuck gets unstuck after a night in the drybox.