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 Post subject: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:30 am 
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In response to several specific requests, and as a deterrent against potential KOs, I have decided to offer my fellow TP members (i.e., you) an exclusive opportunity to design and pre-order your own personal, fully customised version of my Qubami puzzle!

The price for having your own custom-made Qubami puzzle will be USD 35 per puzzle, including FREE shipping anywhere in the world. This opportunity will not be made available to the general public on any online store. Ultimately, only limited versions of the puzzle will be available for sale to the general public in larger volumes, so you are likely to end up with something completely unique.

All you need to do is send me a PM (do not post here) and tell me: how many puzzles you want; and exactly how you want each puzzle (see options below).

I will do my best to make each and every puzzle exactly as you want it, and I will then post pictures as well as a video (or ask a fellow TP member to test it and post a video), so that you can see it working for yourself before you confirm your order. There is no obligation at this stage. You can confirm your order when you've seen it and you are happy with it. In the meantime, you can track production of the puzzle here.

Please send me a PM indicating the following options for each puzzle:

BASE: black, clear (transparent), purple (transparent), or silver.
[EDIT: please note that white base is no longer available due to lack of demand]

LABELS: 2 main options (all labels will be bubbled):

1. CLASSIC: any SIX (6) colours (plain or metallic), WITHOUT Qubami symbols; or
2. QUBAMI: any THREE (3) colours (plain or metallic), WITH black Qubami symbols

OTHER: let me know if you want me to sign the puzzle. I hope that doesn't sound pretentious, but I know some collectors like that sort of thing.

Also, let me know if you have any other specific requests or questions, and I'll see what I can do.

Best regards,
Kelvin

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Last edited by KelvinS on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:04 am, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:18 am 
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Pm sent, the only question i have is, will they come in a form of retail packaging?
Having that signed would my preference.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:47 am 
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Seems a reasonable price. very reasonable :)
I'm gonna save up :) I hope nan gives me some cash this weekend..

How long will shipping take to UK?
EDIT: Also, do you have a video of how good the movement is in comparison to other 3x3s?

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Last edited by Retr0 on Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Namegoeswhere wrote:
Will they come in a form of retail packaging?

I am currently trying to design this in parallel, but I don't think it will be ready to go out with the puzzle and I hadn't really considered it in my original offer. Still, I could potentially send this out in a follow up package, for those who really want it.

Retr0 wrote:
Seems a reasonable price. very reasonable :)
I'm gonna save up :) I hope nan gives me some cash this weekend..

How long will shipping take to UK?

I will send the puzzles by air mail as soon as I have them and orders are confirmed, but this could take up to 5 weeks. Should be enough time to save up, meanwhile you can keep track of progress on production in my Qubami update thread.

I would also like to clarify the options for the labels in my original post (now edited), which has caused confusion in one or two cases. There are 2 main options:

1. Classic: any 6 plain metallic colours (not white), without Qubami symbols; or
2. Qubami: any 3 plain metallic colours (not white), with black Qubami symbols

The first option is more like a classic 3x3 puzzle, with Qubami curves but no symbols, e.g., for potential speedcubing if this works as expected. The second option is based on the true Qubami puzzle, with 3 colours and 3 symbols combined. In both cases you can choose all the colours, but they will have metallic base (so "white" is actually silver) and the labels are bubbled, not flat. I hope this makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:17 pm 
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How long is this offer going to last? I haven't got the cash for it at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Jared wrote:
How long is this offer going to last? I haven't got the cash for it at the moment.

I need to know what materials and colours to order before the mould is finished in about 4 weeks, so I need to know what people want before then. Hopefully there will be quite a lot of overlap in what people want, but it might not make sense to have a whole batch of parts produced in one base colour if only one or two people want it ... unless of course I like it myself! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:26 pm 
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I've PMed you about one :)

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Before I PM you on which one I'd like, I'm just curious if it's possible to "unsolve" the puzzle by making it such that each face has solid colors (on the 3 color Qubami) and/or make each face solid with symbols?
Perhaps such a solution would be the furthest from the intended solution.

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Darryl, take a look at the starting position on the virtual Qubami.

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:08 pm 
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darryl wrote:
Before I PM you on which one I'd like, I'm just curious if it's possible to "unsolve" the puzzle by making it such that each face has solid colors (on the 3 color Qubami) and/or make each face solid with symbols?
Perhaps such a solution would be the furthest from the intended solution.

