Notes from Puzzle Palace

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Storage for small items

 What does one do with puzzles that are so small they can get lost or easily walk away?  To solve this problem, we had to get creative with our storage solutions.  This week I give you a peek into the workings of my simple brain.

I started out using jewelry boxes on the walls at Puzzle Palace.  These were used to store keychain puzzles and well, jewelry-puzzle rings, necklaces...When we acquired the HD collection, we recieved with it many vesta match boxes, cricket boxes, small banks, secret opening boxes and more tiny objects that I didn't want to lose on the shelves. 

I started with the jewelry boxes at the museum for the small dexterity puzzles, the Hoffmann balls, and some small kumiki puzzles.  I soon realized that this wouldn't work for some of the other objects we recieved so I took a trip to Michael's in search of shadow boxes.  I found two types that work perfectly: baseball bat boxes and shot glass holders.  Both open from the front and have spaces large enough to hold the small or delicate items we don't want people to play with.  A word of warning, these are an expensive display solution if you purchase them in store.  Online, the price drops in half.  

Off the kitchen there is a long wall between rooms that we could not put cabinets into for lack of walking space. This wall is now covered in these display cases.  This area houses most of the match boxes and quite a few of the smaller secret opening boxes.  



Above each room entry door there is a baseball bat box filled with some of the curiosities you will find in that particular room.  So for example, the Jigsaw puzzle room has some wooden jigsaws, a metal one, and a few paper jigsaws in it.  


James was nice enough to send along a large number of storage units with the puzzles and these have all been placed in the garage.  Many of these are simply too small to hold anything thicker than a 2D packing puzzle and have been used for just this purpose.  These units also store all of the matchbox puzzles that came with the collection and those we added to it.  

On to the weekly museum update.  Ikea finally delivered our order of shelves!  400 came in on one day.  George really has his work cut out for him over the next few weeks.  He had to start with the vase wall so I could begin unboxing the vases.

I finally finished unboxing the puzzles in the dexterity room, but now I need to put all of them into their permanent home.  Currently, I have 'piles' of wire that need disentanglement and hanging or placement.  The problem I have is that I do not have any shelves in the room yet.  

Shelves are a real problem.  We have to wait until Ikea has them in stock and then we order all we can. It's been over a month since our last order. I expect it will be a month before we are able to place another order.  

We have hired a young man to photograph the puzzles.  He's a 17 year old high school junior who has zero interest in puzzles and 100% interest in making money.  So far this has proven to be a good working relationship. He comes over 2-3 times a week and takes photos for five hours.  He then takes the photo disk home and processes the photographs.  I'm hopeful that we can continue with this relationship until the puzzles are all photographed.  I expect at some point in the future we will hire a second student to help with this process.  

As I unbox, I have been taking all of the IPP puzzles to Puzzle Palace. We are working our list of missing puzzles down. As of 1 August, we were missing only 232 of the exchanges from IPP10 onward. I am hopeful that as I unbox more and shift puzzles around I will find the missing items. 

Until next week, keep puzzling!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dexterity puzzles and one big nut!

One of the collections we recieved was one of Dexterity puzzles.  There must be 1000's in what we have acquired.  This collection takes up most of the cabinets that have been installed in the chest room. When I first encountered these puzzles, I was not very interested in them.  I thought they were just toys to keep young children occupied.  I know I've written about these before, but the more I unbox, the more interesting they become.  

The collection has a wide variety of different styles. The first of course is the kind that you need to put a ball into a hole.  These are mostly a shake and pray that it gets in the correct place.  I have rotten luck with this kind.

The second type are small square boxes that have different internal parts.  These come in a wide variety of styles and sizes.  These puzzles I am not afraid to hand to non-puzzlers.  They are virtually impossible to break, but if they do break, we have so many duplicates of them that it doesn't really matter too much.  (I know James is rolling his eyes at me and I can see the smoke coming out of his ears, but when I was in Asia, I literally acquired 100's of these small square cubes.)

The third type is a maze puzzle that has a ball to be maneuvered through the maze.


