Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Totally Tubular Dude! - Tube It In

Yellowheart, Bubinga, Wenge, Holly, Maple, Canary, Cherry, White Oak, Pau Ferro, Peruvian Walnut, Zebrano, Purpleheart, Ash, and Paduak, Oh My!  These 14 exotic tubes are all packed into a space that is 2" x 1.375" x 1.5" with the outer Paduak tube contrasting nicely with the inner Ash tube when assembled.

Tube It In was designed by Wil Strijbos and it should come as no surprise that it was originally made in metal before Eric Fuller released the wood version in 2016 on Cubicdissection.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve had this puzzle for 3 years now.  Eric just released another batch of these for 2019, prompting me to pull mine back out.  Although, I stored mine in the orange sash that it came in, it was easy to locate by feel due to its diminutive size and shape.

After pulling it out of the bag and marveling at how beautiful the wood looks, there is no effort involved in unpacking the tubes.  Once unpacked, the variety of woods used to make each of the pieces can be appreciated.  You can also appreciate the work that went into making these pieces.  All the outer edges of each tube are beveled and each tube, even the smallest, utilizes shoulder joints to make a solid bond.  Considering that these pieces will undergo zero stress, it is amazing that this effort was made instead of a simple butt joint.  However, I’m assuming that it is easier to align and glue a shoulder joint than a butt joint.

It takes a little more effort to pack the tubes back up, but it’s not that difficult.  My attack plan, as with most packing puzzles, is to start with the biggest pieces first and work my way down to the smallest.  It took me about 5 to 10 minutes from start to finish.

I originally had a description here of my experience packing the first 5 pieces together, but I got the "What!  You're telling them how to put it together?" response from my wife, who convinced me that what may seem obvious to me may not be obvious to others.  This is certainly not a mistake I would want to make right after a new set of puzzlers receive their copy of Tube It In.  Sorry, you're on your own now.

The tubes slide into each other without any binding.  You can see from the end shot the wide tolerances that were used for this puzzle.  This tolerance was used throughout the puzzle, which should be able to withstand a wide range of environmental conditions.

The new version that Cubicdissection recently offered has magnets that hold the two largest pieces together, which is a nice addition, although I think it would have been even nicer if the magnet hadn’t been exposed on the outside when assembled.  I also like that the wood selections for the different tube sizes have been altered so that you can easily identify the vintage of the puzzle.


  1. Sorry for those who wanted part of the solution, I (his wife) guess that old green eye monster showed up, since getting hints is like pulling teeth. Lol!! It is a beautiful puzzle. Enjoy!

    1. I would hate to be the impediment to anyone enjoying the soul nurturing experience of the entire solving journey.

  2. I purchased a copy and was surprised by the diminutive size. Move over, Alan Boardman!

    1. Yes, it's a bit smaller than the version that John Devost sold on Cubicdissection in 2006. Eric's version is closer in size to Wil's original metal version. Not quite big enough to store a loaf of bread inside the innermost tube.