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Tropical Macaw

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  • Tropical Macaw

    Hi Everyone, It's been awhile since I've had a chance to cut any puzzles but I've got some blanks ready to go, including Dee's turtle pattern. This is one I completed this weekend.The finished puzzle is about 7.5 x 9.5 and has approx 115 pieces.
    I was curious as to what techniques you pros out there use to finish the backs? I finish mine by sanding them by hand with a fine sandpaper block, but they do not come out as nice and polished as other handcut puzzles I have purchased. I've used different techniques such as putting on a layer of mod podge on the back and let it set for a week or so before cutting, sometimes I cut then seal the back with krylon triple. I think the mod podge gums up the blade a bit, but that could just be me. I always start out with a fresh blade and my pieces still come out raggedy. I tend to cut using a slow speed and I don't think I push the pieces through too fast since it takes me a long time to cut a puzzle.
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  • #2
    Not a pro, but I sand to 220 before cutting. After cutting I assemble it upside down and give it a quick re-do, but I don't sand individual pieces. Usually I leave the back unfinished, but I've also hit it with a quick rag wipe of Danish oil.

    I haven't used mod podge, so I don't know if it will dull or gum up the blade quickly. If you have more cutting problems near the end than at the beginning then you might want to replace the blade earlier. You might want to try running the blade a bit faster: so long as it isn't burning fast blade speeds are generally better. You want the blade rate enough faster than the feed rate that the blade is doing all the cutting and not being forced out of the way.



    • #3
      Nice puzzle, Eileen, but I must admit that my freehand color-line-cutting bias makes me drool a little when I see a picture with such nice color boundaries. To me, a pattern, especially for this kind of picture, is not necessary.

      I may be weird, but I sand every piece individually. I cut 30 to 40 pieces at a time, stop, and then touch each piece to an upside-down electric sander before putting it aside for assembly. Then when the puzzle is done and together, I sand the back with the same sander (a finishing sander with a small triangular surface). I don't use any kind of spray or finish on the back.

      It's good to "see" you again....



      • #4
        Hi Carter, I did do a little bit of color line cutting, but I'm not very good at it. On this puzzle, the branch was my attempt at color line cutting. Can I get more info on your sander? How big is it, is it hand held or one of those big ones?


        • #5
          Sweeeeet cuts, looks like it would be fun to assemble.
          Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


          • #6
            Eileen, it's a small, hand-held power sander with a vibrating triangle head, each side only about 2 inches. It's primarily sold for people to be able to sand in corners. The sanding press-on sheets last forever and I've found it handy for all my puzzle sanding. You should be able to find it at all hardware or home-depot-like stores.

            Have phun..... C


            • #7
              beautiful image and great job on the puzzle......the more ya cut he better ya get...keep posting pics...

              "The Journey is the Reward"


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