Monday, July 22, 2019

New burr puzzles and 11th auction results

We have released three new burr puzzle products Samarium, Diabolic Claw Burr and Impenetrable Knot. All of them are made and CNC machined from our original plywood to keep durability, strength and accuracy of the puzzle pieces. Please have a look at the detail of each puzzles, and hope you like them.

We recently have held puzzle auctions and the winning bit price were as follows.

Samarium - 62 moves burr (test version)  AU $49.00
Impenetrable Knot (test version)  AU $107.50
6 Broad Board Burr (1 of 2) AU $152.50
6 Broad Board Burr (2 of 2) AU $71.00
Total: AU $380.00

We often went to AWLQ for donation but today, Juno found that there are more than 60 cats at the RSPCA Brisbane and he insisted we should go there. So we went there, met fluffy friends and donated a half amount of the sold price of the auction. We couldn't receive an official receipt for the donation today, so we will scan and upload the proof later on this blog entry.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

11th Puzzle Auction

We have put three kinds, four puzzles up for auction on eBay! Every puzzle starts from $1.00 AUD!

As usual, we are going to donate half of the sold amount of this auction to support stray, surrendered pets and wildlife. We haven't decided where to donate but we will later report to you on this blog after the donation.

6 Broad Board Burr (two on the back)
This 28 moves burr puzzle was designed and made by Juno in 2019 but after he produced three sets of them using the CNC router, he decided to make no more. We decide to keep one for reference and thus we have only two of them to sell.

Samarium (front left)
This puzzle requires 62 moves to take the first piece apart from the assembled shape. We will later start selling our regular product version made of our original plywood.

Impenetrable Knot (front right)
Puzzle solving computer program will probably say that there is no possible solution to the puzzle. Yes, it's impenetrable to solve the puzzle by ordinary approaches. We will later start selling our regular product version made of our original plywood.

We are looking forward to having you participate in the auctions.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Slammed Car and G6BB #3

We have released two new puzzle products Slammed Car and Grooved 6 Board Burr #3.

Cars waiting for exportation.

It was early 2019 when we started producing car-shaped puzzles to be the last Australian car manufacturer. The day for reveal finally came but unfortunately, we have to admit that the Australian economy is tough for continuing the car manufacturing business. In October 2017, the last car manufacturing plant was closed, and since then, there is no car industry in Australia except our puzzle car. We only have about 100 cars to sell but no more.

It is a sequential discovery puzzle that has an internal cavity to keep a treat. Please check the detailed product description and find out what you are going to find in it when the puzzle is solved.

Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 is the third version of the series and it has the highest numbers of moves to be required to disassemble the puzzle among three. We sometimes describe a few of our puzzle products that these are beyond human ability to solve without any aids. Such a kind of description is also befitting to this diabolic puzzle. The puzzle is waiting for your challenge.

The puzzle pieces were milled out from our original plywood using a CNC router. There are 6 grooves in total on the side of the pieces and there are 8 white tooth-shape protrusions inside of the C or E-shaped pieces. These characteristic shapes contribute to restrict the movement of the puzzle pieces and make the puzzle extremely difficult.

Her face can be described in Japanese as OKO meaning upset or angry.

By the way, we own a slammed cat whose name is Mittan. Soon after we adapted her from a cat shelter, her attitude was something like she accepts any kinds of cat foods. Years past, now she is very demanding, picky and eager to have delicious foods. We hope the puzzles will be sold well and we are able to buy nice foods to satisfy her appetite.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The 10th Auction Results

Hi guys! We are happy to announce that the 10th puzzle auction has finished successfully. We had put up three puzzles; a test version of Grooved 6 Board Burr #2 and two test versions of Grooved 6 Board Burr #3.

The sales results are as follows:

Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 Test ver. PNG Rosewood - AUD $50.00
Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 Test ver. Jarrah - AUD $110.00
Grooved 6 Board Burr #2 Test ver. PNG Rosewood - AUD $119.50

As we had informed, we went to the AWLQ (Animal Welfare League Queensland) and donated roughly half of the sales (AUD140.00) to support cats, dogs, farm animals and pocket pets today.

Here is the receipt of the donation, and pictures of fluffy friends we have met.

Thank you for puzzle lovers who have participated in the eBay auction.
We will hold the same type of auction someday.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Puzzle auction and coming new puzzles

We have put three puzzles up for auction on eBay! Every puzzle starts from $1.00 AUD! As we have always done, we are going to donate half of the sales of this auction to the Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ).

Please note that the puzzles we have put up for the auctions are all test version. Compared with the products we are selling at our shop, the material, durability, finishing and precision look to be at a disadvantage. When you bid, please make sure of the quality by looking at the picture on eBay.

Juno usually makes prototype or test version puzzles when or before we produce our regular products.
The test version of Grooved 6 Board Burr #2 was kept after we released its regular products because we didn't have many puzzles up for auction.
Its only but big difference to the regular one is the material. The test version is made of PNG Rosewood and is not durable compared to our original plywood that is used for the regular ones.

