Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm Location: Dubuque, IA area
I've tried paraffin wax and wasn't impressed because it leaves flakes on your hand every time you use the puzzle. I've used Vaseline with some success but it gets your hands really messy if I'm speed-cubing and the parts fly apart.
The material I have used with the most success is a product called "Superlube". I think most hardware stores would have it. There are two forms of Superlube. One comes in a tube like toothpaste and is a gel kind of like Vaseline. The version that I use comes in an aerosol can. It includes a small straw like WD-40 for shooting it in cracks without taking apart the puzzle. It is a liquid synthetic lubricant (which mostly evaporates) with dissolved PTFE (Teflon) (which stay in the puzzle). Because Teflon is very inert, it shouldn't cause a chemical reaction with the puzzle plastics, stickers, adhesives, or Milliput. I don't know about the synthetic lubricant though, so I would advise testing it in an inconspicuous spot before using.
I've used it on several puzzles that were really stiff but were also too precious to me to risk breaking them during disassembly. I just shoot it in a few cracks between moving parts and then shuffle the puzzle to spread it uniformly on the insides. I then wipe off the excess on the exposed inner surfaces. The puzzle remains really clean to handle after that.
I have noticed, however, if you leave it sit for a few weeks, some of the lubricant may work its way to the bottom surface of the puzzle due to gravity. Just wipe off that side and the ultra-smooth puzzle is ready to play with without getting your hands messy.
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