Craig Thibodeau’s Holy Grail puzzle cabinet

There are few woodworkers as averse to the limelight as Craig Thibodeau, who has written for Fine Woodworking many times. Craig is more comfortable alone in his shop–among his stacks of veneer and shopmade machines–than in front of a camera. But there are few, if any, woodworkers who have gone more “viral” than Craig. I know for a fact that he’s not in it for the fame, but if viral videos help keep his family fed, that’s enough for Craig.

Not only a world class woodworker, Craig is a former product designer with a deep admiration for the work of David Roentgen–a late 18th-century cabinetmaker known for creating intricate mechanical furniture–so it should come as no surprise that he’s become a giant in the niche world of super-high-end puzzle creation.

Working with puzzle crafter Robert Yarger, Craig’s latest creation (shown in the video above) was created for Chris Ramsay, a magician and puzzle aficionado with a YouTube channel with over 4-1/2 million subscribers. In Chris’ reveal video (below) he shares the price tag of $40,000. While that may seem like a shocking sum at first, the longer I think about it the more of a bargain it becomes. I can’t imagine the work that goes into constructing a piece like the Holy Grail cabinet, let alone the imagination and engineering prowess required to conceive of and execute the mechanisms.

So watch Craig’s video above if you want a taste of how amazing this cabinet is. If you’re as amazed by it as I was, you’ll want to buckle up and watch Chris’ video. Even though you’ve seen Craig solve it, it’s still worth watching someone find their way through the puzzle. When he does solve the puzzle, Chris’s expression makes it all worth the wait.

Also be sure to check out Chris’ video interviewing Craig about the inner workings of this incredible piece!


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