The Wine Barrel Puzzle is a 12 piece Burr Puzzle, and another of the Puzzles I picked up while in Calico (Death Valley). This is a nicely made puzzle from Creative Crafthouse. To read about some of the other puzzles I bought while in Death Valley head here.
This is an old puzzle, dating in origin to somewhere around the early 1900’s, and is an interestingly turned burr. When assembling the puzzle, the last two pieces are inserted together to form a key piece which keeps the puzzle in its barrel shape, holding all 12 pieces together. Fairly easy to take apart, once you find the key pieces, as with most Burr style puzzles, this isn’t as easy to put back together, however the Creative Crafthouse version does come with the solution on a folded sheet of paper if you get stuck.
I’m no expert on Burr style puzzles, but I managed to put this back together in a very respectable 15 minutes, having left the pieces alone for a bit after dis-assembly, so it was less likely I could just remember how they came apart.
This particular puzzle is offered in two different sizes, and the one I have is around 3″ high, and 3″ in diameter, making this the large version. I have no idea what the wood used is, however it has a very interesting grain pattern, and makes for a nice looking puzzle.
As I mentioned, the puzzle comes apart into 12 pieces, 5 pieces are pairs, which make up either side of the barrel, and the remaining two are unique. Overall, the build quality is fairly good. A couple of the pairs of pieces aren’t exactly the same size, so putting them into the solution back to front does leave a slightly misaligned finish, however it certainly doesn’t stop the puzzle going together very smoothly.
On one of the larger pieces in my copy, there’s a section of tearout, however again, this is entirely cosmetic, and hidden inside the puzzle, so really is of little consequence.
All in all a really nice version of this puzzle, offered for a very reasonable price. Well worth the money!