-d

As I previously indicated here, the answer to both your questions is YES:

As well as having just one secret scrambled "sudoku" solution, in which every row and column of blocks contains 3 different colours and 3 different symbols on every face of the puzzle, each Qubami puzzle also has:

1. Several alternative solutions with the same COLOUR on each face, where each colour occupies two adjacent faces, but the symbols are mixed up. As Alex points out, the puzzle actually starts off in one of these "colour-ordered" solutions.

PLUS

2. Several alternative solutions with the same SYMBOL on each face, where each symbol occupies two adjacent faces, but the colours are mixed up.

So you certainly shouldn't worry about getting bored! :D

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Last edited by KelvinS on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:

1. Several alternative solutions with the same COLOUR on each face, where each colour occupies two adjacent faces, but the symbols are mixed up. As Alex points out, the puzzle actually starts off in one of these "colour-ordered" solutions.

PLUS

2. Several alternative solutions with the same SYMBOL on each face, where each symbol occupies two adjacent faces, but the colours are mixed up.

So you certainly shouldn't worry about getting bored! :D


Thats great, the more you write about your Qubami, the more I want one (already PM-ed you). Can't you speed up the production? Ok, That's not fair, but waiting for a wanted puzzle feels like dying.... I cleared a spot in my crowded puzzle cabinet today :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:38 pm 
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I wish.

All I can do is wait patiently while I make sure they are produced with the quality I expect. Meanwhile I will try to keep everyone posted with weekly updates here.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:22 am 
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Whats the price in swiss francs? since i also live in switzerland :)

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:16 am 
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metaknight2550 wrote:
Whats the price in swiss francs? since i also live in switzerland :)

35CHF, as the exchange rate is roughly 1CHF:1USD.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:45 am 
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Dear All

Finally, as promised, I have now posted pictures of all available Qubami formats, including all four available bases (black, clear, purple and silver) and all 32 available label options (8 colours, plain or metallic, with or without Qubami symbols). Also, I hope you liked the video. In addition, Sven Gowal (local speedsolver) has kindly posted an independent review, which I think is very fair, but hopefully more reviews will follow DCD next week...

So hopefully you will now have enough information to confirm your order (or you can even change your order, if you wish), but there is no pressure to do this and you can always wait for any further reviews to appear after DCD. Please note that I can't guarantee anybody will post a review, as this would be voluntary, but I sincerely hope to hear some honest (positive or critical) feedback from those attending DCD this weekend... :wink:

Right now I need to start stickering some cubes for DCD, but I will start completing orders as soon as I return next week.

In the meantime, please confirm by a single PM, exactly what you want, as follows:

BASE: Black, Purple, Clear, or Silver
FORMAT: Qubami (any 3 colours WITH symbols) or Classic (any 6 colours WITHOUT symbols).
LABELS: (PLAIN or METALLIC) Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Red, Orange, Blue, Green, White/Silver.
SIGNED: Yes or No

Then I just need your full name and postal address for delivery. :D

Unfortunately the packaging is not yet available, however I will be developing and posting designs of this on the Qubami update thread over the coming weeks, so either you can wait for this before you confirm your order, or I can send this separately, if it can be packed flat in an envelope.

Price will be 35 USD per custom puzzle including free shipping and I will provide my PayPal account (e-mail address) by return PM. Please let me know if I have missed anything.

Many thanks for all your support!

Kind regards,
Kelvin

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Last edited by KelvinS on Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:36 am 
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For those who have already confirmed your order and sent payment, this is just to confirm that your puzzles have been shipped and are on their way to you right now! :D

For those based in Europe, your puzzles have been sent by priority mail and you should receive them within 3 to (maximum) 7 days.

However, for those based outside Europe (US, Canada, Brazil, etc.), the Swiss Post Office wanted to charge me over 20 USD for priority mail, which is more than half the cost of the puzzle and nearly twice the rate for Europe, so I had no option but to send these by economy mail instead, and these will take a bit longer (7 to 14 days max). Hopefully I can find cheaper and quicker options for the future, but it seems shipping is expensive everywhere, and Switzerland is not exactly the most competitive country in this regard! :(

Many thanks to everyone for your support. I look forward to hearing feedback from the first Qubami customers and I hope that I have met your expectations. One or two of you ordered some quite funky and striking colour combinations, so I hope you will be happy to post some pictures of your puzzles when you receive them. :P

Finally, for those TP members who still want to take up this offer, it's not too late: just send me a PM to confirm exactly what you want (as explained in my last post above), and I'll do my best to make sure you get it. :D

