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Scroll sawn jigsaw puzzle

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Project by Elizabeth posted 07-06-2011 06:07 AM 2844 views 10 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a scroll saw years ago but due to a sudden upswing in my student engineering work never got to use it. So I got another one last year. Aside from the occasional trimming of a piece, never really used it either.

Until this week. This is my first proper scroll saw project – a nine piece cat-stack jigsaw puzzle. I made it out of some scrap plywood since it was really a test project, but it turned out well. And after I switched from the “stock” blade that was still in my saw to a proper reverse tooth blade the cuts went much more smoothly.

I put two coats of cherry stain on the pieces and may add another one after I sand down the edges of the pieces a bit, as the grain raised a lot during the staining and some of the pieces are a bit touchy now. Any suggestions for a top coat over the stain that is kid-friendly?

My 2.5 year old nephew is visiting this week and enjoyed playing with these pieces in the post-cutting, pre-staining stage.

The pattern is from a magazine; I’m sure I can pin it down if anyone wants to know where it came from.





20 comments so far

View Wes Giesbrecht's profile

Wes Giesbrecht

153 posts in 1499 days


#1 posted 07-06-2011 11:07 AM

This is great. Did you design it yourself?

-- Wes Giesbrecht http://www.wesgiesbrecht.com/index.htm

View moonls's profile

moonls

407 posts in 1675 days


#2 posted 07-06-2011 01:18 PM

Your puzzle looks well cut! I’ve been trying some puzzles myself and am interested in where you got this pattern. For kid friendly projects, I use a water-based “Polycrylic” made by minwax. Just make sure the stain is thoroughly dry.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1524 days


#3 posted 07-06-2011 01:47 PM

I really like this puzzle

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View souichiro's profile

souichiro

369 posts in 2034 days


#4 posted 07-06-2011 05:11 PM

Yeah, polycrylic works well, dries fast, and has a nice sheen. I think that most top coats that are non-lead (read “really old”) will work just fine….. as long as they are fully cured. This means past dry. :) Probably safest at about two weeks room temperature. If you use natural wood, you can also do butcherblock oil. And just keep coats on it. What’s nice about this is that it will keep the woods natural smell. It can be a cool touch if you are using a few different kinds of wood.

Anyway, VERY nice job on this! I really like the puzzle, do you happen to know which magazine you got the pattern from? I’d love to add this to my list of things to do. :)

-- Dale, Oregon

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1555 days


#5 posted 07-06-2011 06:07 PM

That is really a nice puzzle. I love the design.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1524 days


#6 posted 07-06-2011 06:47 PM

I didn’t know you could cut plywood on a scrollsaw…I would think it would destroy the blade.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Pete Tevonian's profile

Pete Tevonian

73 posts in 1606 days


#7 posted 07-06-2011 10:43 PM

If you could do it over with solid wood (which I would probably do anyway, if you think it may become a generational toy—and isn’t that the point of wooden toys?) I would recommend salad bowl finish. It’s blend of beeswax and mineral oil. Rub it in with your bare hands. It smells wonderful and is totally safe for the kids, even if they put pieces in their mouths. If handled a lot, you may need to recoat once in a while, or better yet—let the kids do it.

The puzzle looks great!

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

View Toninho's profile

Toninho

189 posts in 1516 days


#8 posted 07-06-2011 11:35 PM

Really a Great puzzle! I love cats! He loved to be able to cut on my scroll saw! Congratulations!

-- António Guerreiro https://www.facebook.com/bichosdamadeira

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

810 posts in 1832 days


#9 posted 07-06-2011 11:36 PM

Thanks for the finish suggestions! Yes, I’m definitely going to do it over in solid wood – and I plan on stacking two pieces of different-species wood so I can interchange the parts and have two different colours in the final puzzle.

The patter is from a book called The Best of ScrollSaw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine: Wooden Puzzles (ISBN 978-1-56523-429-1) and is on pages 38-39 in a section titled “Ingenious Animal Family Puzzles” – this section also has penguins, mice, horses and elephants in the same kind of style. The same book has a “Climbing Cats” puzzle which is similar to this one but with more complicated cuts. I would guess that these patterns previously appeared in issues of the magazine but I don’t know which ones.

@Spunwood, I didn’t have any problems at all cutting the plywood. I used a new number 7 reverse tooth blade and didn’t encounter any burning or difficulty moving forward, but I’m not experienced enough to know if it was adversely affecting the blade.

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

2069 posts in 1709 days


#10 posted 07-07-2011 02:00 AM

Very nice cutting. I have made that puzzle several times and they sell well. And my Grandkids liked it as well. I made a few of them from Birch plywood and other from hardwoods….sealed with a poly spray..cured of course. I have been cutting plywoods on my scroll saw for about 30 odd years and have not had any problems at all…as you say, it depends on the blade you use. I like your idea of stack and interchanging different wood colors…

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1081 posts in 1743 days


#11 posted 07-08-2011 04:18 AM

How fun!

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1779 days


#12 posted 07-08-2011 09:33 PM

This is a cool puzzle. My wife is a preschool teacher and I’ve going to have to give this one a try. Nice job with it.

View WoodenFrog's profile

WoodenFrog

2737 posts in 1601 days


#13 posted 07-08-2011 09:56 PM

Great Job Elizabeth! I really like it!
Sald bowl finish as Pete says should be all you’d need for a project like this. I’ve heard of walnut oil being very strong and kid friendly, just a thought. Great work keep it up!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio..... http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodenfrogWoodenProd

View randyb's profile

randyb

119 posts in 2016 days


#14 posted 07-11-2011 03:21 PM

That’s really cool!

-- I was going for that distressed look

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7752 posts in 1608 days


#15 posted 07-15-2011 11:13 PM

Really a great project! I love kitties and this one is darling! I hope you continue to do more scroll sawing, as it is lots of fun and is even quite relaxing!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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