by William Sampson
Craig Thibideau displays
both veneer skills and
mastery of the mechanical
in these amazing cabinets
filled with hidden
Craig Thibideau is well known for his wizardry with veneer and has won multiple awards in the
prestigious Veneer Tech Craftsman’s
Challenge. But what fewer people know
is he is also a master of intricate mechanical furniture features. Two of his
latest creations showcase those skills.
Both of the pieces are puzzle
cabinets, so named because they
employ ingenious methods to lock and
conceal doors, drawers, and numerous
hidden recesses throughout the pieces.
Both of these cabinets were designed
in collaboration with Robert Yarger of
zlebox.com). Yarger is best known for
his mechanical puzzles, that frequent-
ly incorporate wooden gears, levers,
cams, and interlocking moving parts.
All of those features can be found in
these two puzzle cabinets.
Yarger describes the collaborative
process this way: “We work seamlessly together. Craig takes care of the
crafting and design of the furniture,
while I address sequential movements
and puzzle elements/mechanisms.
All finished pieces would display both
the Stickman and Craig Thibodeau
hallmarks, so you get the talent of two
Once you solve the initial puzzle, the
Spinning Cabinet can easily be rotated
360 degrees. As it rotates, drawers begin
to open and close automatically around the
In this partially open view, the Spinning
Cabinet gives a hint of the puzzle of secret
doors and compartments that hide inside.