Amboyna Burl Pattern Cryptex


1,678 different pieces of wood make the pattern surrounding the box. The side of the box are rings that rotate to make different patterns. Many patterns are possible and if you happen to find the correct pattern you may unlock the box itself. There are two clues to point you in the right direction, one which is visible and one which is hidden. 14 Amboyna Cryptex Boxes were made each with a unique solution. Once open, the box has two settings. It may be set to open to two different patterns.


The entire box is made from solid wood. The interior of the Box is made from 140 small maple bricks to form a curved well recess. The maple is quarter-sawn and matched to the same construction within each rotating pattern ring. This means that with any change in humidity the rings will always stay snug and rotate smoothly.


It took some very creative use of tools to create exact curved moving parts. I did use a lathe, but generally this was used as a finishing tool. When I began woodworking, I shied away from making curved parts. Over the years it has been very fun to learn many of the clever ways to create wooden circles. It is often very counter intuitive to my thinking process of working with straight lines.


Amboyna Burl is regarded as one of the finest burls in the world. It is famous for its stability and color. I can also attest to it having a wonderful sweet and peppery smell when it is being worked. The burl comes from Narra and Paduk trees from South East Asia. I suspect the more red toned burl is a Paduk burl and the more orange burl is from a Narra tree.


To see a video of the earlier Zircote Cryptex click here.


See more photos of the Amboyna Burl Crytex below.



I chose two of my favorite Amboyna burls to make this small production. Each burl naturally has a different color.

Below are a few of many patterns that may be created. None of these patterns are solutions to any Amboyna Burl Cryptex.



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