Juno has also made two test versions of Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 using solid timber of PNG Rosewood and Jarrah. Unlike our regular products, several grooves on the puzzle pieces were milled out manually by a small milling machine.

Well, as mentioned above, we have a new design of our Grooved 6 Board Burr series and its production is almost completed. The regular version of Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 is made of our original plywood of New Guinea Walnut and European Beech. Our new CNC router was used to produce the puzzle and the machine did very intensive work.

We are planning to release Grooved 6 Board Burr #3 and a sequential discovery puzzle box Slammed Car around mid-June.

The latter puzzle requires lots of steps, around 15 to 20 depending on how it is counted to access the internal cavity. Several hours of CNC work was necessary for each puzzle and it took a long time to produce the puzzle even though we have two CNC routers, and both were occasionally used at the same time.

We will notify our newsletter subscribers by email when the two new puzzles are available.

If you have not registered to our newsletter, please take a look at the following blog entry.

Pluredro Newsletter


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.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Three new burr puzzles

We have started selling following three new puzzles, Stretchy 12, Staggered 12 and Juno's L7 Notchable.

Juno wanted to use one of our special plywood that can be used for 3 x 1 profile pieces. So, he designed Staggered 12 first and soon realized that he didn't have to use the plywood for the 3 x 1 profile pieces because their shape was not so complicated. If the pieces had enough thickness and they were made by hard and durable timber, the pieces won't break.

He has chosen Burmese Teak for Staggered 12 and started designing another puzzle that was good to be made by the plywood. Stretchy 12 became the candidate but Juno hesitated to use the design once because the puzzle must be way too difficult to solve even to very talented solvers. What changed his mind was the fun of the moves and transformation of the puzzle. Checking the solution on Burr Tools, he thought that it was going to be an attractive and gorgeous looking puzzle if three kinds of timber were used.

After he had finished making Staggered 12, there were several meters of Bubinga stocks. Juno made up his mind to use up those remaining timber and designed a rather simpler puzzle. It became Juno's L7 Notchable, a six piece burr that requires seven moves to remove the first piece apart from the assembled shape. As you can see in the image below, there are pins and holes on the pieces. This is how Juno cheated to make the puzzle a bit more complex compared to a normal notchable six piece burr.

We have been working on a sequential discovery puzzle now. It seems that we have to do lots of work to complete the puzzle. We can't say at this moment when the next puzzle will be released. We will release a newsletter when the puzzle becomes available.

Hope you enjoy our latest burr puzzle products.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Four puzzles to auction

This is our ninth puzzle auction and this time, we put two kinds, four test version puzzles up for auction on eBay.

Juno always prepares test timber stocks or extra pieces when he produces puzzle products. These test pieces are used for prototypes, settings for jigs and the CNC router, adjustments for numbers of parts and so on. In some cases, we lose these pieces during production, and in other cases, the pieces survive until the end of production and they can be used and called as a prototype or a test version. We are going to produce a product version of these two kinds of 12 piece burr puzzles very soon. Before we do so, we decided to put the test version up for auction and donate half of the sales amount to an animal shelter.

Stretchy 12
Sapwood of Bubinga is used for the 3 x 1 profile pieces unlike our original plywood for the product version. There are lots of grub holes on the surface of the timber, but we believe some people like such a character of the timber.

Staggered 12
Instead of Burmese Teak for the product version, cheaper Camphor Laurel timber is used for the 3 x 1 profile pieces.

There are two each of two kinds of puzzles on auction. To find out about more details of the puzzles, please check on the auction pages. We are looking forward to you joining our auction!


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Doable 12

Doable 12 is our fourth orthogonal 12-piece burr puzzle product and it seems to be the easiest one among them. Although it's still a very difficult puzzle, Juno says that it's doable to solve without computer aids.

So, what are the feature of the puzzle? As you see the perimeter of the puzzle pieces, it has diagonal and curved lines. Juno has modified the shape of the pieces and restricted the puzzle to have not only a unique solution but also a unique assembly. You can trace which piece goes where in the assembled shape of the puzzle observing the shape of the pieces. Then the remaining challenge is to find out how and in which order the pieces have to be assembled. The burr puzzle requires 14 moves to remove the first piece from the assembled shape. It's tough but doable. (I mean to some serious puzzle solvers.)

Our originally made plywood laminated American Black Walnut and European Beech is used for the puzzle to increase the durability of the puzzle. The pieces have a very nice texture and a smooth surface. The shape is cut by one of our CNC routers and all the sharp corners are rounded using a router table.

It is very time consuming to produce those plywoods, but Juno has already produced a different profile of plywood and he has been working on the next project. Two more kinds of 12-piece burr will be released in the near future and I hope that you enjoy these puzzles.