The next kind has water inside.  These are trickier than they look.  The problem with them is that some of the older pieces have lost their water through evaporation via the rubber stoppers.  


Next up is my favorite type: Mercury mazes. I remember these from my childhood and am as equally enamored with them today as I was then.  I could spend many hours just watching the mercury move around the puzzle.  Sadly, Mercury has been declared a harmful substance so the puzzles must be off limits for any visitors to the HDM Puzzle Palace Museum. 

This collection is so extensive that there is no way a person could solve all of them in a years time.  I believe it would take many more years than I have left to solve each of these puzzles.  We've played quite a bit with them and find them to be a nice amusement.  

There is another puzzle that we 'acquired'.  Or perhaps I should say it came back full circle.  George got the monkey nut puzzle when he was in the Seychelles. He gave it to James when we visited after IPP London in 2014.  Today I unpacked it and it is now in the museum.  Of course when I opened it, it immediatly broke into pieces.  I spent the next half hour putting it back together again.  I know it's against my non-playing rule, but I just couldn't help myself.  

What makes this puzzle special is that it is a natural puzzle.  No two are alike.  It seems to be quite hard to come by, no only because of the remote location of them, but also because they usually fall to the ground and break into pieces which makes it impossible to complete.  After doing a bit of research, I've discovered that they are also found in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand.  I hope that in one of our next trips we would be able find a few more of these.  I would love to see one in nature and watch it cure.  

Now on to the weekly museum update. The garage is completely unboxed.  All of the shelving units have been filled and the shelves around the outside of the garage are filling up nicely.  We have left the central part of it empty so that we can still park one car inside if we choose to.  Odds are highly agains this as in reality, this is now just an extension of the house.  It is all under air and I don't want to have exhaust fumes from any vehicle damaging the puzzles.  (I still drive a gas guzzling VW beetle while waiting on my Tesla Roadster to come in.) 

I have been like a whirling dervish in my attempt to unbox these puzzles.  I have completely unboxed all but two rooms worth of puzzles.  We still have the disentanglement puzzles to open as well as the jugs.  Other than those, all the puzzles have been opened and put on display.  This has been a true labor of love.  I wake at 7 and if we are staying in the museum I start working right away.  If we are at Puzzle Palace, I am over there by 9 and work through until 5 pm.  This has become a 'real job' for me.  One that I love much more than any other I have had before.  

Next week, I'll take you on a tour of the chest room.  That should excite a few of my readers. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

French Puzzle Sets

Before I start today's post I want to express my apologies for not giving an update last week. My grandchildren were down for the week and I felt it more important to spend time with them than to post about puzzles.   I know you'll think that crazy but...

One of the collection of collections we recieved was a large number of French Puzzle Sets. I had managed to purchase a set myself off eBay this past spring and found it funny that we had so many arrive in the collection.  James has warned me to not separate out the pieces and I can see why.  These are (mostly) complete sets and I should hate to see them with missing pieces. He informed me that Edward attended schooling in France and began collecting them there. Since the first photo was taken, I've found 3 more boxes and ordered one from eBay.  Who knew searching for old puzzles would be so much fun. 

Each individual box contains a number of patience puzzles.  My research has shown that the earlier  game boxes held board games, roulette, dominoes, and cards among other ways to spend the evening.  These boxes date back to the early 1870's.  By the early 1900's, the older game boxes were phased out and the more "modern" dexterity and disentanglement puzzles were placed in the boxes. 

The boxes that house the puzzles vary slightly, with most being made of wood.  There are a few boxes that have a suitcase type appearance being made of either cardboard or wood covered in paper. Sadly, some of the boxes are only that.  They do not contain any puzzles.  


And now on to the museum update.  We have had a two week downtime while the kids were in town.  First we had the youngest daughter and her 'not-a-boyfriend' for a week, then the older daughter and her family came down the next weeks so we have been enjoying family time.  

Prior to their arrival, I had managed to unpack most of the shipping boxes that said "puzzle boxes" on the exterior and posted about it in the last blog post.  While the kids enjoyed a few days at Disney and the beach, I unboxed the rest.  As it turns out, the chest room is now completely full and we await additional glass shelves so I can arrange the pieces in a less packed fashion.  Currently we have boxes on boxes and I don't like the look of that. 

