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Interlocking Burrs - Budget

Jerry Slocum & Jack Botermans' research published in 2007 in "Het Ultieme Puzzleboek" tells us that the earliest verified evidence of interlocking burrs actually being sold is Peter Friedrich Catel's catalog of puzzles dated 1785 which showed 6 & 24 piece burrs being sold in Berlin. However, they also report unverified stories of a 6 piece burr invented in China by Lu Ban sou as early as the 7th century B.C.

The puzzles in this category have generally been mass produced but that does not mean the designs are any less interesting or less challenging. In fact some of the best puzzle designers in the world are represented in this category.

Read more about burr puzzles at Wikipedia.

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  1. Interlocking 9 piece Flower Burr

    Interlocking 9 piece Flower Burr

    The puzzle is to disassemble and reassemble the 9 piece interlocking burr to make flower shape. Learn More
  2. Beer barrel puzzle

    Wine Barrel interlocking burr puzzle

    The puzzle is to disassemble and reassemble the 12 piece wine barrel puzzle. A pretty hard puzzle if you've not done it before. Or if you've had too many wines! Learn More
  3. Truncated Cube wooden burr puzzle

    Diamond Truncated Cube

    Take the puzzle apart. Be brave. Or throw caution to the wind? Really mess up the 12 pieces. Then try to assemble the Diamond Cube again. Learn More
  4. Candy Box packing cube

    Candy Box packing cube

    Quickly tip all the pieces out of the box frame so you don't memorise their positions and then pack them all back in again.

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  5. Interlocking 12 piece Saturn Burr

    Interlocking 12 piece Circle Burr

    The puzzle is to disassemble and reassemble the 12 piece interlocking burr to make a wooden puzzle that makes an interesting spherical shape. Learn More
  6. Trilateral triangle burr

    Trilateral triangle heavy metal burr

    A new three-piece interlocking burr on a triangular grid. This black anodised piece looks sinister and somehow seems menacing. But it's actually a very doable burr puzzle and makes a fascinating and engaging executive desk piece.  It moves enough to make it interesting but definitely won't just fall apart easily.

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  7. Set of 3 metal interlocking puzzles from Zoyo

    Set of 3 metal interlocking puzzles. NEW 2019 series.

    The set of the 3 different interlocking aluminium puzzles released by Zoyo in 2019 gives you three very different puzzles with great discount. Learn More
  8. Cross-hatch metal burr puzzle

    Cross-Hatch 4 piece metal burr

    Four very unusual pieces make this burr puzzle. It might prove quite hard because even though I only see five steps on the solution sheet It looks like more than one piece moves in each step. Why not give it a go?

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  9. set of 6 metal puzzles by Zoyo

    Full set of 6 metal puzzles. All packaged separately.

    The full set of 6 different interlocking aluminium puzzles gives you the best discount. Each of these mechanical puzzles is a different solve. Each is packaged separately in their own clear lid tin with foam inside. SAVE! a massive 20%

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  10. Spiny wooden burr puzzle

    Spiny Burr - 9 piece wooden puzzle

    The puzzle is to disassemble and reassemble the 9 piece interlocking burr to make the seed burr that looks just like spiny burr grass. Learn More

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The true origin of the BURR type mechanical puzzle is not really known but it is thought that the term refers to the finished shape of the basic burr puzzle looking like a seed burr. 

Basic burr puzzles are sometimes called the Knot or the Chinese Cross, and identified by a lot of people as Chinese, is not really Chinese at all.  Well, it might be, just that no-one really knows for sure.

Some historians believe the first burrs came about from Chinese joinery from about the 4th century BC. The technique the woodworkers used for making the corner connections in buildings has definite similarities to a standard burr puzzle although no documentary evidence of making a puzzle for recreation exists.

It is known for sure that it's one of the oldest mechanical puzzles in the world. The first documentation of the puzzle is not a physical puzzle but a depiction in the 1698 engraving by Sébastien Leclerc's called L'Académie des sciences et des beaux-arts. But probably there had to have been a physical puzzle made for that artwork to be taken from; possibly from China?

But I bet you never really associated Lithuania with burr puzzles. But that country's oldest known toys were made of wood. The most favourite toys were wooden puzzles, including burrs. Lithuania celebrated that history by featuring a wooden interlocking burr puzzle on the 2015 Lithuanian issue of the Europa stamp.

Nowadays many interlocking burrs are designed in a fantastic open source program called BurrTools. Andreas Rover began designing the program back in 2009 as a way of solving and testing solutions for puzzles and now many puzzles would freely admit they could not live without it. Thanks, Andreas!

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