Thursday, 20 November 2014

Double Slideways Burr

It looks like any other ordinary burr. But don't let that fool you. The Double Slideways Burr (DSB) is one of the hardest co-ordinate motion puzzles around.

I got my copy of the DSB from Ray Stanton during the IPP34 Puzzle Exchange in London this year. Ray's exchange copies were made by Eric Fuller and the six pieces are cut from Walnut, Maple and Sapele. Very well constructed with fine edges and tight tolerances.

Why is it called the Double Slideways Burr? Well, because Ray had previously come up with the (Single) Slideways Burr, which consists of just three pieces. Although the DSB has double the number of pieces, the difficulty quotient is probably quadruple (or more) that of the SSB. I have never played with the SSB before, so I was thrown right into the deep with the DSB.

I spent the better part of two evenings figuring out the DSB, attempting different combination and orientation of pairs and pieces, looking for a way to "slide" the pieces together. After all, it must slide together somehow right?...given its called "Slideways". I even got my wife to help me hold some pieces while I grappled with the rest. But I got nowhere and eventually gave up. I emailed Ray asking for a hint. When Ray replied, I realized that I was way off tangent all the while. Even with his help, It took me another good hour or two before finally getting the six pieces to form the intended shape! 

This one is a real tough cookie. I happily emailed Ray a photo of my solved DSB and was quite pleased to hear from him that I am so far, only the fourth person he knows that has managed to put together the DSB. (Edit: as of 21 Nov 2014, there are 11 people who have solved the DSB)I don't intend to take it apart since I am not sure if I can re-assemble it again, and I don't wish to find it will sit nicely solved in my puzzle cabinet.

Let me put it this way...if you have never solved Ray's earlier puzzle, the SSB, well, the DSB will be very difficult indeed. But if you have solved the SSB before, then the DSB will still be very difficult indeed! And unfortunately, Burr Tools cannot help here. 

For those keen on acquiring an SSB or DSB, they are available from Eric Fuller's website for $15 and $39 respectively. For other co-ordinate motion puzzles reviewed previously, please click below:-

1. Choreographed Motion
2. Cross Box
3. 18 Dutch Mills
4. CM 13
5. Brass Ball
6. Cast Galaxy
7. Aroma


  1. I have assembled my copy, with difficulty (but no hints!). Derek B. has also assembled his, and claims it was not that difficult. So there are definitely more than 4 people who have assembled this puzzle ...

    1. George, well, plus you and Derek, Oli and Michel, now there are 8! But I am sure there are still some others that Ray don't know about yet.

    2. I love puzzles which appear to be standard 6-piece burrs, but are not. There are a surprising number of them. I want to get a copy of Coffin's "Missing Notch", also sold by Eric Fuller. Beware, however, Derek claims it is much harder than the "Double Slideways"!

    3. I know of another one and I also have solved it myself, please see following link for the proof :)

    4. Goetz, ok. Plus Ali Morris, that makes 11 so far...

  2. I played with it tonight and solved it in 15-20 minutes. I found it fairly easy and pretty fun (single slideways was easier and as fun)! I think Missing Notch was waaaay more difficult: I took *forever* to solve it, and only with the help of the picture of the partially assembled puzzle on Eric's website...