Kind regards,
Kelvin

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:03 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
...
For those who have already confirmed your order and sent payment, this is just to confirm that your puzzles have been shipped and are on their way to you right now! :D

For those based in Europe, your puzzles have been sent by priority mail and you should receive them within 3 to (maximum) 7 days.
...
Kelvin

Regarding those early orders (my Qubami will hopefully arrive this week)
http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=182887#p182887
Your offering is:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
Subject: Custom Qubami (TP members only)

BASE: Black, Purple, Clear, or Silver
LABELS: Qubami (any 3 colours WITH symbols) or Standard (any 6 colours WITHOUT symbols). Label colour options are (PLAIN or METALLIC) Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Red, Orange, Blue, Green, White/Silver.
SIGNED: Yes or No

Kelvin, in a post to Sjoerd you had asked:
Quote:
I can't remember if you got a "symmetric" QUBAMI, with all 9 different colour-symbol combinations on every face,
or an "asymmetric" one, with only 3 colour-symbol combinations on some of the faces.
(Sjoerd's reply was that it was assymetric)

Do I assume correctly that the Qubamis you have sent out so far (following the choices above)
are symmetric?
I think that this is a fair assumption as there is no choice between symmetric and asymmetric.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:14 am 
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konsassen wrote:
Do I assume correctly that the Qubamis you have sent out so far (following the choices above)
are symmetric?
I think that this is a fair assumption as there is no choice between symmetric and asymmetric.

No, it's actually random whether you get a "symmetric" Qubami, or an "asymmetric" one. By "symmetric" I mean that there are exactly 6 copies of each colour-symbol combination, so the diagonals for the colours and symbols are different on every side. In an "asymmetric" puzzle, the number of copies for each colour-symbol combination can vary from 4 to 8, so the colours will correspond with the symbols on at least one of the faces.

However, the general rule (tip) is that you should always consider the colours and symbols independently, and ignore the diagonals, because they can correlate on some faces, but not on others. So it's more like two 3D sudoku puzzles superimposed on top of each other, and you have to solve both of them at the same time. :P

OK, enough tips - I want people to work it out for themselves! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:42 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
konsassen wrote:
Do I assume correctly that the Qubamis you have sent out so far (following the choices above)
are symmetric?
I think that this is a fair assumption as there is no choice between symmetric and asymmetric.

No, it's actually random whether you get a symmetric one or an asymmetric one. By "symmetric" I mean that there are exactly 6 copies of each colour-symbol combination, so that the diagonals for the colours and symbols on each side are always different. In an "asymmetric" puzzle, the number of copies for each colour-symbol combination can vary from 4 to 8, so the colours will correspond with the symbols on at least one of the faces.

However, the general rule (tip) is that you should always consider the colours and symbols independently, because they can correlate on some faces, but not on others. So it's more like two 3D sudoku puzzles superimposed on top of each other, and you have to solve both simultaneously. :P

OK, enough tips - I want people to work it out for themselves! :wink:

OK, thanks :)
I think the definition of symmetric versus asymmetric is clearer now.
Still each correctly produced Qubami will have 3 solutions, the two obvious one colour on each side / one symbol on its side and the hidden scrambled/solved.
Right?

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:50 am 
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konsassen wrote:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
konsassen wrote:
Do I assume correctly that the Qubamis you have sent out so far (following the choices above)
are symmetric?
I think that this is a fair assumption as there is no choice between symmetric and asymmetric.

No, it's actually random whether you get a symmetric one or an asymmetric one. By "symmetric" I mean that there are exactly 6 copies of each colour-symbol combination, so that the diagonals for the colours and symbols on each side are always different. In an "asymmetric" puzzle, the number of copies for each colour-symbol combination can vary from 4 to 8, so the colours will correspond with the symbols on at least one of the faces.

However, the general rule (tip) is that you should always consider the colours and symbols independently, because they can correlate on some faces, but not on others. So it's more like two 3D sudoku puzzles superimposed on top of each other, and you have to solve both simultaneously. :P

OK, enough tips - I want people to work it out for themselves! :wink:

OK, thanks :)
I think the definition of symmetric versus asymmetric is clearer now.
Still each correctly produced Qubami will have 3 solutions, the two obvious one colour on each side / one symbol on its side and the hidden scrambled/solved.
Right?

Yes, exactly, so lots of entertainment value.

