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Portable Pen Puzzle Box

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Portable Pen Puzzle Box 1.jpg
Portable Pen Puzzle Box by John Devost & Eric Fuller
Photo courtesy of Cubic Dissection
Name
Portable Pen Puzzle Box
Limited to
30
Designer
Dimensions
1.0 x 1.5 x 6.25"
Year
2008
Cost
$129
Availability
Not Available
Material
Mahogany/Padauk/Aformosa, Exotic Wood Veneers
Objective
Open and close the box

"A while back John Devost contacted me about selling some beautiful wooden pens on the website. He had been bitten by the woodturning bug...it's a hefty addiction from what I have observed, which is why as a public service I have avoided buying a wood lathe. I told him that it didn't really fit the purpose of the site, and we decided that I should make a puzzle box to store them in. Easy, right? WRONG! My requirements were that it be portable, non-trivial to solve yet quick once you know the trick, and with a strong enough mechanism to stand up to repeated use. Turns out that's a tall order to fill. Just figuring out a way to keep the pens secure in the box without enlarging the design took forever. I worked on this design on and off for over a month before my subconcience spit out a winner.

The box uses sliding panels and has a final trick that many puzzlers will likely be familiar with, but most non-puzzlers will struggle with. While most of you will find one method to solve the box, there is another which requires a bit of practice but looks like a magic trick to observers.

Enough said, I don't want to spoil the surprise. I used some very nice solid stock and exotic veneers with this box, and for the first time used a buffed caranuba wax finish which makes the box smooth and a pleasure in the hand. The only grips I have is a small miscalculation on the panels which resulted in an unsightly .02 gap around the edge of the sides. I was going to scrap the whole project but John convinced me that they looked fine. I have nevertheless discounted the price quite a bit relative to the amount of time I spent on the project." -Eric Fuller