Neil's Puzzle Building Blog
9Aug/119

Polyhedral Puzzles visit with Scott Peterson

As you know from my blog, I've been learning about woodworking, and taking something of a journey from puzzle solver to puzzle creator. Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure to be able to visit Scott Peterson at his home to talk about how he creates puzzles, and his journey from 2003 to now in the world of woodworking and puzzle creation.

Scott and I have been talking back and forth via email for a while now and it was great to be able to meet him in person and spend some time with his family who made Jen and I so welcome. Not to mention the great lunch they made too!. I had a great time picking Scott's brain for hints and tips on how to go about creating my ow puzzles. I really can't thank Scott enough for all the help he's given me so far. Let's hope it all pays off, and I can start creating some puzzles worthy of showing off!

When I mentioned on the Renegade forums that I was going to visit Scott, a few people asked if it would be possible to get a shop tour. Well Scott and I may have gone one better. We recorded around 40 minutes of video, and after some editing, the results are here.

I hope you enjoy the shop tour, and seeing what Scott uses to make his puzzles. We also recorded an in-depth video about the jig Scott built to cut blocks for the Stewart Coffin puzzles that so many of us are familiar with, and finally we recorded a section showing an actual cut and glue-up. (Scott is pretty sure the glue-up is going to be controversial, but if you've seen the results, I don't think you can argue! (Also as a side note, I've seen pictures of the way Stewart Coffin himself (or his kids) glued up puzzles. Enough said!)

It's worth noting that in the Jig video, the stick used to show the tool marks is African Blackwood. The photo is taken using a macro lens so this is hugely magnified to show the tool marks. The tooling marks on the African Blackwood stick show up much more than one would notice on a Maple or Cherry stick. The very dense woods make the tool marks show up much more clearly than the softer woods. This isn't an attempt to make Scott look bad! (Trust me, having seen his sticks up close, I can't believe that they are unfinished. The quality is just stunning!)

The Shop Tour:

The Coffin Jig:

Cutting and Gluing Coffin Blocks:

Comments (9) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Great videos! Enjoyed them so much!
    But please exchange the second shop tour with the jig video. I can hardly wait to see that one too.

  2. Really really fascinating! Thank you very much to both you and Scott for sharing this with the rest of us.

  3. Very interesting and nice to put a face to the name is there any more footage to look forward to?

  4. That is a very impressive set of tools for ‘a hobby in the hours after work’.
    Thanks to both of you for making this footage, editing it so nicely, and putting it on the web.

  5. Thanks Neil for all the kind words and for devoting a section of your blog to the puzzles I make! Thanks to everyone else for all the compliments – I hope there is something helpful in there!

  6. I finally got around to watching these. Really interesting. Thanks to you and Scott both.


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