And there is one more thing: because there is at least one symmetric edge and at least one pair of identical edges, you can get parity traps even while trying to solve for just the colours or symbols. For example, you can end up getting it all right except for just one flipped edge. This is still completely solveable, but it is quite disconcerting to an established speedsolver, and the speedsolvers at DCD took about 3 or 4 minutes to solve just the colours or symbols alone, compared with 10 to 20 seconds for a standard 3x3. :twisted: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:10 pm 
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will these be available for awhile?
I need to know wether I'll need to cut into my savings account or if I have a comfortable amount of time...

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:48 am 
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elijah wrote:
will these be available for awhile?
I need to know wether I'll need to cut into my savings account or if I have a comfortable amount of time...

Yes, this offer will remain open to TP members for at least another few weeks, but will end as soon as I start selling puzzles through the Qubami website (currently under development), because it is taking a lot of time to track and consolidate all the different requests and bits of information through PMs, and then make each puzzle to order. I will give more notice when I know when the website will be ready to launch, but hopefully all TP members will have what they want by then in any case. :D

Also, please note that while I have plenty of bases in all four colours (black, clear, purple, silver), and also plenty of standard metallic cyan, yellow and magenta labels with Qubami symbols, I have only a limited supply of non-standard labels (e.g., plain/non-metallic, alternative colours, without symbols). I don't plan to order any more of these non-standard labels once they run out, so if you want anything except the standard metallic cyan, yellow and magenta Qubami labels, I suggest you shouldn't wait too long in case others get them first. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:15 am 
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Kelvin,

When you start to sell through your website, with the price change from $35USD per cube with free shipping?

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:53 am 
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bruckhorn wrote:
Kelvin,

When you start to sell through your website, with the price change from $35USD per cube with free shipping?

Shipping will be extra, or included in a slightly higher initial price. Right now these costs are killing me (not to mention the time it takes for manual assembly and stickering), so this current offer (fully customized puzzles with free shipping for TP members only) won't last or improve anytime soon, and certainly won't be available to the general public.

Still, I will do everything I can to control the production and distribution costs so that I can eventually bring down the price as the puzzle (hopefully) becomes more popular. But that may take some time...

PS. All confirmed orders have already been sent out, but I plan to chase for confirmation of outstanding pre-orders over the weekend, in case anyone was wondering...

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:05 pm 
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I got mind today and I'm very happy with it :) it turns very well and is very addictive. I haven't put it down all day :lol:

Thanks very much, Kelvin.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:36 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
I don't plan to order any more of these non-standard labels once they run out, so if you want anything except the standard metallic cyan, yellow and magenta Qubami labels, I suggest you shouldn't wait too long in case others get them first. :wink:


Any particular reason for this? :(


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:48 am 
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Yes, for the same reason Rubik/Seven Towns don't make their cubes in different colours: brand and trademark dilution. Providing too many options confuses people (general public) about the common identity and how it differs from competitor products, so that the brand is no longer distinctive.

Retr0, I'm delighted you like it, I want to hear more! Hopefully others will also have their's very soon now...

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:49 am 
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Kelvin,
my two Qubami cubes - that is one standard Rubik's style, one real Qubami - arrived yesterday.
(So much about priority mail from Switzerland to Germany, but I do not blame you. I was just waiting
impatiently.)

Kelvin, I admire your work very much and I'm really wondering, how you have done the stickering
of the Quabami faultless. I mean, solving is really hard, but imagine, if you get something insolvable?
When the Qubami arrived slightly scrambled, I was a bit worried if the puzzle was OK.
Finally, I could solve it, so the worries went away. Your quality assurance is obviously great.

Both puzzles are sitting like little artworks besides me and I took some pictures of the arrival state
and when I had solved the Qubami.
(This is the first time ever that I try posting pictures. I'll see how it works out.)
This was hard work! (I mean the puzzle solving not the pictures)

I'll watch closely your effort making the Qubami a mass produced puzzle, but I'm afraid that this thing is almost
to hard for ordinary people.
By "ordinary people" I mean non-addicts outside this forum.

