Interlocking - Split Star

Split Star (Stewart Coffin)
Larger Photograph (58.4K)

Split Star (Mark McCallum)
Split Star (Mark McCallum) - Partially Assembled
Designer:Stewart Coffin
Craftsman:Stewart Coffin (1st)
Mark McCallum (2nd & 3rd)
Material:Applewood (1st)
Moradillo (Bolivian Rosewood), Peruvian Walnut, Holly, Redheart, Cardinal, Zircote & Yellowheart (2nd & 3rd)

The Garnet and Scorpius family of puzzles have many characteristics in common, including the fact that the Garnet fits exactly inside the hollow center of the Scorpius. This suggests the intriguing possibility of a two-tiered puzzle construction. The Split Star is one such puzzle.
Stewart includes Split Star on the covers of his Puzzle Craft booklets. He makes reference to it in the 1985 edition saying "See if you can figure out how it is made, or wait for details in some future edition of Puzzle Craft." The 1992 edition said nothing about it. On page 125 of The Puzzling World Of Polyhedral Dissections. a "two-tiered" puzzle is described that must be the Split Star, but no name is given for the puzzle shown. It is shown in a partially assembled state with no indication of what the pieces actually look like. Stewart's list of his puzzles says "neat, but hard to make".
Mark McCallum figured out how to make it, or at least make a very satisfactory puzzle that has the same appearance and piece shapes. He makes it like a Garnet on the inside (tier one) and adds the twenty-four pieces to make tier two. The puzzle disassembles by sliding apart into two halves. The inside is made from six different woods which are not visible until the puzzle is disassembled. A very interesting, beautiful and difficult puzzle.
Stewart made only 5 in 1985. Number 75 in his numbering system.
More information in The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections