Brian's version is absolutely gorgeous! It is 2.5" cubed and a really good weight. It just leaps out at you as a quality piece of craftsmanship. I just admired it for a day or so before attempting it. The first move is really easy - a small piece just comes straight out! Hmm, I thought! This might be easier than expected. Stupid boy! (I'm sure I've told you all before that I'm not very bright and it's true!) I then tried to find another piece to remove and couldn't! After about 5 minutes I discovered an interesting sliding motion of multiple pieces in one go. I then was able to remove another couple of rather complex looking pieces and I started to really worry about being able to get it back together again.
At this point I bottled out, reassembled it and put it away for a day. But like the fatal call of the Siren I couldn't stay away for long! The next day I started again (and believe it or not, struggled with that 2nd move again - Doh!). After removal of those first 3 pieces there seems to be a very loose piece but I just couldn't work out how to get it out. Allard had said that Burrtools would be no use in the solution so I knew that I would need a rotation to release it but no matter how I twisted that loose piece I couldn't get it out! After a good 15-20 minutes of fiddling about - including complete reassembly to see if I had missed a key stage elsewhere, I eventually managed to do the next step. Very sneaky that Stewart Coffin!!
After this the remaining pieces separate quite easily and it all looks like this:
I had kept the pieces in assembly order and managed to get the first bit done - I got back to that sneaky section and got completely stuck! Due to the extremely irregular shapes I had lost the correct orientation of the pieces when I put them down and could not, for the life of me, work out what went where. The version that Allard had bought had coloured corners to help with positioning, but mine was uniform. I did remember the funny move required but could not see the position in which to do it. In fact, whilst searching for this position I completely lost orientation of the partially assembled puzzle too! Doh again!! It took me another 20 minutes to find the correct insertion point and continue. I was so relieved when I managed to get it back together again that I didn't dare take it apart for days afterwards.
I have now done this a good number of times and even now I don't like to mix up all the parts and not keep track of which order they came apart in. My hat is off to Stewart Coffin - this is one seriously good puzzle. It also is off to Brian, his craftsmanship is top notch. He still has some available at Wood Wonders. There is a link on his site to give to a breast cancer charity in memory of his daughter if you so wish.