Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Stacks Of Sticks

This flattish wood puzzle came to me from Brian Menold of Wood Wonders. Called the Stacks Of Sticks, it is exactly what the name says. 16 strips comprising of 4 different varieties of exotic hardwoods (Paduak, Yellowheart, Wenge and East Indian Rosewood) stacked together in four layers to make up this rather colourful little puzzle.

The puzzle measures 6.6cm square with a thickness of 1.8cm. Quality of construction is good and finished to tight tolerances. The object of the puzzle is to take apart the stack and reassemble them. As Brain rightly points out on his website, the puzzle looks simple...and yes it is. But looks are deceiving as I soon found out.

Stacks Of Sticks (left) with the 4-piece burr gift with purchase
Because of its tight construction which gives no hints whatsoever, it took a bit of playing for me to figure out how to disassemble the stack. Quite tricky I might add. Overall it is not a difficult puzzle but still provides some challenge.

One of the really plus points about the Stacks Of Sticks is that it is a good value for money puzzle at US$15. On top of that, Brian threw in a free gift (I think for first-time buyers only)...a miniature four piece burr made from two hardwoods, one of which I am pretty positive is Purpleheart. The burr is only 5.2cm cube, small and cute and well made. It also appears fairly easy to take apart. But given my lack of experience with burrs, I did not venture further to disassemble the burr fully, just sliding the pieces enough to see what each looked like.

Readers may like to check out Brian's site which sells a variety of wooden puzzles, a number of them designed by Stewart Coffin. And like the Stacks Of Sticks, they are pretty reasonably priced and affordable.

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