Make a 3D Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

I’m not sure if there is any project that brings more pleasure after it leaves my shop than a jigsaw puzzle.

After buying a scroll saw, I was soon making jigsaw puzzles from 1/4″ plywood. As fun as they were to make and assemble, I soon began experimenting as I do, and started cutting multi-level 3D jigsaw puzzles. To date, I have cut thousands of puzzle pieces on the scroll saw dd(and even a dozen or so with a manual fret saw).

If you’re interested in learning how they are cut, check out my article in the latest issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement: Make a 3D Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle. There are some good scroll saw tips in the article as well.

Not interested in making your own puzzle? I sell them too – they’re a great gift idea. Click here to shop.

Christmas 2012 Recap

My goal this Christmas season was not to buy anything mass-produced.  I half-succeeded.  For my family, I made a sculptural clock, wooden vases, and turned fridge magnets; each of the items required something mass-produced.

For my brother, I made a clock using black locust for the upright and phenolic, grained to look like ebony, for the face.  The prismatic form of the upright was inspired by the work of Warton Esherick.

Prismatic Clock

Though I needed to buy the clock movement, I made the wooden hands from black locust.

For my mother, I made a set of three dogwood vases.

Dogwood VasesTo allow the vases to hold water, I bored holes and dropped in stainless steel tubes which I bought.

Dogwood Vases

I also turned some knobs from 3/4″ square off-cuts from pen blanks (and one bigger one).  I installed 3/8″ diameter rare-earth magnets in their bases so they can be used as fridge magnets.

Exotic Wood Magnets

This year, we had a gathering of nine for a wonderful Christmas dinner.  This was the first time Relationship Study saw use (yes, it’s still available for purchase).  The table seats 10 comfortably and everyone was grateful for the shape which allowed everybody to see everybody else.

Dinner Party

Christmas Recap, Part I

Well, I must say that I had a great time over the past few days.  I hope that you did too.

On the morning of December 24, we travelled to Naramata, a 5.5 hour drive.  There, we enjoyed a great dinner with my aunt, her family and company.  We stayed up late to open gifts at midnight.  I passed around a box containing Shell Boxes and Dogwood Screwdrivers and asked everyone to choose one item.

Shell Box

The majority of the females selected a Shell Box while the males preferred the Dogwood Screwdrivers.  The one exception was the 12-year old boy who excitedly picked a Shell Box.

The last time my cousin, Michelle, visited us on the Coast, she had made this cherry cribbage board in my workshop with only a little of my guidance.  She wrapped it up and presented it to her boyfriend.  (I must say that she did an outstanding job!)

Cribbage Board by Michelle

We stayed the night and had breakfast while opening stockings Christmas morning.  I found this wooden cube puzzle in mine.  The pieces were very simple to make and the puzzle was fun.  I enjoyed this puzzle and it took me less than ten minutes to put it together.

Wooden Cube Puzzle

I couldn’t help but notice the lack of fine consistency in the pieces.  Some were nicely-sanded on all sides, others were very rough, and at least one had a severe crook in it.  None of these characteristics had any affect on how the puzzle went together, but it was interesting to look at different levels of refinement and think about what was really required.  (see A Box Called “Tolerences” and A Box Called “Necessessity?”)

Wooden Cube Puzzle, Disassembled

The rest of this story can be found in Christmas Recap, Part II.