There are a few links that I will visit on a regular basis, just to marvel at the beauty of the puzzles, even though I know that I can't buy any of them. One of these links is to GarE Maxton's website, in which he lists epic metal puzzles, but sadly I am unlikely to ever own one due to the incredibly high price tags. Another of these links is to Kcube Designs, a website run by Kim Klobucher showcasing some of the most incredible looking puzzle boxes I have ever seen. Although not overly expensive, Kim makes his Kcubes in very limited numbers, and as such getting hold of one is very difficult.
So when Kim sent out an email to his mailing list (one that I had added my name to years ago) saying that he had prepared another batch of puzzle boxes, to say that I was excited would've been a massive understatement.
Now I'm not sure exactly how long I spent looking at and refreshing the Kcube Designs Sales Page, but I estimate it to be something ridiculous like 13 hours. As soon as the puzzles were shown on the site I shot an email off to Kim with a list of several puzzles I would like in the order of which I would prefer. This is the best approach given that they sell out so quickly.
I was over the moon when Kim replied to my email saying that I was able to buy my first choice of puzzle box, the K-419. And a very short time later, a package arrived at my door.
|Kcube K-419 (25)|
The main thing that attracted me to these puzzle boxes when I first saw them was the brass inlay. You hardly ever see any kind of wooden puzzle with brass inlay, which is a shame considering the quality finish it gives the puzzle.
The reason I chose this particular design as my main choice of box was because of the mechanism used to achieve the number of moves required to open it. Like many of the puzzles with such a high number of moves, it works on a trinary Gray Code pattern of movement, implemented using a series of brass pins running through channels cut into the wooden pieces. It is extremely similar to the Fat Lock and Super Cubi puzzles I wrote about a while back that also happen to be some of my favourite puzzles.
|Kcube K-419 (25) - Opened|
It took me a good while to properly work out how the opening sequence works, and even now that I fully understand it, it still takes me around three minutes to open the box to find that glass marble, and then another three to close it again. Because of this it is unlikely that many other people will want to try and solve it (unless you're a certain Dutch puzzler by the name of Louis), but I'm more than happy to have it in my collection as possibly my favourite puzzle regardless.
|Kcube K-419 (25) - Close-Up - Lid Removed|
Although it takes a lot of effort to get into, I find the solving experience great fun and I am likely to continue going back to solve it again and again for a long time to come.
If the opportunity to own one of these wonderful boxes comes up then do not hesitate in getting one, you will not regret it!