This is Randal Gatewood's very first puzzle box - the Double
Crossed Puzzle Box. This photograph is of the final prototype - Box #000.
puzzle box requires 23 moves* before the lid will open. It is a very difficult puzzle to
solve requiring a physically challenging triple simultaneous move. Can this box be
considered part dexterity puzzle? We think so, but you can decide for yourself.
The Double Crossed Puzzle Box is made from quartersawn Argentine walnut, Palo
Blanco, and cedar. (Palo Blanco is an exotic species also called Acacia.
Its beautiful, but difficult to work.) The box and all its mechanisms are wood - no
metal was used at all, even for the many hidden springs. This box is made to
fine woodworking standards and is of very high quality. Even the double action hinge
inside the box is handmade of hardwood.
The Double Crossed Puzzle Box
is made from 72 handmade hardwood pieces; 42 pieces make up the lid not including the
wooden hinge. Twelve visible movable parts on the lid are used to solve the puzzle.
Solving the puzzle is truly very difficult. We think
it is solvable, but analyzing everything and trying it all would take many, many hours.
Even when following the step by step instructions opening this box is not an easy task.
Randal made 31 different jigs in order to make this
box. These jigs cant be used to make anything but this box. Many of the smaller
parts are cut using hand tools.
Although the visible puzzle pieces on the lid look balanced, no two pieces are the
same. Making the puzzle mechanisms is very time consuming, exacting work. But Randal
didnt stop at making a perfect puzzling mechanism - he spends more time to make the
box look and feel really good. The corner splines are pure luxury. The finish is smooth
and even. Randal uses a specially formulated semi-gloss lacquer applied by hand and rubbed
in. He does this again and again to achieve the deep look and feel he wants. Then the
finish is finished with fine bees wax, and the wax is finished with teak oil. The entire
box is hand polished between each step.
To see this box opened, click here
- then use your browsers Back button to return to this page. (Cedar is
used to line the inside compartment - the aroma is your reward for opening the box.)
Cleverwoods Certificate of Authenticity and glossy color solution brochure come
with each box.
*There is one variation, depending on how
you hold the box that would make it possible to open the box in 20 moves.