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 Post subject: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:36 am 
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Just in time for XMas, the Elemental:Neon DIY kit is finally ready. This is the DIY version of my Neon puzzle.
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See here for info on the history and the assembly guide for the Neon DIY.

After some consideration of my costs and the responses in my survey thread I have decided to set the price at $25, hopefully cheap enough for many of those wanting a Neon but unable to afford the $100 price of the finished version. Shipping in the US and Canada is $3, shipping world wide is $7.

I will be tapping the threaded pieces myself (so as not to require a buyer to get a special tap), but the boring of all the holes for screws and pins will be left to the builder. I will be providing the proper sized drill bits but you have to supply the drill.

This is a DIY kit and will require some non-trivial work to assemble. It isn't hard, but it isn't as easy as a Rubik's DIY 3x3x3.
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The finished product is distinct from the finished puzzle I build in a number of ways:
1.) The screws are larger and brass instead of stainless steel (some in my pictures are not brass, but that was a prototype).
2.) The larger screws are not countersunk, but the top and bottom plates have cutouts.
3.) The back plate is clear and outline etched, with no serial number.
4.) The tolerances on the DIY kit are not as tight so movement is less precise.

It is, however, good looking and fully functional with some of your effort, at 1/4 the cost. And a fun little project to build.

As with my finished Neon, you can get on the order list by mailing orders@LitwinPuzzles.com and I will be adding a order list to the DIY page at the bottom.

Enjoy,

Dave

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Last edited by DLitwin on Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:10 am 
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If you make a Tiger one, then we'll talk. Too cool. :wink:

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Last edited by Steryne on Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:17 am 
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:o That is really intersting :D with some good instructions.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:21 am 
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Wow! that is cool. I can't wait for my custom one :wink:

The DIY looks like a great puzzle more than a great collectors item, but for that price its unbeatable in value.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:51 pm 
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professorcube5x5 wrote:
The DIY looks like a great puzzle more than a great collectors item

Interesting. Given that there are only 50 DIY kits and I have built about 75 Neons myself, I would think perhaps it is more of a collector's item? In numbers perhaps, but then again the large majority of Neon puzzles I build are unique, so from that perspective perhaps not. Who knows.

So don't throw away the ziplock sandwich bag the parts come in. Perhaps 10 years from now Georges will pay good money for the "original packaging" ;)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Ohh i am deffinitly getting one of these!!!

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Steryne wrote:
If you make a Tiger one, then we'll talk. To cool. :wink:

I do make a Tiger Neon, but not a DIY model. It can be bought for about eight times the cost of the DIY :)

No, the DIY kit is as-is: Black body (clear back plate) with fluorescent red pieces.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:35 pm 
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OK, the wait list has been added to my new page (I separated the Assembly Guide off to another page). It can be found here.

I have added all those who posted here or in the survey thread requesting a Neon in a way that was unambiguous. I had to leave a few off as it was unclear if it was an order or not.

chris the cynic, Bigandrewgold, eye2eye and Lucas Garron:
It seems likely you want one, but your response wasn't definitive enough for me to put you on the list just yet. Feel free to correct me.

To order please use the email address orders@litwinpuzzles.com. You can PM me too, but I will likely just ask you to email for my records anyway ;)

If you are not on the list (at the site above) and thought you ordered already I will be happy to update the list, just let me know.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Cool. Glad I'm on the wait list. :)
Great stuff Dave.


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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:02 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
professorcube5x5 wrote:
The DIY looks like a great puzzle more than a great collectors item

Interesting. Given that there are only 50 DIY kits and I have built about 75 Neons myself, I would think perhaps it is more of a collector's item? In numbers perhaps, but then again the large majority of Neon puzzles I build are unique, so from that perspective perhaps not. Who knows.