But I wish you all the luck of the world and if you become a millionaire, I'll own two puzzles
personally signed by this great man! :wink:
Attachment:
File comment: Both puzzles at arrival time - Saturday October 31 High noon
IMG_7530.jpg
IMG_7530.jpg [ 123.52 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: "Standard" Rubik's cube - but more a jewel
IMG_7540.jpg
IMG_7540.jpg [ 142.23 KiB | Viewed 8060 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: The Qubami at arrival - slightly scrambled
IMG_7544.jpg
IMG_7544.jpg [ 153.89 KiB | Viewed 8053 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: at arrival - different angle
IMG_7548.jpg
IMG_7548.jpg [ 156.4 KiB | Viewed 8052 times ]

EDIT: picture deleted due to discussions in the solution thread
EDIT: picture deleted due to discussions in the solution thread

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Last edited by Konrad on Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:26 pm 
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konsassen wrote:
Kelvin,
my two Qubami cubes - that is one standard Rubik's style, one real Qubami - arrived yesterday.
(So much about priority mail from Switzerland to Germany, but I do not blame you. I was just waiting
impatiently.)

Kelvin, I admire your work very much and I'm really wondering, how you have done the stickering
of the Quabami faultless. I mean, solving is really hard, but imagine, if you get something insolvable?
When the Qubami arrived slightly scrambled, I was a bit worried if the puzzle was OK.
Finally, I could solve it, so the worries went away. Your quality assurance is obviously great.

Both puzzles are sitting like little artworks besides me and I took some pictures of the arrival state
and when I had solved the Qubami.
(This is the first time ever that I try posting pictures. I'll see how it works out.)
This was hard work! (I mean the puzzle solving not the pictures)

I'll watch closely your effort making the Qubami a mass produced puzzle, but I'm afraid that this thing is almost
to hard for ordinary people.
By "ordinary people" I mean non-addictives outside this forum.

But I wish you all the luck of the world and if you become a millionaire, I'll own two puzzles
personally signed by this great man! :wink:

Many thanks, Konrad.

I wish I could do something about the shipping (both cost and time), but I'm glad you received them OK and that you're happy with them. Hopefully others will receive theirs very shortly...

I was worried when you said it arrived slightly scrambled! I can't understand how this happened as I remember the bubble wrap on the inside of the padded envelope clung to the puzzle quite well, so it couldn't possibly turn once packed inside. Perhaps somebody at customs opened it and couldn't resist making a little turn or two? Well, at least he/she didn't scramble it completely, but then I guess that's not so easy, as you now know! :lol:

Thanks also for the pictures. I didn't have time to take pictures before I sent the puzzles to you, so it's nice for others to see what options you chose.

And thanks for the critical feedback. I appreciate that this puzzle IS very, very difficult, so well done for solving it already! My hope is that non-puzzle addicts will consider the challenge of scrambling it as "easy", and then get hooked on finding the solution when they realize it's a lot more difficult than they first thought. Better that, than a puzzle which looks impossible at first sight, but is then too easy (disappointing) once people do try to solve it.

Again, many thanks, I hope they continue to bring you a lot more joy.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
Perhaps somebody at customs opened it and couldn't resist making a little turn or two?


If i worked for customs and wasnt a puzzle fan, I wouldn't touch it :shock: Puzzle Ninjas?

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Cubesicle wrote:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
Perhaps somebody at customs opened it and couldn't resist making a little turn or two?


If i worked for customs and wasnt a puzzle fan, I wouldn't touch it :shock: Puzzle Ninjas?

Kelvin, if you are certain that the puzzles went unscrambled into the package (the Standard Rubik was a bit scrambled too), then customs may have checked for explosives :) Somebody had sometimes suggested using a holey megaminx to send something through customs. Customs may have read this post. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:37 pm 
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konsassen wrote:
Cubesicle wrote:
Kelvin Stott wrote:
Perhaps somebody at customs opened it and couldn't resist making a little turn or two?


If i worked for customs and wasnt a puzzle fan, I wouldn't touch it :shock: Puzzle Ninjas?

Kelvin, if you are certain that the puzzles went unscrambled into the package (the Standard Rubik was a bit scrambled too), then customs may have checked for explosives :) Somebody had sometimes suggested using a holey megaminx to send something through customs. Customs may have read this post. :roll:

I'm 100% certain they went in unscrambled, and I'm also fairly certain they couldn't turn once in the envelope... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Remember kids, ALWAYS pop the center caps of a cube to make sure its not a Bomb

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:29 am 
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Kelvin,

I forgot to ask you. Is it possible to adjust the tension on the Qubami without destroying the bubble stickers? Does it come pre-adjusted?

Thanks,
Paulo


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:04 am 
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ppeccin wrote:
Is it possible to adjust the tension on the Qubami without destroying the bubble stickers? Does it come pre-adjusted?

Currently I carefully optimize the screws myself before applying the stickers, which cover the screw holes directly (center caps aren't required because the domed labels are already thick enough). Also, the idea of the Qubami puzzle is that people should spend more time thinking than turning, so speed shouldn't be the major issue.

