Brrr Puzzle, I Mean Burr

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Project by CaptainSkully posted 01-07-2010 08:28 AM 4272 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The morning of New Year’s Eve, I woke up with a strange desire to make a burr puzzle. I knew there were kids coming over New Year’s Day and they’d probably be bored with the adult talk and football, so I thought I’d give them something to drive them crazy.

I downloaded some plans (I used the metric version because I thought it’d be more accurate). I milled the stock a tad oversized, and dadoed my brains out with stops on the miter sled to make everything symmetrical. I was worried about how the pieces would fit together because I didn’t know the solution. I made sure that all of the gaps were wide enough to comfortably fit one piece or two parallel pieces inside, depending on the application.

After a bit of hand sanding, I took the first set inside to look up the solution (did I mention I made six sets of six pieces?). The pieces fit together perfectly. Whew! I proceeded to tung oil the first set so that it would have a chance to soak in (I used mahogany since it practically glows when oiled). I wanted to use a finish that wouldn’t add any thickness to the pieces.

Anyhoo, the puzzle was a huge success. There were definitely more hours spent on solving it than manufacturing it. I’ve got a system down now for sanding the parts, so it wasn’t quite as bad on the second set. I’ve still got lots of friends to irritate when they open the package with the puzzle fully assembled, then proceed to take it apart. It’s maddeningly difficult to put together if you don’t know the solution.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

6 comments so far

View Milamber's profile


2 posts in 3139 days

#1 posted 01-07-2010 04:12 PM

Those look fun to make and play with, where did you get your plans?

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3198 days

#2 posted 01-07-2010 06:31 PM

Got one of those from a brother-in-law, store bought, took me awhile to figure out even with the plans. Nice job!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View CaptainSkully's profile


1590 posts in 3522 days

#3 posted 01-07-2010 06:42 PM

I got the puzzle plans here, thanks to PetVet.

This is the website where you can find the solution and other puzzles. I used the “Simple Burr”.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3899 days

#4 posted 01-07-2010 10:54 PM

Captain, Thanks for the sites I wll be visiting them later. I have recently been looking at all kinds of puzzles for me to make. I do want to tackle on of these soon as well.
Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun driving people mad.

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View majuvla's profile


12081 posts in 2831 days

#5 posted 07-26-2010 05:28 PM

Definitely it’s worth of trying to do it for myself or kids.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#6 posted 07-26-2010 05:36 PM

very cool. always loved those.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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