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Egeskov Castle puzzle

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  • Egeskov Castle puzzle

    Here is my latest puzzle. This has been a minor disaster but a good learning curve! The problems all stem from using, for the first time, a 3mm light plywood of the sort used for r/c aircraft models. This cut so easily that I felt I had very little control using FD puzzle blades, and after a while I switched to a "Yellow Label" Niqua 2/0 which is much less aggressive.

    The wood snapped once or twice across narrow parts when cutting - the blade lifted the wood and it tore. I had to hold it down firmly very close to the blade when drawing towards the end of a cut.

    So there were a couple of tears where the underside of a piece got damaged and the original idea for the piece became two rather smaller pieces. Other than that, it's still a beautiful picture, taken from a calendar. 196 pieces, a little less than 12"x12".

    Chris
    Attached Files
    "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

    Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

  • #2
    Wow. Wicked edging job there. My first trial puzzle was using 1/8" BB. Real deal will use 1/4". Good job.
    Mike

    Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
    Scrollin' since Jun/2006

    My Gallery

    http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

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    • #3
      Superb job Chris!

      You are doing awesome
      CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
      "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
      Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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      • #4
        Nice job, Chris! Very traditional between the picture and the (well-cut) figures, isn't it? Can't hardly tell that you're English!

        One of the best things about new old-fashioned puzzles is the pictures, IMO. Look at the great color on that one; there was nothing like it in the old days.

        I like your "long round" style, and I think it must come naturally for you, so keep at it by all means!

        Pete

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        • #5
          Thank you Mike, Carl and Pete. I think there were too many mishaps with this one to call it awesome etc...but in a way I'm pleased I finished the puzzle at all, it was so much more difficult to control the cut. Not as much phun as it should have been.

          Pete - Cutting the figurals is satisfying but brings its own issues too. Apart from picking designs that are going to work and not be damaged (I should confess that the witch's broom got separated from its head) I found I had placed some too close to the edge, so the puzzle doesn't interlock so well in some of those places. Next time I shall leave a two-piece margin unless it is clear that the line of the figural creates its own interlocks.

          I also found that having a crazy edge means that some pieces look as if they interlock with figurals, but are in fact edge pieces. This helps maintain the difficulty of the puzzle because figurals tend to make the puzzle easier - they give another "edge" around which you can build up clusters of pieces.

          I have been mostly using 4mm 3-ply BB which I think is a good compromise weight but this time I wanted to try the lightweight aero-ply.

          Chris
          "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

          Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

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          • #6
            The puzzle looks great, Chris, despite your mishaps. That's a nice picture you chose there - just been googling to see where it is ..lol

            I'm not surprised the puzzle blades are hard to control in wood that thin - even with 1/4 in they're pretty aggressive, especially with a new blade. Perhaps if you want the puzzles to be that thin you could use a piece of cheap ply behind as a sacrificial piece?

            I like the crazy edge .. it definitely makes the puzzles trickier to do - ask my sister how long it took to do the M and M puzzle I sent her at Christmas ..
            Ian

            Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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            • #7
              That aircraft wood you talk about, is that okoume? If so, that stuff cuts like butter. I cut a 200 piece puzzle out of 4mm okoume once, and did practically the whole thing with one blade, eventually changing it more from superstition than anything else. I started out using 3/16" or 4mm for everything, but have since switched to 1/4" because it makes the pieces look more impressive and actually slide into place.

              I usually put the figures at least two pieces into the puzzle because of interlocking, and in fact once you're a couple of pieces in you can leave many sides non-interlocked without too much trouble. I'll often have a lot of push-fit edges towards the center of the puzzle.

              For some reason, I'm always in a hurry to get the figures cut first, from fear of screwing up I guess, so usually this is with a new blade. From bitter experience I've learned that some blades will just not hold lines or make sharp corners due to defects, so I always test on scrap first, and slow the saw down so that it's necessary to apply a little pressure to make the blade cut.

              Starting a new puzzle always makes me a little anxious because it takes about 2-3 days from printing the picture to having it ready to cut (I like to let things dry and cure fully), so if I blow it I will have lost a lot of time. So, I psych up for it by cutting the edges with an old blade (whatever's on the saw) and testing out a new blade on some scrap. I also make the first cuts without a magnifier to make sure that I'm getting the tab size right, then cut the figures, usually slowly at first. After that, I'm past the point of no return and settled down to have some "phun".

              Valium helps, too.

              Pete

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              • #8
                I don't know what wood it is, Pete, but it sounds like similar stuff, and tears easily. I used three blades, I think. The FD blade and then two 2/0 yellow label Niqua blades, but like you I think I could have cut the whole thing on a single blade. I've been cutting a figural and then cutting the area around rather than do all the figures at once. But I wouldn't want to cut a figural on an old blunt blade, that's fior sure.

                When you say you have to psych yourself up, don't you cut one puzzle while another board is being prepared? Or do you only make them to order and thus wait around for the next order to come in?

                Chris
                "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

                Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

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                • #9
                  Wow Pete! one blade to cut a 200 piece puzzle? I must be doing something wrong or I need to try the okoume ply because I am breaking FD-SP blades every 5 or 10 minutes. I think I have the tension about right. Iv'e tried adjusting the tension up or down a little with no change. I slowed the speed down some but no difference. What am I doing wrong?
                  Bill

                  I have an RBI Hawk 220-3 VS

                  Visit my Gallery
                  and website www.billswoodntreasures.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chrispuzzle
                    When you say you have to psych yourself up, don't you cut one puzzle while another board is being prepared? Or do you only make them to order and thus wait around for the next order to come in?
                    Since the beginning of the year, I've made two puzzles for fun and four for customers, so it's hardly been demanding. Right now I have a picture to mount for a customer, and while I'm at it, I'll do a few more for fun. I really should photograph more puzzles to show online (photography is not my strong point), having let quite a few puzzles go recently without photos.

                    If I can, I like to cut every day even if it's for 20 minutes, because it's good for keeping the skills up. Long layoffs are very hard to recover from.


                    Bill - We have the same kind of saw, so I can tell you exactly what I do. I set the tension at about 1:00 on the rear lever, and find that if I go tighter the blades don't last too long. For speed, I usually start at 4 or 5 with a new blade, and don't usually go above 7. I usually change blades at about 25 pieces because cutting slows down and the pieces start to go undersize. Over time, I've drifted toward the Pegas from www.bensscrollsaw.com. To me, they seem to be sharper (faster-cutting, especially the double-tooth) and cut straighter (especially the skip tooth). I don't think the life is any different from FD, though.

                    I think birch is pretty variable for silica content, and some pieces I've had have been very hard on blades. Some online purchases of BB and Finland birch I've made were of questionable parentage and these were not good woods. Some I bought on sale at Rockler cuts like a dream.

                    Okoume's a really neat wood; you should give it a try. If you have boat-building supply places nearby, you may be able to save the freight.

                    Pete

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                    • #11
                      Pete - Thank you for the information. I will have to give the Pegas blades a try. I have been using some BB ply from a local hardwood store. They do have marine grade okoume, so I will buy a sheet of that as well. It may be awhile before I will cut any more puzzles because I am in the middle of building a new workshop so I will have a better place to work. However, I will have to do as you suggest and scroll for at least 20 minutes a day to keep up and improve my skills.
                      Bill

                      I have an RBI Hawk 220-3 VS

                      Visit my Gallery
                      and website www.billswoodntreasures.com

                      Comment

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