Having said that, if you really must adjust the screws then you can *carefully* "lift" off the center stickers with a sharp knife, adjust the screws as you like, and then re-apply the stickers without any damage. But I wouldn't recommend doing this too many times otherwise the thin layer of glue or metallic foil will ultimately get damaged or lose its stickiness, just like any other sticker.

First I would let the puzzle break in a little, and then maybe add a bit of silicone lubricant. That way you will probably find you never need to make any adjustments.

Finally, I should point out that the tension is mostly determined by the springs, regardless of how you adjust the screws: the only effect that turning the screws has is to lock the layers in place with friction (beyond the working range of the springs), which is not what you want in any case. So when I adjust the screws I just make sure they're not locked tight in this way, so that the springs can be compressed further without leaving too much room for the pieces to pop out easily.

This is an interesting point that not many people seem to realize:

The tension in a well-designed puzzle should be determined by the intrinsic properties of the springs (wire thickness, number of coils, working range, etc.) - not by adjusting the screws.

So if people find their puzzles too tight even after breaking in, let me know and I'll consider using lighter springs... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:13 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
Currently I carefully optimize the screws myself before applying the stickers

This is exactly what I wanted to hear!
And you are absolutely right about springs and screws!

Thanks,
Paulo


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:48 am 
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I received mine today, and it's veary nice :D
I'm not an expert, but it seems really hard to solve. It also has a fantastic design and it's a very pleasure to play with it.
Thank you very much for you good job Kelvin :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:09 am 
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I received mine today unstickered and the first thing I tried to do was loosen the screws a little, as it was to tight for my likings. I tried with a clock screwdriver but I wasn't able to move them (did you use a black&decker or are you much stronger than me? :P). But if apparently it's not going to be noticeable I'll better leave them as they are and try some breaking in and lubrication and see how it behaves.

I haven't had any time to sticker or play with it but it looks really strong and nice. Also the stickers look much better than in the pictures, specially the yellow ones :)


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:20 am 
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ReiVaX18 wrote:
I received mine today unstickered and the first thing I tried to do was loosen the screws a little, as it was to tight for my likings. I tried with a clock screwdriver but I wasn't able to move them (did you use a black&decker or are you much stronger than me? :P). But if apparently it's not going to be noticeable I'll better leave them as they are and try some breaking in and lubrication and see how it behaves.

I haven't had any time to sticker or play with it but it looks really strong and nice. Also the stickers look much better than in the pictures, specially the yellow ones :)

Yes, I left the stickers off your classic 3x3 as agreed so you could tinker around with it as you wanted. I assume your clock screwdriver has a narrow handle, which means you won't be able to apply much torsion to turn the screw. Try a screwdriver with a wider handle and it will be much easier.

However, as I explained above, I think you will have more success just allowing the puzzle to break in a little, and then maybe apply a bit of lubricant. When the mould was made all the surfaces were well polished, but there are still some tiny microscopic surface defects which are transferred to the pieces. That's why the mould in the pictures looks shiny, but not like a perfect mirror. When you turn a new puzzle friction is a good sign, as it means the surfaces are rubbing against each other and this will make them perfectly polished after a while. Then silicone lubricant will work wonders. :D

Anyway, let me know how you get on...

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Mine turn really smoothly and I have no need to play with the tension.
But then, I'm not a speed solver and I'm curious how a really fast speedsolver judges the whole cube.
I have applied a bit of silicone to the standard Rubik's cube (base silver) and it feels really nice - the whole look and feel and turning is great.
On the other hand the stickers are a bit different from a normal cube and the pattern recognition
will need some training.
I've done nothing at all to the Qubami (base purple). The turning is not so good as for the standard.
(I assume the difference comes from the silicone.)
But I think Kelvin is right that this one needs more careful thinking than fast turning.
Maybe, I'll apply silicone to the Qubami as well, but I have currently no need for it.
I'm looking forward to hear about speed solving times for a Qubami.
Even if the target pattern is known to the solver and he/she is trained to that pattern, I doubt that somebody can be very fast.
The pattern recognition is so much harder.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Just received mine today!!

Beatiful work, Kelvin ... so beautiful in fact that I'm sending you another PM for a second Qubami ... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:17 pm 
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mmonede wrote:
Just received mine today!!

