Neil's Puzzle Building Blog
24Dec/125

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all my readers. I have a very special post today from Stickman himself. I'm very proud to be able to bring you the Constellation Puzzlechest.

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest

This beautiful chest is his latest creation, and is a one-off commissioned piece. The rest of the post comes directly from Stickman. There are various photos throughout and a video at the bottom of the page, all supplied by Stickman. I hope you enjoy this sneak peak.


The Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest is an intricate mechanical puzzle commissioned to Robert Yarger. Crafted from Leopardwood, Walnut and Amboyna, it measures a whopping 2 feet square and weighs over 65 lbs. (NOTE: If you are the person who commissioned this chest, you may not want to review the video at the bottom of the page. While it does not reveal any details of the solution, you might not want to see the position of mechanical parts.)

A simple drawer from the puzzlechest

A simple drawer from the puzzlechest

The chest houses a total of 16 small puzzleboxes, each of which may appear identical, but are unique in their solution. Inside each of these is a single mechanical part. It requires logical deduction to determine just where each of these must be placed in order to make the chest’s mechanism operate.

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest mechanism parts.

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest mechanism parts.

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest with its lid off

Stickman Constellation Puzzlechest with its lid off


Once completed, this mechanism will operate by pushing drawers into the chest. Decorative inlays on their sides engage and rotate internal wooden gears, and pushing in one drawer will cause another one to come out of some other side (and not always the side you expect). The sequence in which puzzleboxes are pushed into different openings is key to manipulating the mechanism properly.

Constant Gear Mesh with the internal mechanism.

Constant Gear Mesh with the internal mechanism.

The patterns of celestial constellations are etched on both sides of the chest’s lid. Place gold magnetic spheres (representing stars) on the lid and magnets embedded in the mechanics below move and rotate them until they line up with these etched celestial patterns. This is not as easy as it seems though, as the operation of some components influenced output of others. Once this is accomplished, one of the two hidden drawers of this chest will open. Flipping over the lid to solve the puzzle for a second constellation will unlock another secret drawer.

Comments (5) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Amazing mechanics, beautiful craftsmanship and a stunning puzzle!

  2. Unbelievable! Whatever he paid for the commission – it was worth every penny!

    Kevin Puzzlemad

  3. truly amazing! I love it.

  4. That was just astounding! Instant favorite!

  5. What an amazing mind to be able to design something like this.


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