I'm always excited when Tom contacts me with a new design, and this one turned out to be no exception. The "Noose" in the name refers to the fact that all six pieces are contained by a 4x4 square which constricts them like a noose. A squat rectangle with a unique level 9 solution, it is very solid until you figure out the deceptive first move. After that things get interesting, with lots of movement but only one specific disassembly. Once apart, getting it all back together is even trickier. A solid design which is fun to solve and displays well thanks to the exotic wood stock used in construction.
There were three ways to go about making this puzzle - two easy ways and one hard way. The first easy way would have been to simply glue the top and bottom sticks together and then glue a vertical piece to put them together. However, this would result in straight end grain glue joints, which are very weak. The second easy way would have been to make the vertical pieces longer and glue the rest of the puzzle up on the sidegrain. While stronger, this would result in an ugly puzzle, with the top and bottom showing both end and sidegrain of the same wood. The hard way is of course the way I did it; using half-lapped joinery so that each piece only displays sidegrain on top, and the endgrain of the vetical joints are hidden and reinforced. Furthermore, a couple pieces were willed from solid stock to avoid showing endgrain as well. It takes about twice as long to make a puzzle this way, but it's worth it in the long run.