Beatiful work, Kelvin ... so beautiful in fact that I'm sending you another PM for a second Qubami ... :wink:

My second Qubami is in the mail already.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:34 am 
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I think I might get a second one as well (Qubami version) if I am really pleased with the one I get.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:18 am 
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I only got my Qubami out of the package a few minutes ago but love the appearance of the metallic stickers and the fantastically smooth movement. It arrived on my birthday but now I'm already planning which one to order for Christmas :lol:!

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:42 am 
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I just got mine, I am very happy with the color scheme I ended up choosing :)
Turning, at first, bad, with some silicone, very very smooth.
As a speedcube it is not that great, it is set quite tight and will not cut corners well.
As a puzzle for solving (or should I say scrambling? :lol: ) , perfect.
I do not know if the tension can be changed?
However I am very happy with it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:51 am 
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Namegoeswhere wrote:
I just got mine, I am very happy with the color scheme I ended up choosing :)
Turning, at first, bad, with some silicone, very very smooth.
As a speedcube it is not that great, it is set quite tight and will not cut corners well.
As a puzzle for solving (or should I say scrambling? :lol: ) , perfect.
I do not know if the tension can be changed?
However I am very happy with it :)

I'm pleased you like the design/colour scheme and the challenge, and sorry the turning was not (initially) as smooth as you had hoped. I did try to set the tension as best I could on each individual cube before stickering, and it is difficult to get it just right in all cases as people have their own individual preferences. Also, all new puzzles will be a little stiff to start with...

One thing I would say (as explained above): it may have been better to break the cube in a little BEFORE adding silicone lubricant, as the friction would have helped to polish the internal surfaces and then the lubricant would have been even more effective.

Still I'm pleased you've got it turning very smoothly now, but send me a PM and let me know if there is anything I can do to make this the best puzzle you ever had. For example, it may be that the springs are a bit too stiff (since the tension is determined mailny by the springs, not by tightening the screws), so I may consider replacing these with slightly lighter ones in future. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only) - turning of your cubes
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:17 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
Namegoeswhere wrote:
I just got mine, I am very happy with the color scheme I ended up choosing :)
Turning, at first, bad, with some silicone, very very smooth.
As a speedcube it is not that great, it is set quite tight and will not cut corners well.
As a puzzle for solving (or should I say scrambling? :lol: ) , perfect.
I do not know if the tension can be changed?
However I am very happy with it :)

I'm pleased you like the design/colour scheme and the challenge, and sorry the turning was not (initially) as smooth as you had hoped. I did try to set the tension as best I could on each individual cube before stickering, and it is difficult to get it just right in all cases as people have their own individual preferences. Also, all new puzzles will be a little stiff to start with...

One thing I would say (as explained above): it may have been better to break the cube in a little BEFORE adding silicone lubricant, as the friction would have helped to polish the internal surfaces and then the lubricant would have been even more effective.

Still I'm pleased you've got it turning very smoothly now, but send me a PM and let me know if there is anything I can do to make this the best puzzle you ever had. For example, it may be that the springs are a bit too stiff (since the tension is determined mailny by the springs, not by tightening the screws), so I may consider replacing these with slightly lighter ones in future. :D
Hi Kelvin,
First let me repeat that I admire your design and the concept of Qubami very much.

Concerning the turning:
From your video everybody expects an extremely good corner cutting.
At least on my cubes I'm getting locks very often.
I have solved my standard Rubik many times and after a while I have lubed it with silicone.
The smoothness of the cubies is very good. I do not think that the springs should be softer or the screws more loose.
The cube is almost to loose in its current state.

I think that slight misalignments of the layers cause the locking.
I think that it has to do with the roundish shape of the cubies themselves.
On the other hand this is an essential part of your design and lets the Qubami look so impressing.
If the alignment is correct the cube turns fantastic.

I have pointed out that I'm not a speedsolver but I own several DIY cubes labeled as speed cubes.
With all of those I'm faster than with your cubes.
For the Qubami it's not an issue at all.
For speedcubers it may be an unrealistic hope that your cubes are better than others.

While I'm typing these sentences, my wife has solved the standard and her comments point to the same direction.

Best regards

Konrad

EDIT: I meant the screws should not be more loose.

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Last edited by Konrad on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:05 am 
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Do not worry about the initail turning, it was merely bad in comparison with my speedcubes.
Hoewever more and more companys these day are lubricating their cubes out of the factory, doing this would perhaps be a good idea?
I do not agree that you should break it in first, as spraying in some lubrication makes it incredibly smooth!
The only issue that remains is the corner cutting, which has everything to do with the tension of the screws.
When I pull an edge on the Qubami, it will not go more then 1 mm apart with the adjacent centerpiece.
My speedcube is set to be as loose as possible without popping, and I can easily create a 3 mm gap between the centre and the edge, if I tighten it to the amount of the qubami, it cuts corners equally bad.