So don't throw away the ziplock sandwich bag the parts come in. Perhaps 10 years from now Georges will pay good money for the "original packaging" ;)

Dave


I look at it this way. There are 50 identical DIY kits. But many of the custom order ones are completely unique. So there may be more total custom ones, but there might only be one "Tiger" or "Sea Krait" Neon in the world, which makes that kind particularly rare. Not to mention it has a serial number and stellar quality.

I may pick up an additional DIY kit later, just for playing around with, and so I can build one myself :D

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:40 pm 
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Sorry for my Ignorance, but what exactly is this?

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:46 pm 
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It's a DIY kit of the puzzle at the top of the page. I can't vouch for the DIY, but the neon I got from Dave is amazing! Well worth the money, so I can't see the $25 one being any less worthy.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:34 am 
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Hey Dave, just a heads up. One of your links in the post doesn't work.

"See here for info on the history and the assembly guide for the Neon DIY." Links to:

http://www.litwinpuzzles.com/Elemental/ ... /main.html
and should be -
http://www.litwinpuzzles.com/Elemental/ ... index.html

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:10 pm 
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NeoDarkHaven wrote:
Hey Dave, just a heads up. One of your links in the post doesn't work.

Fixed, thanks for catching that.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:41 pm 
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katsmom wrote:
It's a DIY kit of the puzzle at the top of the page. I can't vouch for the DIY, but the neon I got from Dave is amazing! Well worth the money, so I can't see the $25 one being any less worthy.


I mean what exactly is the puzzle?

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:58 pm 
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PotatoSpades22095 wrote:
katsmom wrote:
It's a DIY kit of the puzzle at the top of the page. I can't vouch for the DIY, but the neon I got from Dave is amazing! Well worth the money, so I can't see the $25 one being any less worthy.


I mean what exactly is the puzzle?


The search is your friend. ;) Or I'm sure you could find some good information on Dave's site.


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 Post subject: Re: $25 Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:25 pm 
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PotatoSpades22095 wrote:
I mean what exactly is the puzzle?

Sorry, I linked to the survey thread which had a link to the Puzzle Building thread, but I should have been more direct. I have edited the top post with a link directly to the Puzzle Building thread (here so you don't have to scroll up).

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Update:
I decided to go with boxes instead of bubble mailers. With a lot of long thin extensions on some pieces I was a bit worried about breakage in the mail. This will add a small delay while I wait for my order of boxes to arrive, but I think it is worth it.

I cut a bunch of spacers last night at the Tech Shop so I should have enough for a few kits to be complete once the boxes arrive (probably tomorrow). Having at least one completed boxed kit will allow me to determine shipping prices for the US and world wide (Update: $3 US and Canada, $7 worldwide).

I should begin invoicing people this weekend and start shipping kits early next week.

Dave

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Last edited by DLitwin on Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Woohoo I am on the waiting list! Once I come back from my trip to AZ, I will pay you. Thank you so much!

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:18 am 
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Great pricing - who could resist?

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:14 pm 
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The boxes arrived and I checked the shipping costs at the post office: Shipping within the US and Canada is $3, shipping world wide is $7.

I spent a few hours going through each of the 2000 pieces dividing them into groups based on their height (thin, medium, thick) so at least the sets will be a little less random than they would have otherwise. This should mean fewer spacers required but I intend to add in more than necessary just in case. If, after you finish building your Neon DIY, you have extra spacers feel free to put them in an envelope and send them back to me for good karma. They may find their way into the Neon DIY for someone else :)

The first Neon DIY kit is in the mail, and I'll try to invoice a few more people in the next day or so. I am waiting on a batch of roll pins as I only have enough for a few sets based on my current stock.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:03 am 
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E-mail sent, yippppeeeeeee. I have been wanting one of these for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:26 pm 
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I just received a shipment of roll pins so I can prepare some more kits. Some kits are already in the mail, and people are being invoiced.

