PUZZLES

 

image224Подпись: Designed and made by Steve Malavolta of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the multi-layered puzzle shown above was assembled from five different woods. From bottom to top, the species are arariba, walnut, bubinga, wenge, and olivewood.Although making a three-dimen­sional jigsaw puzzle like the one shown in the photo at left would chal­lenge even the most seasoned wood­worker, producing a flat version (below) is a relatively simple undertaking. You can select any image for a puzzle: a draw­ing, postcard, map, or photo. If you do not want to cut up the original, make a color photocopy. In either case, the image should be on a fairly heavy-weight paper. For the base of the puzzle, use hardboard or Baltic birch plywood. Softwood plywoods made from Western fir or Southern pine tend to splinter and require meticulous sanding.

The number of pieces in a puzzle determines its difficulty—both in mak­ing it and reassembling it. As shown on page 109, the size of the pieces should be consistent, but you can shape the individual pieces as your skill and cre­ativity dictate. The only requirement is that each piece must contain at least one lobe or socket for each edge.

MAKING A FLAT JIGSAW PUZZLE

1

Mounting the image to the base

Cut the puzzle’s base slightly smaller than the image you are using, then bond the paper to the base using a spray adhe­sive. Flatten down the paper (right), then trim the excess flush with the edges of the base using a sharp utility knife.

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image227image228Подпись: 3 Cutting the puzzle into strips Cut out the puzzle on your scroll saw in two steps. To prevent the workpiece from being lifted off the table by the saw’s cutting action, install a commercial hold-down on the guide assembly. Start by sawing the workpiece into strips (above), following your cutting pattern. To ensure that the pieces hold together when the puzzle is assembled, flare the tops of the lobes outward.

2 Mounting the cutting pattern

As a guide to cutting the puzzle, make a cutting pattern. On a sheet of paper the same size as your image, out­line a grid of squares approximating the size of the puzzle pieces, then draw the lobes and sockets of each piece. Use artist’s temporary spray adhesive to mount the pattern to the image (above).

4

Cutting out the pieces

Once the puzzle has been cut into strips, cut out the individual pieces. Feed each strip across the scroll saw table with both hands, making sure your fingers are clear of the blade (left). Make sure the hold-down is pressing the workpiece flat on the table. Once all the pieces are cut, peel off the cutting pattern.

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PUZZLES image229

image230"Подпись: toПодпись: « mMAKING A BLOCK PUZZLE

PUZZLES

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3 Reassembling the block

Before you can cut the adjacent face of the block, you need to put it back together. Use two strips of strong mask­ing tape, making sure all four sides of the block are flat and perfectly aligned (right).

4

Cutting the adjacent face

Place the block back on the band saw table so that the cutting pattern on the adjacent side is facing up and cut along the marked lines (left). Once all the cuts are made, remove the cutting pat­terns and the tape from the block. If the puzzle does not slide apart easily, sand the saw kerfs with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a dowel.