Earlier this year, Robert explained to me the concept of a type of puzzle box that he wanted to exchange with other collectors this August at an important puzzlers' event. I thought the idea too complicated, too time consuming and would not make a great puzzle anyway. I designed something else for him and showed him the prototype. He said "That wasn't what I asked for". Then I said, "Yeah, but don't you like it?" Of course he didn't. So back to the workshop. I finally had a prototype of what he wanted, and was surprised that I could make it work. Confidence is not my strong point.
Late May through July, I used just about every machine in my workshop, a router table (two, actually), tablesaw, scroll saw, drill press, belt sanders, and a whole lot of clamps. Ebay is a great place to find reasonably priced clamps, by the way. Naturally, I needed a planer and jointer early in the process. Oh yes, and the bandsaw to resaw the banding.
By the time I was ready to apply the finish which I schedule to do outside early in the morning, it was too humid for a successful finish (late July in Houston, aka Bayou City). After years of avoidance, I had to break down and obtain a spray booth that I could use inside but vent to the outside. Needing this setup quickly, I had to convert to a water-base finish. Water-based is good for the environment. But a big difference is that it is non-explosive, thus I don't need an explosion proof fan (installed by a licensed electrician) to evacuate the fumes, as I would solvent-based finish. Thus, I also broke out my 3-turbine sprayer that I hadn't used for about eight years. The new finishing setup was a success!
The boxes slowly took shape. Problems always crept in, but that's just part of making original designs. Since I like puzzles, I like coming up with solutions.
Turns out I was right on one point, the box was time consuming. But to me, worth the experience. I must wait to see if collectors find it a good puzzle or not. That's just part of the adventure. Personally, I like it!