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Saturday 31 December 2011

Washer Cylinder (Wil Strijbos)

If you've been with my blog from the beginning you might remember that I reviewed a puzzle by the name of Aluminium Cylinder by one of my absolute favourite puzzle designers Wil Strijbos. That puzzle was probably the first 'high quality' puzzle that I bought, and I liked it so much that it pretty much kicked my puzzle madness up a gear.

Now imagine my excitement when Wil handed me a prototype of a new aluminium cylinder puzzle called the Washer Cylinder at the last Camden puzzle gathering for me to try out!

Washer Cylinder
Now Wil kindly let me hold onto this puzzle for the next three days after the Camden meet, and during that time I failed to solve it. Not only could I not open it, I literally couldn't make any progress with it whatsoever! Needless to say that this piqued my interest significantly, and I put in an order for one immediately!

There are obviously some glaring similarities between the Washer Cylinder and the original Aluminium Cylinder, but there are more differences than meet the eye. The Washer Cylinder is slightly larger overall, and the lid is wider than the original.

Aluminium Cylinder (Left) / Washer Cylinder (Right)
The bottom side of the Washer Cylinder is far more complex than the simple hole that was in the bottom of the original Aluminium Cylinder. There is a much larger hole, and inside that there is a trapped washer (hence the name) spinning freely around an aluminium rod attached to the main body of the puzzle.

The lid on this cylinder will spin freely. Very freely! The smooth movement makes it very obvious that there are once again ball bearings involved.

Washer Cylinder - Underside
Even though this puzzle took me longer to solve than the Aluminium Cylinder, I'd still class the mechanism as being easier to work out. But don't get me wrong, this is a difficult puzzle! Definitely not for the faint of heart.
I must've spent hours of on-and-off puzzling trying to solve this one. And as soon as I worked it out I was pretty happy to say the least! I spent ages staring at the mechanism afterwards to properly work it out. There are some very clever things going on inside this unassuming little cylinder.

It is a brilliant puzzle, and also a pretty impressive piece of mechanical engineering as well. Once again Wil has designed a winner. But honestly, I didn't expect anything less.

The Washer Cylinder is currently available either directly from Wil Strijbos or also from Sloyd in Finland. Drop me an email if you'd like his contact details.

Also, check out Allard's review of the Washer Cylinder!


  1. hi,

    give the link to buy!
    Thank you!

  2. At the bottom you can find a link to Sloyd who are currently selling them. Also you can contact me directly using the tab at the top of the page and I can give you Wil's email address.


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