For those who have been invoiced, please try to be timely in either your payment or at least a reply. If you don't respond by the next day I will move on to invoicing the next person in the list so I don't keep people waiting. You will, of course, remain on the list and get the next kit that is ready once you have paid.
I don't have all the kits prepared and so they will roll out over the next few weeks. To make it fair to those waiting, your order on the wait list will determine when you get invoiced. Once invoiced, whomever pays first gets the next kit.

I hope to prepare a few more tonight and send out more invoices tomorrow.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:37 pm 
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I have just finished assembling my Elemental Neon DIY. It is a beautiful puzzle, and I would really recommend this DIY version to anyone looking for an affordable Elemental Neon. It is pretty easy to assemble. I found that the hardest part was drilling the larger holes to their correct sizes without breaking the acrylic. This was kind of a nerve wrecking experience and I would recommend drilling the smaller holes first to get a feeling of how the material responds. Just keep in mind that you need to go even slower and take even more care when making the larger holes. I was a bit unlucky as a small piece of the acrylic cracked, but I was able to superglue it back on. So although it is not as perfect as it could have been, I am pretty happy with the result:

Image


Last edited by Klara on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:19 pm 
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Nice job Klara!

Drilling is the most delicate part of the process, particularly the small edges pieces and some arms of the body pieces. As Klara said, go slow and do the best you can.

The original design of the puzzle doesn't have such large holes so drilling this large it is pushing the tolerances of the acrylic a bit. These drill bits are not made for acrylic (those are expensive) either.

Luckily the holes of the body pieces are fairly redundant and the puzzle will hold together just fine with a few broken. But that just doesn't look right, and the edge pieces do require both holes so we can't have you with an ugly or incomplete puzzle.

If you break a part while drilling just let me know and I will send a replacement.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:46 am 
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Wow! Looks excellent. Makes me all the more excited to build mine :D

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:03 am 
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Another DIY built by someone not yet a member on the forum. He took a fine picture and so I am posting for him:
Image
Dave

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Got mine in the post yesterday and finished building today:
Attachment:
P1050589.JPG
P1050589.JPG [ 352.8 KiB | Viewed 2611 times ]


Can't thank Dave enough, these are fantastic puzzles. $25 is ridiculously cheap for what you get. It took me about 2 hours to put it together without any major mishaps. Dave's instructions are excellent, and I had no problems whatsoever.

If you are a collector on a tight budget: buy one of these now!

Cheers Dave!


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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:59 pm 
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I agree. The puzzle is an excellent value. Its very important to follow Dave's instructions and bevel the upper layer parts.

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Just spent this evening making mine..
Thanks, Dave. Excellent instructions - I enjoyed assembling it. I used my electric drill on its slowest setting without any problems.
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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Would it be ideal to use a dremel on a very slow speed for the drilling??

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:49 pm 
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trixter wrote:
Would it be ideal to use a dremel on a very slow speed for the drilling??

A dremel is a very high speed tool, and even the variable speed ones don't do low speed (4000 RPM is *really* fast). Most normal power drills can do pretty low speeds though.
I suppose if you can't get a pin vise (best) or normal drill with low speed (second best) you could try holding the bit with pliers or even a vise and twisting the piece around the bit.

The bit will center itself the hole because of its conical tip, if you let it find its own way. With high speed or a drill press you might wind up with an offcenter hole because the bit won't move and will just cut whatever is in front of it. With pretty much no pressure at all it will bite in and pull itself through in a few rotations. If you do this too fast, it tends to grab really sudenly, and that is often where it will break if there is too much force imposed all at one time. This is why I like to do it by hand, where I can feel when it grabs and take it slow.

Dave

P.S. Nice job MarkSS! I like the photo with just the puzzle illuminated :)

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 Post subject: Re: $25 Elemental Neon DIY kit
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:05 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
I suppose if you can't get a pin vise (best) or normal drill with low speed (second best) you could try holding the bit with pliers or even a vise and twisting the piece around the bit.


This is exactly what I did and it worked beautifully. Best of luck trixter!

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