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221 posts in 1192 days

Location: Youngs Point, Ontario, Canada

Hi Everyone.

I have been woodworking for about 30 yrs (geez, I feel old all of a sudden) and have always been fascinated by the transformation of raw, unassuming piles of wood into a beautiful and purposeful piece to be cherished forever. Thanks Dad, for introducing me to the craft!

For a number of years during an important period in my life I designed products for a wood recycling company, and I think it is there that I learned to truely "listen to the wood". Recycling has always been a passion of mine, the idea of extending an otherwise useful raw material that would only wind up being just another burriable commodity at the local landfill site resonated within me. The company itself never made it off the ground, but the lessons I learned there flourish in my works today.

Its funny how life works isn't it? Through a course of events set by fate, the cosmos or by my sheer intent, I learned some interesting things from a machinist friend about how locks essentially worked, and for some reason a light or spark switched on inside me that burns brighter today than ever. My love for woodworking has turned out to be my driving passion.

You see, I love to create working wooden locking systems, ya really. I find that turning an otherwise gorgeous wooden box into a wooden wonder smattered with intrigue and mystery by adding locking systems that function in many, many different styles to be quite exciting. While most of these designs are made into puzzle boxes, some are quite adaptable for full sized furniture. I get quite a bit of satisfaction of watching my friends work to ferret out the solution to opening the trick boxes. Besides, who doesn't have at least one ole cigar box kicking around that they could try right now?

It's the Mystery By Design that gets me, and I have always been intrigued by this particular niche of woodworking, it has brought me more joy and wonder than I could have ever imagined. I am grateful for this experience.

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~

Latest Activity | view all »

commented on Santa's Workshop - Tea Box Puzzle 01-09-2018 06:10 PM
commented on Vintage Retro Puzzle Box - Henpecked 01-09-2018 03:35 AM
added project Santa's Workshop - Tea Box Puzzle 01-09-2018 12:58 AM
added project Vintage Retro Puzzle Box - Henpecked 01-09-2018 12:47 AM
added project Reverseable Cabinets 11-20-2017 01:44 AM
commented on Nicks Sticks - Mechanical Puzzle 11-10-2017 03:22 PM
commented on Beauty and the Beast inspired wardrobe. 11-09-2017 01:10 PM
commented on Nicks Sticks - Mechanical Puzzle 11-09-2017 01:08 PM
commented on Old Window TV Stand 11-08-2017 01:59 AM
commented on Cherry/Wormy Chestnut Storage Case 11-08-2017 01:57 AM
commented on new and old 11-08-2017 01:52 AM
added project Nicks Sticks - Mechanical Puzzle 11-08-2017 01:50 AM
added project Horse Treat Puzzle 11-02-2017 11:48 AM
commented on ~Romance Themed Fairy Door~ 11-02-2017 11:41 AM
added project ~Romance Themed Fairy Door~ 11-01-2017 01:54 AM

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2 comments so far

View KelSnake's profile


221 posts in 1192 days

#1 posted 10-12-2014 11:36 PM

This is the project that got me started into puzzle making from the bigger funiture sized projects I had been working on at the time. It is made from century old barn board and features 16 different secret compartments that each have a different style of locking system for each one. A couple of compartments are locked by two or more systems at the same time. It was reported that the customer took 18 hours to open it. I love that!

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~

View Cedrus's profile


110 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 03-15-2015 04:36 PM do realize how evil you are?!!! LOL Love the box and your other projects too.
PS Your website is inspiring!

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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