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!