This book discusses how to design "good" geometric puzzles: two-dimensional dissection puzzles, polyhedral dissections, and burrs. It outlines major categories of geometric puzzles and provides examples, sometimes going into the history and philosophy of those examples. The author presents challenges and thoughtful questions, as well as practical design and woodworking tips to encourage the reader to build his own puzzles and experiment with his own designs. Aesthetics, phychology, and mathematical considerations all factor into the definition of the quality of a puzzle.
There are many books on solving puzzles, but Coffin’s book is different. It is one of the few books on the design and making of puzzles. . . . Coffin successfully gives the reader an insight into how a puzzle designer thinks; one can begin to see how he has come up with the ideas for his puzzles.
—Leanne Rylands, Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, May 2009
A most entertaining read ... to provide the necessary bit of relaxation to allow one's genuine mathematical problems to simmer in one's subconscious.
—P. McMullen, Mathematical Reviews, November 2007
Written by veteran woodworker and expert wood puzzle designer Stewart Coffin, Geometric Puzzle Design is a one-of-a-kind guide to creating intriguing, three-dimensional wooden puzzles. Special techniques for creating oddly shaped small puzzle pieces accurately and safely, recommendations for drafting one's own original designs, mathematical concepts that can be applied as engineering tools, and much more fill this original craftsman's manual. A 'must-have' for intermediate to advanced woodworkers seeking to create truly brain-teasing gifts.
—Midwest Book Review, June 2007