After completely unpacking the chest room I moved on to the great room.  This room is dedicated to wooden puzzles with one wall holding named designers/manufacturers.  On Monday evening around 11:30 pm I opened the last shipping box.  The South wall looks bare to me, but I'm hopeful the missing items that are in James' database have been misplaced amongst other puzzles.  

The South-West wall is filled with Japanese Kumiki puzzles while the North-West, North, and East walls are currently filled with puzzles by unknown designers/manufacturers.  These will later be entered in the database that George is building in the hopes that we can get help identifying the puzzles. These walls all look terribly messy to me as the puzzles were just placed randomly for now.  Unboxing first is more important than organization of those pieces.  

We have also decided to remove all of the puzzles from the wood room at Puzzle Palace and bring them here.  After all, the intent all along has been to combine the collections.  This will be one of the final stages of the museum build.  I've all too many boxes to open yet to begin shifting puzzles form one house to the next.  

One thing I struggle with is the placement of pieces made by companies such as Dilemma, Rhombol, and Bits & Pieces.  Should they be added to the South wall?   Do the count as a 'proper' manufacturer?  I find myself thinking they are more along the lines of a toy manufacturer than a puzzle manufacturer.  I guess my bias comes from seeing these companies works in every street market I ever went to in South-East Asia.  What are your thoughts on this dear reader?  






Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Puzzle Boxes

After living in Hong Kong with sweating walls during the summer, I have never been much of a fan of puzzle boxes.  The problem with them is they would swell and get stuck. This rendered them useless except for a few weeks in winter. Because of this, I just didn't purchase any.  Well, all of that has changed now.  We are full up on puzzle boxes.  With the humidity control in both Puzzle Palace and the museum, swelling is not something we need to worry about any longer. 

I have dedicated one room to puzzle boxes. Initially I put the Karakuri boxes under the stairs and thought that would be enough space to hold them.  Boy was I wrong.  What was I thinking?  The Kamei boxes themselves take up two columns alone.  The stairs only have a tiny bit of space under them.  

This room also has a number of metal cabinets and some wooden ones in it.  These are used for two purposes.  First, they make a great table to work on.  Second, they hold the dexterity puzzles that we have acquired.  And boy are there a lot of those!  The cabinets that are used as a table are the perfect height. They are waist high for me so there is plenty of space to spread out on and puzzle.  Currently the tops are just metal and formica, but this may change in the future.  I may put some stools in there for a bit of relief, but haven't fully decided on that yet.  

Now for the real reason for posting this today: I want some help identifying the Karakuri boxes. I know each designer has their own color and would like to keep the designers separated.  I would also like to label each designer on the cabinets, but I don't know who is who.  All information would be helpful and appreciated!  The only designer I know is Kamei.  His boxes have a blue lid.  As you can see, we have quite a few rows of those.  






The photos are not perfect, I'm still unboxing and it is hard to photograph through more shipping boxes.  Updates will be made as we progress. I wish I had time to play, but my eidetic memory is George's excuse to play while I unpack.  Now if only I knew the names of all the puzzles...Failing that, the color of the boxes and designer name would be amazing!


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Puzzle arrival day

Well, the day is finally here.  The last of our container shipment is to arrive in two batches.  Friday saw a total of 432 boxes.  They came in two shipments.  Both had more furniture in them.  This is good. We needed that to fill the garage.  What did I do?  I set to work unpacking.  All of the furniture had to be done first to make room for the next boxes.  

This time around we were smart. I stood at the truck and unloaded onto dollies.  My method was simple. We had three dollies, each took three boxes. I just made sure they had similar type puzzles in them and the unloading began. The nice young man didn't speak much English, but he was able to stack them where I wanted and he was strong.  So...Plastic to one side, wood to another, china in a third place, and all the metal was carried upstairs for us.  My life now will be nothing but unpacking for the next month or so.  I have a goal and I will achieve it.  I'm also not complaining in the least. This has been a great pleasure for me. I love opening boxes and discovering puzzles I didn't know existed before. 

