Friday, April 19, 2019

Our new toy

Most of our customers will know that we have been using a Chinese CNC router for our puzzle production. The machine is very reliable, does accurate work, and is a mandatory tool in our workshop. Many of our products could not have been made without the CNC router in a realistic working time frame.

Despite that, we had an inconvenience because the machine had a relatively smaller work area of 400 mm x 300 mm. In many cases, while we were producing a particular part, we didn't have enough area to cut the other parts in the remaining space of the working table.

Here we go, let's buy another larger machine!
We made up our mind last October and the new larger machine was delivered to our house at the end of last year. Although Juno had made sure that the machine was intact and it could be operated from one of his laptops on the day of delivery, there were many things that had to be done before the machine was used for puzzle production.

A CNC router requires a dedicated computer and it has to be set close to the CNC machine itself. The problem is the place sometimes becomes full of sawdust especially when Juno does rip saw cuts using a table saw. So, he decided to hide the dedicated computer in the cabinet of the CNC router, and then hooked up a computer monitor and a keyboard that comes with a pointing device. When these are not in use, the keyboard is folded down and is wrapped up with the special cover that I made.

The dust boot had to be made because Juno didn't like the size and the functions of commercially sold dust boots. Plumbing work for the duct collection was also necessary.

As you can see on the upper image, we have been producing cars although all the car manufacturing industries in Australia were closed down in 2017. The car is going to be one of our next puzzle products. Juno also has an idea of Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 and the puzzle is already in the production process. We sometimes have been using two of the CNC machines at the same time, worrying about the next electricity bill. Even with these efficient machines, the production takes time, so please wait patiently until we introduce the availability of the puzzles by our Pluredro newsletter.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Grooved 6 Board Burr #2

This is our latest product Grooved 6 Board Burr #2 made of our original plywood of Bubinga and European Beech. The puzzle has very smooth surface and good texture thanks to the character of Bubinga timber.

Although the puzzle is quite difficult, Juno says that #2 is ten or 100 times easier than Grooved 6 Board Burr #1.  #1 has 4246 assemblies and #2 has only three. 4246 divided by three is 1415.33 but calculation for difficulty of puzzles may not work like this.

Juno already had vague ideas for different kinds of grooved board burrs when he designed #1. We now have #1 and #2, and Juno will try to design another variant of grooved board burrs when he has spare time.

We initially planned to start selling a sequential discovery puzzle at the same time with Grooved 6 Board Burr #2. Although we have spent quite a long time producing the sequential discovery puzzle, it is still a long way from being finished. It may take another couple of months to be completed, or even more. Please be patient until they are ready to be sold. We will notify you by the newsletter when the time comes.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cat's day and auction results

Yesterday was cat's day in Japan because the sound of 2/22 makes us think of our fluffy friends' voice: meow, meow, meow. The day was chosen in 1987 to give thanks to the life we can live together with cats, and to deeply appreciate the day with cats. So, it was the best day to donate to the cats' (animal) shelter.

Yep, it was a good excuse going to see cats. We had our 9th puzzle auction recently and as we have always done, we donated half the amount of the puzzle auction sales to the cat shelter. Here are the auction results and its total sales became $391.51 in Australian dollars. Wow, thank you for attending the auction.

The total sales amount this time was a little awkward to divide by 2. Therefore, we have decided to donate A$200.00 to AWLQ. Here is the invoice of the donation.

According to the animal shelter, they are currently running at a loss of $150,000 per month just in rehousing expenses. We will hold more puzzle auctions in the future, though our contribution is still small.

As I have written in a previous blog, we are working on the next sequential discovery puzzle now. I'm not sure if we will make a test version, but if we make a test version, we may put on the 10th auction someday.