That beeing said, this puzzle is for solving! Once lubricated it durms like a dream, corner cutting should not be the main priority, and the tension is good for a solving puzzle. However I would consider lubricating it out of the box, it only needs a little lubrication to turn smoother then most of my DIY cubes.

Once again I am very pleased with this puzzle, I thank you for the amount of work and dedication you have shown towards it and continue to show!

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only) - turning of your cubes
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:05 am 
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konsassen wrote:
Hi Kelvin,
First let me repeat that I admire your design and the concept of Qubami very much.

Concerning the turning:
From your video everybody expects an extremely good corner cutting.
At least on my cubes I'm getting locks very often.
I have solved my standard Rubik many times and after a while I have lubed it with silicone.
The smoothness of the cubies is very good. I do not think that the springs should be softer or the screws tighter.
The cube is almost to loose in its current state.

I think that slight misalignments of the layers cause the locking.
I think that it has to do with the roundish shape of the cubies themselves.
On the other hand this is an essential part of your design and lets the Qubami look so impressing.
If the alignment is correct the cube turns fantastic.

I have pointed out that I'm not a speedsolver but I own several DIY cubes labeled as speed cubes.
With all of those I'm faster than with your cubes.
For the Qubami it's not an issue at all.
For speedcubers it may be an unrealistic hope that your cubes are better than others.

While I'm typing these sentences, my wife has solved the standard and her comments point to the same direction.

Best regards

Konrad

Many thanks, Konrad,

I appreciate your honest comments. I think they are consistent with comments from others, that the corner cutting is not as spectacular as one would hope. I'm not a speedcuber myself, so it is difficult for me to judge and compare with other designs. However I can say that the moves I made in the video are completely genuine (no video editing involved!), although they did take a bit of practice, and one or two speedcubers have since told me that the moves can easily be made with a normal cube (in fact I wasn't even aware of this).

So I think we now have enough feedback and evidence to confirm that:

While the movement is quite smooth (especially after lubing), the corner cutting abilities are less than what you might expect from the design.

As I've said several times before, the Qubami wasn't specifically designed for speedsolving, and the last thing I want to do is set expectations which lead to disappointment. So I hope customers will continue to submit their comments and feedback to help inform others.

But your feedback is just as important to me, because I can think of ways to improve the design to meet these needs in the future. So thanks again!

My goal is to meet people's needs while managing expectations with complete honesty and integrity. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Qubami (TP members only)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:16 am 
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Namegoeswhere wrote:
Do not worry about the initail turning, it was merely bad in comparison with my speedcubes.
Hoewever more and more companys these day are lubricating their cubes out of the factory, doing this would perhaps be a good idea?
I do not agree that you should break it in first, as spraying in some lubrication makes it incredibly smooth!
The only issue that remains is the corner cutting, which has everything to do with the tension of the screws.
When I pull an edge on the Qubami, it will not go more then 1 mm apart with the adjacent centerpiece.
My speedcube is set to be as loose as possible without popping, and I can easily create a 3 mm gap between the centre and the edge, if I tighten it to the amount of the qubami, it cuts corners equally bad.

That beeing said, this puzzle is for solving! Once lubricated it durms like a dream, corner cutting should not be the main priority, and the tension is good for a solving puzzle. However I would consider lubricating it out of the box, it only needs a little lubrication to turn smoother then most of my DIY cubes.

Once again I am very pleased with this puzzle, I thank you for the amount of work and dedication you have shown towards it and continue to show!


Hmmm, interesting. Now I think about it you are absolutely right: while I still think the tension (force required to separate the layers) is determined by the springs, the corner cutting is ultimately limited by how far the screws are tightened. In the video, I did not tighten the screws much at all, but I have recently been screwing them in more, just as a precaution to make sure that the edge pieces can never pop (not that they ever have). This is always a compromise, but perhaps I have been going too far and so I will try to optimise the gap for more corner cutting.

Also, you might be right about applying the lubricant directly before shipment. In fact I don't even have any lubricant and have never tried it myself (!), so I may be ordering some quite shortly...

This is exactly what I meant in my last post, about honest customer feedback helping me to create a better puzzle for everyone. Thank you!

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Last edited by KelvinS on Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

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