The first is a puzzle that George spent a good hour on the stairs investigating. I will not post anything more than this teaser photo of him nerding out on it.  I have a feeling he will be writing a paper about it soon.  


As you probably know, before I discovered Berrocal's, I was a very twisted girl.  My initial puzzle collecting started with those.  When I began unboxing, I was grateful for James' labeling of the boxes.  We had the majority of the twisty puzzles in the kitchen and those were the first I opened.  As these hold an entire room in our house, we brought them all over to Puzzle Palace to be placed in the mirror room.  This lead to the culling of puzzles that were in there.  

Over the years, many twisty puzzlers, myself included, branched off into moving bead or sliding tile puzzles.  When this new batch of puzzles came in, we began to question our cataloging system.  Now the mirror room only holds puzzles that twist.  Yes, there The Missing Link is still in there as is the Orb-it.  Both twist in some fashion. But now the Brain, or Bolygok have been removed as there is no twisting involved.  I should have done this from the beginning, but now that the collection has expanded it's time.  

I've not completely filled the Mirror room yet, but thought I'd give you a few photos of what was unboxed this week.  As I'm sure you can imagine, the duplicates are quite a few.  These are just some of the puzzles found.  As it turned out, we had 4 more large moving boxes filled that are now at our main house waiting to be placed on shelves. 


















Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Ultimate Frustration!

 So our puzzles have been sitting down in Miami and we've been getting one excuse after the other as to why they haven't arrived. George got a call from the UK shipper and was told we owe close to $8000 in duty.  This is odd.  Puzzles have no duty.  

I had him call down to Miami and get the scoop. Turns out, the shipping company, or the container company made a mistake and put the 2 containers on 2 different ships. There was one Bill of Lading so the puzzles had to stay in a bonded warehouse while we waited 2 weeks for the others to arrive.  In the mean time, we are stuck paying storage fees.  This was no fault of ours, but because of someones incompetence, our puzzles are being held hostage until we pay the ransom. This is absolutely a rip off. While I don't believe we should have to pay for someone else's mistake, we have no choice but to pay. If we don't, the puzzles will be confiscated.  Now we wait to get the bloody bill and hand over the cash.

This irritates me because I was calling and getting one excuse after the other about what was going wrong.  The only upside?  I've unboxed all but the disentanglement puzzles and the ceramic plates.  Our great room is empty again and awaiting the arrival of more puzzles.  

Let's make the week even worse. We have a sinkhole in the driveway at Puzzle Palace.  When the drain cleaners came by to do their work, they damaged the concrete holding the grate.  This caused a hole in the side of the sewer drain and all of the limestone and sand under our driveway washed away with the next big rain.  All is under control now, but it was just adding insult to injury.  

I'll be glad when the rest of the puzzles arrive.  I'm tired of waiting, and I'm tired of the uncertainty.  **Update** we were now told they will arrive on Friday.  How did this happen?  We paid the ransom.  On the bright side, at least we get to sleep in our own bed for the week.

In the mean time, we have devised a geolocation system for the house so now each puzzle can be found by name, and location.  This should help with the cataloguing and storage of the puzzles.  It took George and I about 2 hours to label the great room.  If we do one room a day, we will be done quickly and can then go on to opening and storing the puzzles. I'll head over this week and finish up the labeling of the ground floor.  The upstairs will have to wait until we get more shelves in or until after the puzzles have been unboxed.  

And my office desk has finally been cleaned...

Monday, June 21, 2021

Dexterity puzzles, sliding tiles, and yet another update

We have been working non-stop on unboxing puzzles.  Or should I say I've been unboxing while George puts together shelves and breaks down boxes.  We have a wonderful system going on now.  When unpacking, each piece of paper has to be flattened out because there are many small bits of paper in between each of these pieces.  Most of which are solutions that we don't want to lose.  After this, they are folded into quarters and placed into the empty packing boxes. These are then stacked under the stairs where they await our recycling guys who must hate us by now.  The last load was 39 boxes full of paper and countless others that were broken down.  

