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The ingeniously,clever and meticulously,crafted workmanship of this devilish cast migrain will leave you to become a complete 'NUTCASE'.....unless, of course, you know its inner secrets.

Hanayama's version of this puzzle comes from the original NUTCASE
designed by Oskar van Deventer and made by George Miller.
(3D Printing at Home Presented by George Miller at IPP-24 in Tokyo, August, 2004)

The selection of naming a particular piece 'TOP' is purely to your own choosing.
One can select either bolt end to his/her discretion.
I chose the bolt end that's hollow -- compared to the other end.
Notice the cast seams.   Each is 180   from the other.

Mark the flat of the hex side overlooking the narrowest cutout (as in the left pic) with masking tape and make a line where the seam is . . .
(I chose the seam on this side because it's exactly centered).
The first time you start to work with this puzzle you will naturally not know which end is which until the two bolt halves separate.   Both ends have cast seams, so . . . if, after trying to line up with one end, you have no success, try the other end.
At any rate, on whatever hex side you think a piece of masking tape should go, put one on the other end -- same side, as in the duo pics below the following illustration.   The black center lines you will inscribe on them are the same , but the red lines will be on opposite corners from each other
(3/16" from the corners).

First-Time Separation

. . . Assuming all 'NUTCASEs' are created equal, look for the cast seams,
and face the hex sides with them towards you . . .

Now you're ready to start

Slide both nuts close to the undersides of their respective bolt heads.

Take the nut of the 'TOP' head side (left pic), and line up its corner closest to the letter 'c' of the word 'case' with the red line .

Take the nut of the 'BOTTOM' head side (right pic), and line up its corner closest to the letter 'c' of the word 'case' with its red line .

Pull both bolt halves apart until the nuts touch each other.
Screw the TOP head nut towards the underside of its respective bolt head until it unscrews from the threads of the BOTTOM bolt head.   Slide both halves completely apart.

There are 3 methods of re-assembly:

Method 1:   with each of the words 'case' pointing towards each bolt head (away from the center)
note:   this is the way you see it when you purchase the puzzle

Upon re-assembly (already knowing where your lineup marks are situated on each of the bolt heads), slide the nuts all the way up to the underside of the heads, mate the two bolt halves until they touch the nuts, screw the nuts all the way to the center until they touch each other . . .
( back off on each one just a little to allow readjustment of lining up your nuts again )
. . . now line the nuts up again and finish pushing the bolt halves together the remaing distance to complete their travel, and finally screw the nuts again towards the center and equalize the space between both nuts and heads -- to make it look like it was when you first took it out of the package.

When done, you will be able to read the words 'NUT CASE' ('NUT' over the word 'CASE').

Method 2:   with each of the words 'case' facing each other (towards the center).

With this method of re-assembly -- after screwing each of the nuts onto each of the bolt halves, and lining up the corners of the two nuts to a specific lineup mark on the two bolt heads -- all you will have to do is to push the bolt heads towards each other ... all the way to their ends.
note that there are two new red lines on the opposite corners from Method 1.

Unlike Method 1, there is no further rotation of the nuts along the bolt threads.
(You can position the nuts anywhere along the bolt to start)

When done, the words will read 'CASE NUT' ('CASE' over the word 'NUT') -- unlike in Method 1.

Method 3:   with both of the words 'case' facing towards one of the bolt heads (doesn't matter which one).

Screw both nuts onto the 'TOP' bolt head first, then line up their corners to the red line on the 'TOP" bolt head , and just slide the 'BOTTOM' bolt head all the way onto the assembly ('TOP' bolt head with both nuts).

You need to only slightly turn one of the nuts (1/32") to lock the assembly, but you may want to reposition both of them to a point in the center where the parts of the puzzle look aesthetically equidistant, or you can have the nuts touch each other at the center of the two bolt halves, or anything else you would prefer.

Notice how the corner of the left nut -- nearest the letter 'c' . . . . .
lines up with the corner of the right nut -- nearest the letter 'e' .

One final comment . . . . .

Even when both nuts are placed together so that the words 'case' line up with each other on the top hex side -- as in the above pic, they are still not exactly the same in regards to their thread cutout locations within; so if after screwing the nuts onto the bolts in any of the 3 methods they do not coincide with my pictures, just reverse the nuts with respect to their bolt halves, and try again.

You are now an official NUTCASE officianado.