Burr Puzzle Set

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maztec
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Joined: June 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm

Burr Puzzle Set

Post by maztec » February 11th, 2013, 11:25 pm

I am finally getting around to making things with my gear! Yay. I am starting with a few simple burrs, just to build technique, some jigs, and tune my equipment in to getting things the right size.

To that end, there are quite a few sets of burr pieces out there. If you were going to make a set of less than 100 sticks, what burr sticks would you make? :lol: I'm tempted to make myself a set of sticks for a variety of burrs. Hopefully at least 3/4 of the sticks will be useable multiple times. I do realize that the Ultimate Burr Set exists, but want to explore other options that may be available.

What combination of pieces would give the most diverse array to possible solutions?

What is the smallest number of burr pieces with the greatest range of unique solutions? No mirroring/etc.

And is anyone up to dragging this dolt (me) through using burr tools? I saw a reference from someone who claimed to be using it to design the end result and it then generated the pieces to fill it in?!? I cannot see how it is capable of that at all. I tried modeling the Dubois' burr in it (actually I did model it), but Burr tools tells me it will take 1.2 millennia to solve it . . . and after 4 days of running it has 0 solutions. I have got to be doing something wrong.

And has anyone but the wayback machine archived a copy of the old IBM Burr Puzzles site? Any idea how to contact the original creator (or is my memory correct that he passed away)?

Thanks!

maztec
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Joined: June 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm

Re: Burr Puzzle Set

Post by maztec » February 12th, 2013, 5:40 am

Oh, and here is a picture of my sticks after I roughed them out with the table saw. I need to remove some corners with a chisel, but they are coming along.
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Photo of roughed out sticks.
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Paradox
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Re: Burr Puzzle Set

Post by Paradox » February 13th, 2013, 9:45 am

I can't really give much advice here as burrs certainly aren't my area of expertise, but I have to say that I strangely really like the look of the worm-eaten wood burr pieces!

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bluesign2k
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Re: Burr Puzzle Set

Post by bluesign2k » February 13th, 2013, 1:57 pm

Jack's Level 5 Burr Set is a version of the Interlocking Puzzles Burr Set #2... if you're looking for a set to make, I think they're great. The pieces can be found on Jim Storer's site.

I didn't realise the IBM Burr Puzzles site had one until you mentioned it! :(

maztec
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Joined: June 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm

Re: Burr Puzzle Set

Post by maztec » February 14th, 2013, 4:36 am

Paradox: Thanks! They're made out of 30 year old Myrtle. It drifted down the river when I was just a few years old and my Grandfather cut it into boards. It was promptly forgotten until recently and my Mother gave it to me in exchange for making her a shelf. This is a small offcut of it on which I'm practicing working with this wood, before making her shelf. I really like the bug eaten look too. Trying to decide if I should fill the holes with epoxy to stabilize the wood or not. However, it is pretty darn solid. I spent half an hour banging it against my workbench to clean out all the little bug bits in it that would come out, and didn't seem to break anything.

Blue: Yah, the site is available via the wayback machine, but that is it as far as I can tell. Thank you for the link to Jim Storer's site! Good tip. I think I'm going to look through those pieces and the pieces for some of the higher sets - like the piston - and see how much duplication there is and what all I can add, then slowly make a set for it. Might make it all out of this Myrtle, using scraps from it, or I might make it out of a few different woods. However, this particular puzzle is going to be just its own, since I don't want to trim the ends of the sticks except as necessary.

Of course, trimming the sticks is a debate I'm having with my wife now. Only one needs trimmed, but that seems silly. So, should I alternate, so each set of sticks has one long one short on each side. Or should I trim one set of sides short and leave the other long. I like the look of both to be honest.

TheJuggler
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Re: Burr Puzzle Set

Post by TheJuggler » March 15th, 2013, 7:13 pm

In terms of cleaning out the bug holes, get an air compressor ... makes short work of it. Trust me, I had my fair share to clean out for the UC trays I made!

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