As of Sunday 20 June, I had unpacked all but 22 boxes from the first batch.  I've run into a problem.  We need glass shelves.  Our current system of buying out Ikea when they come in is no longer working.  I really need a better source.  This week I will tackle the dexterity puzzles while George builds another hanging wall.  I'm so surprise by the amount of MIP hanging puzzles we have from this collection.  The laundry room/bar walls are already filled and we haven't put up half of the puzzles that are available.  I intend to have the workmen come back in and install more of the peg system in both the laundry room and on the cabana bathroom walls. 

It is my intent to have all puzzles put in place, then go back through and catalogue each piece.  As new puzzles come in to Puzzle Palace, I photograph them and add the information to a spread sheet which George will then import into his database that I hope he will finish by next summer.  This is an immense undertaking and I now understand why James has only done around 20% of the cataloguing. This is a project that could only be done by a retired person or one whose full time job is only this.  I'm not complaining nor criticizing James for not finishing cataloguing the entire collection, just expressing the vast amount of time that will be involved.

While we wait for the next load of boxes to come in, I will be working on labeling all of the existing cabinetry.  While we know the items in each section, we have yet to label them geographically.  With this vast number of puzzles, we realize this is a necessity here.

Which of course brings me to today's puzzles.  Dexterity puzzles and sliding tiles.  I'll start with the latter.  We had fully intended to have everything in the HDM Puzzle Palace Museum follow the "display & play" policy we have in our own home.  Unfortunately, with these puzzles this has proven impossible. There are just too many of them to be able to do this with.  I have filled 2-47 inch x 36 inch drawers full of these things.  The puzzles had to be stacked on their sides to be able to accommodate all of the puzzles, and even that didn't work.  We have another drawer half filled with these things. 

The laundry room walls are completely covered in puzzles of this sort and I have plans to have the workmen return and build more for us. 

Dexterity puzzles are another batch that we have plenty of.  In this case, we have the metal cabinets that James sent along with us. These measure 24"x32" and are filled with all modern dexterity puzzles.  They take up 38 of the cabinet drawers.  


There are 6 drawers filled with water filled puzzles and another 2 1/2 map drawers filled with antique dexterity puzzles.  In the jigsaw library there are countless drawers filled with the more antique dexterity type puzzles.  


My favorite so far are the mercury filled puzzles.  These came in a plastic box with a note telling us of the content. I have placed them in a drawer on their own so I can easily show them to some of our 'older' guests.  


Here's hoping we get another truckload of boxes this week. I'm getting anxious about this now.  There is still so much left to do and I am determined to have everything up on shelves by October.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Small progress update

 Thus far we have recieved 251 boxes including the puzzle cabinets.  All of the cabinets have been placed where they belong and are now well on the way to being filled.  

Tuesday morning George and I took a drive south and picked up an additional 50 bookcase selves so I can finish placing the jigsaws and later so we can place the library books.  He managed to get them all installed the next day and now we are heading back to Sunrise for another 25 shelves and 18 glass shelves. This is the way our Ikea works. A few pieces at a time.  It's a good thing we have an electric car or we would be spending more on gas than the parts are worth. On Wednesday I decided I need a file cabinet.  As luck would have it, I found one on FaceBook marketplace that was a 20 minute drive north of here.  It's black and just the perfect size for the wall space I have for it in the garage.  Now I have a place I can store all of the extra sheets that have come along with the puzzles. These will take me years to sort out.   I've no system designed for it as of today and not even sure where to begin.  Thursday saw us driving back to Ikea for another 25 book shelves and 36 more glass shelves.  

As of Friday morning I've only 56 of the original 251 boxes left to unpack. I can't even begin to tell you what unpacking is like.  I flatten every piece of wrapping paper looking for extra pieces of puzzles, or wrapping papers that have been stuck in between.  It is torture for me.  I'm allergic to something in the boxes, or the paper and have a terrible rash on my forearms now.  I know it will go away when everything is unboxed, but for now it itches and hurts.  

