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Michigan machinist GarE Maxton makes many different interlocking solid puzzles of this type, but this one, which he calls The Intimidator, is his masterpiece. Starting the disassembly process requires a special key. Once diassembled, about 20 of the pieces can be recombined to make a functioning single-shot pistol. Other parts of the puzzle separately and securely store “a customized set of tools, all necessary hardware, 45 caliber bullets, a standard sight, a laser sight, a cannister containing black powder pellets, a secure storage area for 209 shotgun primers, a spent primer removal tool and a ramrod for loading the bullets.”

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Namban says:

    I’m exploring his site- his work is some of the most amazing machining I’ve ever seen.

    Do you know how tight his tolerances must be to mill so many metal pieces to such a good fit? The amount of cumulative tolerances involved here is mindboggling. Incredibly mindboggling.

    This man is an exceptional machinist, to have metal panels sliding in all of this- I especially like his metal Japanese puzzle box.

    If you’ve ever wondered what truly impressive machining skill looks like, this is it. So many blocks, so many different metal thermal expansion rates to deal with, amazing.

  2. Namban says:

    I just realized he does farm a lot out to CNC in some cases- but they are still hand beveled and designed. He does do some special projects on his own mills.

    That said, I’ll never have the kind of money to buy one of his puzzles, but I still love the concept. The idea of hiding a metal gun inside a block of interlocking metal is the most perfectly beautiful and dangerous concept I can imagine.

    I hope his next one is a sniper rifle!

  3. gmaxton says:

    For more details, I have a Youtube Video
    showing Disassembly of the INTIMIDATOR Puzzle and
    Firing of the INTIMIDATOR Pistol at:

    Best Regards,

    GarE Maxton

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