Burr Puzzles

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Project by PetVet posted 11-17-2008 04:44 PM 29274 views 51 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With Christmas around the corner, I decided to torment my grandkids with these 6 piece Burr puzzles. Since I had to make 8 of them, I made a jig to speed up production. The jig is set up for 3/4”X3/4”X3” pieces. The critical step in making these puzzles is getting them perfectly square at 3/4”. If they are too big, the puzzles won’t go together, and if too small, the puzzles will be too loose. The drum sander and digital calipers made this fairly easy to accomplish.
The ones in the picture are made of poplar, and finished with mineral oil and bee’s wax.
I can post the solution if anyone is interested in making these.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

13 comments so far

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4791 days

#1 posted 11-17-2008 05:35 PM

I would love to get the solution an so forth for this puzzle.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5284 days

#2 posted 11-17-2008 05:49 PM

these should keep the kiddies entertained for a while on the holidays :)
good idea. Nice projects

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4837 days

#3 posted 11-17-2008 06:12 PM

Welcome aboard and I would definitly like the solution to the puzzle (and perhaps the other dementions)

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4822 days

#4 posted 11-17-2008 08:22 PM

I have always loved wooden puzzles and would like to try making one.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

845 posts in 5032 days

#5 posted 11-17-2008 08:23 PM

Add me to the list of getting the solution. What about also getting the dimensions of the jig cutouts?

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4714 days

#6 posted 11-17-2008 09:23 PM

This must be very interesting.
The solution is one thing, making the puzzle is another puzzling thing.
Can I have both the dimensions and the solution?

Great tricky work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4611 days

#7 posted 11-17-2008 10:34 PM

So as not to step on anyones toes, the plans and solution for the puzzle came from a UK site called Homemade Puzzles. ( They have several puzzles and solutions on this page, the one I used is called the ”Simple Burr Puzzle”. It will download an Acrobat PDF file of the plans, and another one of the solution. I would suggest printing these out to use as a guide. Since I had so many to make, I made the jig to work on the table saw.

I modified the dimensions to suit myself ( in this case 3/4”x3/4”x3” )Although this isn’t important, just be sure to keep the ratios the same. Here are the pieces that need to be made:

Burr Puzzle Dimensions

You need one each of A,B,C and 3 of D. The jig is a simple, small, crosscut sled with stops that let me make repetitive cuts on the table saw in the proper places. Pay attention to the measurements, as these need to be cut fairly precisely. I would take two pieces and cut the center 3/4”x3/8” deep rabbit and then put them together as you would a half lap joint. You can tell where the adjustments need to be made by cutting these test pieces first. If you have made your stock a little shy of 3/4”, you can add a piece of tape to the stops on the jig so that they cut a bit shy to make up the difference.

The mineral oil/bees wax finish seemed like a good choice to keep the pieces from sticking. Besides, I had 5 gallons left over from the cross grain cutting boards I had made….

If this isn’t clear, I will put some measurements on the jig itself, and take a picture of it.

Good luck!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4844 days

#8 posted 11-18-2008 12:51 AM

I hate thoes things! I made some a while back and I couldn’t get it together! Great job. I would holdout and give them the solution next year : ).

-- christopheralan

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 4847 days

#9 posted 11-18-2008 06:16 AM

Great gift idea Rich. The jig looks interesting too.

Thanks for posting them.

-- Martin, Kansas

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4611 days

#10 posted 11-18-2008 03:41 PM

One other helpful tip if you are making the jig is to remember to measure to the outside of the saw blade when setting up your stops. For example, the first station cuts a 3/4” dado in the center of the 3” stock. To set the stops you measure 1 7/8” over from the right side of the blade for the left stop ( 1 1/2” for half of the 3” stock plus 3/8” for half of the 3/4” dado). Conversely you measure from the left side of the blade for the right stop.

I put a depth gauge on the top rail for 3/8” saw height.

Hope this helps.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View pinkfish's profile


171 posts in 4795 days

#11 posted 11-19-2008 12:36 AM

That jig is really nice. I looked at making some of these puzzles in the past but I could see how to get it quite accurate enough, your idea works amazingly well.


View Edward E Nock II's profile

Edward E Nock II

110 posts in 5268 days

#12 posted 05-17-2009 03:24 PM

I went to the web site you suggested…...WOW!!!!! They had some intriging puzzles. I studied your jig & saw what you did. Great work. I,m going to pass this on to Karson. He volenteers @ our “Mason Dixon Woodwokers” toy shop. I think this would be a great toy. I see by your home page we are not to far from each other. We are in Salisbury ,Md. Stop by sometime.



View Wenltd's profile


1 post in 659 days

#13 posted 09-04-2019 02:00 AM

I see this is an old blog, but can I get the solution. My daughter made this in Girl Scouts years ago, just found it about a month ago and can’t figure out how to put it together

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