The movers flaked out again.  We were to have all boxes delivered by Thursday but they texted and said it would be another week at least.  So much for pre-payment of delivery.  

George has been working on installing shelves and adding usable handles to some of the shelves we have. He doesn't unbox because he says he can't remember where he put things.  I have a very good memory for items and am much better suited to unpacking, but it makes for slow progress.

I wish I had a puzzle to feature today, but I've not played with any this week at all.  I have a few photos of some older moving piece puzzles to show for pure viewing pleasure. I spent many years searching for some of those puzzles only to open a box and find them here.  Some have only been prototyped, while others were (and some still are) commercially available in one color or another. 







As always, the HDM collection at the Puzzle Palace Museum is available for viewing by contacting George or myself.  I'll close here and go back to unboxing. If I'm lucky, I should be able to be finished before the next set of boxes arrives.

Monday, June 14, 2021

The first pieces have arrived

 On Wednesday 9 June we took possession of the first 251 boxes of puzzles.  When the workmen came to deliver them they were not at all happy to have to take them into the house. We explained that we had 2 steps to go up if they unloaded into the garage and that the garage was full anyway.  There was a lot of grumbling in Spanish about not wanting to do the work and I had a little hissy fit.  They have been paid for door to door delivery which means putting them where I want them.  They are lucky I didn't ask them to unpack.  

Well, 1/2 hour into the unpacking of the truck, I won them over with cold water.  Did I forget to mention we also had 3 other workers here helping?  Fast forward another hour and lunch was served.  Happy delivery men now!  I asked if they could bring back the furniture on the next trip and that is exactly what they did! We now have all of it installed where it will never be moved from again.  

Now starts the fun part.  It is time to unbox all of those puzzles.  I start with the jigsaw puzzles as those have a home already picked out.  Other boxes are not as easy to discern.  Some are simply marked "Puzzles".  Well duh!  All of these things are puzzles.  What's inside these boxes are supposed to be surprises I guess.  I'm eager to dig into all of these and get as much done as possible.  George says it's time for the fun to begin. Easy for him to say, he plays and breaks down boxes while I unpack. We each have our skill set. 

I went hell bent for leather and unboxed all of the jigsaw puzzles that came in.  This task took me two days. The dexterity puzzles took another two days, and folding puzzles took an afternoon.  I'm working on getting all 251 boxes finished before the next batch arrives. I'm sure it won't happen, but i'm going to give it a good try. 

We've opened a few boxes of wooden puzzles and they are the biggies. I'm sure there will be more to come, but for now they take pride of place in the great room.  I've boxes of glass bottles and china plates to open, but these sadly need to wait until we rent some scaffolding and the rest of the boxes come in.  

It's truly like Christmas here.  I've been having so much fun with this.  There is great joy when I unwrap a puzzle and see something I've never seen before, or when I see an old puzzle from my childhood.  There is even more excitement when I find a puzzle that I had lost, or had regrettably given away. 

Meanwhile this week, George made us two very heavy puzzles for the IPP wall.  We purchased some low slung gaming chairs, but had no tables to puzzle on.  He made our Paver Tables.  They each have 36 4" thick pavers that weigh 6 pounds each.  If you thought the Brass Monkey puzzles were heavy, think again. These are some very heavy puzzles.  No speed solving here.  I don't think we will be moving them any time soon.  Isn't he just so cool in his sunglasses?  He just had cataracts surgery and said the light bothered him.  Even though he wasn't supposed to do any heavy lifting for a month after, it didn't stop him from doing some heavy puzzling. 

Stay tuned for further updates coming soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

What does it take to build a museum?

An old American frontier cookbook starts the recipe for Bear Paw Soup as follows:  "First kill a bear."  When trying to build a puzzle museum, first buy an extra house.  Realize that you have only started.

Our puzzles might be here by the time you read this. It's time that I post a bit about what we actually did to get ready for their arrival.


