Caring for Wood Puzzles
We know you care about your puzzles and have invested a great deal of time and effort in building your collection. Cubicdissection puzzles are precision crafted to extremely tight tolerances, and can be damaged by improper storage. We know you’ve invested a great deal of time and effort in building your collection; we can help keep your puzzles in tip-top shape for years to come!
General Info on Puzzle Care
How to care for wooden puzzles:
Wood is a natural material and can change both in color and dimension when exposed to variable conditions. To ensure long life and proper functioning, please be mindful of the moisture content, heat, and UV/light exposure in the storage environment.
For more information, please check out our detailed guide on caring for wood below to ensure proper fit and operation. We recommend an occasional polishing with Renaissance Wax to keep wood puzzles in top condition.
How to store wooden puzzles over time:
Wooden puzzles must be well protected against extremes in humidity due to their precise nature. We recommend a controlled indoor environment with relative humidity between 40% and 60%, and can not guarantee proper functioning in other environments. Please check out Eric’s detailed guide and recommendations on how to keep wooden puzzles for more information.
How to care for metal puzzles:
Finger prints are made from sweat, which contains fats, oils, salts and amino acids. Contact with all of these can lead to brass becoming tarnished. To absolutely protect your puzzles, wearing cotton, nitrile or latex gloves is the ultimate protection.
For the risk takers and mavericks who buy our puzzles we'd recommend a good wipe with a lint free cloth after periods of prolonged play. We highly recommend a Metal Puzzle Polishing Kit to keep your treasures pristine.
Can you repair or replace damaged puzzles?
We’re sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty with your product! We will repair or replace any items affected by manufacturing defects or which are damaged in transit as a consequence of improper packaging. We are unable to repair or replace damaged products after the item has been received in good condition by the original purchaser.
Details on Managing Environmental Conditions for Wood Puzzles:
Wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning it responds to changes in atmospheric humidity.
Changes in humidity can cause wood to shrink in dry environments or swell in humid environments; extreme changes can cause puzzles to cease functioning properly.
Compression shrinkage in particular is very damaging. This occurs when humidity causes wood to expand that is constrained by its surroundings (i.e. a panel in a puzzle box, or a trapped piece in an interlocking puzzle). When that happens the wood absorbs moisture but cannot expand. The cells then take on an oval shape, and when the wood dries, it is permanently smaller then before it tried to expand. This can entirely break a puzzle!
Puzzle boxes in particular must be well protected against extremes in humidity due to their precise nature. We recommend a controlled indoor environment with relative humidity between 40% and 60%, and can not guarantee proper functioning in other environments.
Never expose wood puzzles to steam from a humidifier or vaporizer, or store them with desiccant or silica. For long term storage of puzzles we highly recommend Boveda humidity packs and storage of the puzzle in a sealed zip-lock type bag or other airtight container when not on display.
Keep puzzles away from direct exposure to heat sources. Exposure to heat tends to dry out the wood rapidly, and may cause the puzzle to warp as well as shrink. It is best to keep the puzzles at a constant, moderate temperature, minimizing the number of cycles of hot and cold.
Exposure to Light
Minimize the exposure to sources of UV light, especially long time exposure to direct sunlight. Many woods darken when exposed to sunlight. Too much exposure can diminish the vibrant colors of some exotic woods. Puzzles should not be stored in a location where they are exposed to direct sunlight; UV resistant glass should be considered for display cabinets.
Occasionally, application of a high quality wax can restore and/or preserve the beauty of a puzzle, as well as keep the sliding surfaces moving smoothly.