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  • Coffee break?

    Just to prove that I do make stuff, I thought I'd post a picture of a puzzle I made a few days ago. My intention is to make puzzles commercially, the present hurdle being troubles with dry mounting and laminating my inkjet pictures. Am waiting for samples of films and talking to many people in an effort to get a good-looking, durable print that cuts well on the scroll saw. In the meantime, here's one that turned out OK. Enjoy!

    Pete
    Attached Files

  • #2
    That's pretty nifty, Pete!
    How large is it?
    Sandy

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sheltiecarver
      That's pretty nifty, Pete!
      How large is it?
      Sandy
      It's life-size, about 7" X 7". I have managed to misplace my note on the piece count, but I think it's 76.

      Thanks!

      Pete

      Comment


      • #4
        Well done Pete! What type of wood are you using for your backer?

        Are you selling these, or making them for gifts?

        I've yet to try making a puzzle, I ordered some puzzle blades awhile back, and have read up on the how to's but that is as far as I have got.

        If you have more pictures of your puzzles I'd sure like to see them.
        Bill

        DeWalt 788



        aut viam inveniam aut faciam

        God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

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        • #5
          Bill, the wood is 5-ply 1/4", though the outer two layers are thinner, being sandable cherry veneer. Inner plies are birch. I finish the backs with shellac and wax. That's another method that needs some development, because the wax and steel wool make a sludge that oozes between the pieces and has to be cleaned off one piece at a time. Not very efficient.

          I would like to sell them, so am holding back on displaying too many of my wares until I can put together a website.

          Puzzles are fun to make and it's gratifying to see people enjoying them. You should give it a crack.

          Comment


          • #6
            Very cool work, Pete. Like Bill, I'm kind of addicted to portrait work at this time but eventually I'll delve into something a little different. I wish you the best of luck in developing an efficient process and making oodles of cash.
            Mike

            Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
            www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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            • #7
              Pete,

              That is a tempting beverage.
              Nice work.

              Have you thought about applying the finish to the back before cutting?
              You wouldn't end up with the sludge and the wax could help your cuts (better sliding of the wood on the saw table). It's pretty much a win/win solution.

              As for the film, check art supply stores as a source, but don't forget to also look into airbrush material suppliers (printable vinyl) as well as framing material suppliers (they sell laminations) and office material suppliers. You could also look into transparent MacTac (TM) material too.

              Good luck,
              Marcel
              http://marleb.com
              DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

              NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

              Comment


              • #8
                Mike:

                I came into the forum wanting to make puzzles, but I've seen so much nice work of all kinds that I'm looking forward to dabbling in some other areas, too. I just signed up for SSW&C and I hope I get the issue with boxes made on the scroll saw. Portraits and intarsia are very cool and I'd like to try them, too.

                And, yes, here's to nuts and berries for everyone! I'm very anxious to see if the puzzles are well-received by serious puzzlers.

                Marcel:

                I tried finishing before cutting, but sanding all the woollies off abraded the surface unevenly, causing an uneven final finish. Next thing to try is a dry abrasive rather than rubbing out wet with steel wool. OTOH, steel wool is not so bad as long as I don't have to reassemble the puzzle!

                Things are looking up for laminates. I started with a big brand that didn't work well for me, but there are many alternatives. One sample received today looks fine, and more are on the way including some printable vinyl. Mac-Tac is supposed to be very good, but I'm resisting cold-mount for now due to cost and possibly more equipment.


                Thanks, gents!

                Pete

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pete,
                  I'm sure you told us what saw you're using, and perhaps even which blades, but I'm wondering if maybe you should experiment a bit more. I don't think you should be getting significant "woolies" on either side with the proper blade. If you are, then perhaps a reverse blade is in order?? Or maybe you should stack-cut - and dump the bottom one (use something cheap or ugly) .
                  It sounds to me like you are having to go through too much. You might want to check with Carter (The puzzle guru) for what he uses.
                  Your results are great - I'm just thinking about all that work.....
                  Sandy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sandy,

                    Actually, Carter and I have had quite a lot of correspondence, and he's been a great source of advice, being very knowledgeable about the puzzle world even beyond his own cutting experience, which is substantial. He sands, too, touching each piece on a belt sander as he goes. Puzzle blades don't come in a reverse style, probably just as well because of the thin wood. Sanding itself is not a big deal, just a couple of minutes with a sanding block, followed by a good vacuuming.

                    Finishing the backs is totally optional. Some use wax, others tung oil, some shellac. I think it's a nice touch. Really makes them smell good!

                    Pete

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just love the puzzle it just looks so real. About the printer problem what about taking it to a print shop and seeing if they can't copy the image directly on the wood?

                      Eric

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, Eric! I don't think wood would take a very fine print image, but that would be nice.

                        Getting the printing and mounting down has been sort of slow and painful, but it's coming along. It's much more economical then outsourcing, and I can make up boards at midnight if I feel like it. Part of the trouble has been from using a pigment-based ink that has good resistance against moisture and fading, but flakes easily if you take a saw to it. The paper and adhesive I'm using (after some failures) are fine, and with laminating the pictures stick to the wood like white on rice. The only snag now is that the adhesive used to pre-position the laminating film reacts chemically with the paper (and other papers I've tried) and turns it yellowish.

                        A film sample I received today didn't discolor a print, but I need to get the perforated version of it in order to eliminate air bubbles. I should be receiving perforated samples of two other likely films from another company tomorrow. Getting close, I think.

                        The job would be easier and cheaper with dye-based inks, but fade resistance would be iffy. Supposedly, the combination I'm using should be good for 200+ years. Not that I believe that estimate, but it should be as durable as anything out there.

                        Pete

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have you tried using a pencil torch for the 'wooley' problem?

                          I use this method on all my work and have even found it to improve the front of many of my cuts.

                          See my "Spirit of the Warrior" cutting.

                          John

                          Old Dust

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            John, that's a neat piece. For those who may have missed it:

                            http://www.scrollsawer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7762

                            The fuzz from a puzzle blade is usually so light that it can practically be knocked off with a towel. I sand the backs before cutting and need just a light sanding with 240 grit to clean it up. Knowing me, if I were to use a torch, I'd scorch it in a spastic moment!

                            Pete

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