We bought a house to store them before we acquired the puzzles.  This house, now called Puzzle Palace Museum, is about 8 blocks from our home - easy walking distance.  In addition to cleaning out the museum to be, we had much extra work to turn it into a proper museum; to wit:

Change out all of the electrical lights for new low UV LCD lights. We installed 140 of these bulbs, and 11 flat panel lights in closets and the garage.  Of these, the house only had 94 original fixtures.  The rest were added to give light to various areas of the shelving. 

Repave the outside seating area and walk to the pool from the road. Remove all non-tropical trees and update the landscaping.  (This place was overgrown and jungle-like).


Build an outside garbage/recycling receptacle and storage shed.  This area was at one time to be an outdoor shower, but there wasn't one here when we bought the place so we added a roof and partially enclosed it.  


We wanted Puzzle Palace Museum to be "Display and Play".  Thus we needed shelves for over 50,000 puzzles.  To keep the cost to a manageable level we decided to buy out Ikea.  We installed 148 2x4 Kallax boxes, 12 2x2 Kallax boxes, 5 1x4 Kallax boxes, 37 Billy book cases, 23 Billy book case extenders, 1 single Billy book case, and 4 short Billy book cases.  All of which need to be assembled.  This comes to a total of 1248 Cubies.  Each book case is held in place to each other using 8 screws per Kallax box.  Every group of 3 Kallax's have 4 wall mounts using over 150 Tapcons in total. 

The workers drilled 14600 holes to install shelves in the cubies.  We installed 4 glass holding brackets per glass shelf using  3/8" flat head wood screws.  The total number of shelves installed in cubies comes to 1879.  



We also used 12 4x8 foot sheets of white skin to cover the seams on the bookcases and the Kallax boxes; 30 tubes of calk to seal any gaps in the Kallax boxes, 24 tubes of locktite to attach over 250' of trim, 250' of corner trim, and 176' of flat stock.


160' of chair rail, over 1000 dowels, and countless molly's to mount all of the Kallax boxes and chair rails.  3 4x8' sheets of peg board and 2000 pegs. 10 gallons of paint, and 32 grommets. 14600 holes were drilled in the Kallax boxes alone. 4 air conditioners and 75 solar panels have been installed.


8 gardeners, 5 tree trimmers, 4 electricians, 3 paver layers, 5 a/c installers, 4 solar workers and 4 general contractors.

2486 man hours.

12 cases of water, 140 Liters of soda, and twenty watermelons were consumed.

I prepared 328 lunches for all of the workers.

One hand-quilted banner 20'x4' proclaiming the name, Puzzle Palace Museum in Pentomino font. (Developed by George - Each letter of this font is made of all 12 pentominoes.)



Two 40-foot containers.


And finally, expect to blow your puzzle budget for the next ten years.  Fortunately my husband and I are on the same page: spend all of our money on puzzles.  This is much more than we originally expected.  We shall plug along with the monster task ahead of unpacking these 739 boxes of puzzles and furniture; curating them, and displaying them.  I hope we have anticipated the correct amount of display space.  Having over estimated wouldn’t be so bad in that we could use the extra space for future additions to the museum.  An underestimate would lead to a small panic.  I think we have room to build into the attic above the garage…


None of this work would have been done had it not been for an extraordinary group of workers that we hired.  For tree removal, we hired Total Garden. (954)237-1814.  The landscapers are our regular gardeners, Earth and Turf out of Boynton Beach (561)477-3202. Academy Electric from Pompano Beach (954)973-9693. Be More Cool LLC.  installed our air conditioning units (561)232-0887. Balderez Construction provided the paver work. (954)907-3407. Tesla Solar (888)765-2489. And finally our main contractor was Chilly Inc. (828)231-6113.  All of these workers come highly recommended.


I have reserved the entire summer for the task of finishing the museum.  The curation will take much longer.  George will be designing an online database this winter.  I shall be photographing all of the puzzles and entering all the ancillary information about each puzzle into a spreadsheet for later transfer into his database.  We expect to get a full-time caretaker for the museum by the start of next year.


And yes, there are bound to be some duplicates.  We have vowed not to sell or trade them for the first three years.  However, any puzzle donations not in this collection would be greatly appreciated, beautifully displayed, and acknowledged.