Six-Piece Burr Puzzle

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Careful cutting yields a clever conundrum

Burr puzzles consist of a number of notched pieces that crisscross and interlock to form a three-dimensional, geometric solid. While the origin of the name isn’t clear, the thought is that the puzzles were named after seed pods that they may resemble. They are both fun and challenging to solve, plus when well sanded and finished, they look intriguing when sitting assembled on a shelf or table. This particular design is made from six pieces of wood, five of which have vee-shaped notches cut across them. Cutting the notches is a straightforward table saw operation, but it needs to be done precisely so the pieces fit together well. To aid with this, make a simple cradle to help hold the pieces as you cut them. For best results, make the pieces from a dense hardwood. The puzzle pieces in the photos are made from sapele.

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