Double Crossed Puzzle Box

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Double Crossed Puzzle BoxThis is Randal Gatewood's very first puzzle box - the Double Crossed Puzzle Box. This photograph is of the final prototype - Box #000.

This 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. It’s 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 splinesThe 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 can’t 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 didn’t 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.rg_doublecrossed_detail_2.jpg (30591 bytes)

To see this box opened, click here - then use your browser’s ”Back” button to return to this page. (Cedar is used to line the inside compartment - the aroma is your reward for opening the box.)

Cleverwood’s 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.

The Double Crossed Puzzle Box ~
bulletL 8.25" x W 6" x H 2.75"
bulletInside Compartment: L 7.25" x W 5.25" x H 1.25"
bulletWeight: 31 ounces
bulletDifficulty: Very difficult - 23 moves
bulletHandmade by Randal Gatewood
bulletSigned and numbered - limited edition of 20
bulletSolution booklet and Certificate of Authenticity included
bulletSlocum Classification: 2.1 (and 6.4?)
#774 - Randal’s Double Crossed Puzzle Box: $525.00

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A mechanical puzzle is a self-contained object, composed of one or more parts, which involves a problem for one person to solve by manipulation using logic, reasoning, insight, luck, and/or dexterity.” - Jerry Slocum

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