Sunday, 1 May 2011

Puzzling Repairs

It happens to the best of us, sometime ... you give someone a puzzle to play with and something happens and the next thing you know you have too many pieces and a far easier puzzle to solve! 

Someone was playing with my copy of FourFit a couple of days ago and after playing with it for a while (but not quite long enough, IMHO) they announced that they had solved it, across the room, so I wandered across and looked at the solution proposed and what struck me immediately was that there was a piece, squarely in the corner (and yes, that’s partly a give-away!) that I didn’t recognise. 

Now FourFit, for those of you who haven’t been introduced to this little Coffin-gem is a simple little tray packing puzzle that consists of, wait for it, Four pieces – hence the name... what I was looking at had five pieces neatly arranged inside the confines of the tray – see, solved – sort of ... anyway, then I had to explain that there were only supposed to be four pieces and that one of them seemed to have been re-kitted into two bits – although, in fairness, that did make the puzzle a lot more “accessible”.
All of which is a rather long story to get to the real point ... fixing puzzle pieces ... I get to do this from time to time (and sometimes I might even be able to blame others!) ... so how does a puzzler go about repairing broken bits ... mainly, a bit of wood glue and a lot patience – but most importantly you need a way of keeping the bits (that should be) straight – so most recently that involves a couple of plastic clamps and an aluminium channel from my model-building days – and that was doing quite well at holding these two parts of a FourFit bit, until I realised I needed something small and heavy to lay on top of the bits while they dried to keep them flat – so I cast an eye around the room and find just the thing – I’m sure every one of you would have done the same thing – I used the Popplock T2 to weight it down – no way is that thing not going to be flat now... :-) 



  1. Hehe! Brilliant!

    I'm still looking for a copy of Four Fit for myself, I didn't manage to solve it last time I had a go and it's been haunting me.

  2. Sorry to hear that the puzzle was broken. The thickness of the wood used is always an issue, as the grain of the wood creates weaker spots in any puzzle. Something I'm learning as I create my own wooden puzzles! I love the 'heavy object' used to keep the pieces flat. Funny the things we have lying around. I hope you had some film to keep the blur away from the brass.

  3. Update: as of the following morning, with the help of a little sanding and scraping of excess glue, all is restored and the puzzle is back to being as difficult as it should be!