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Solitude puzzle

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  • Solitude puzzle

    I'm posting this one to brag, because I made a big step up in the size of the puzzle pieces I'm cutting. I'd been doing about 1.5 pieces per square inch, but after it slowly dawned on me that Carter and PeteB and other cutters have a smaller, more delicate cut, I took the plunge and tried doing smaller pieces.

    This puzzle (from a calendar) is Maxfield Parrish's "Solitude", originally painted for a General Electric calendar, would you believe, and there are 204 pieces for a cut of 2.125 pieces per square inch.

    The scanner cropped off the puzzled edge at top and bottom somewhat. The figurals are from Dover clip art books. I especially liked the angel, I think that one's going to get used a few more times.

    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
    looks great! I should try puzzlemaking sometime, it sure would be a change of pace for me, Im used to moving my blade from frethole to frethole every 15 seconds. Dale
    Dale w/ yella saws

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    • #3
      Very nice puzzle. I like the style of your pieces. I am making a puzzle with a similar style but my pieces are larger. I am making my puzzles for my wife's school students so I am keeping the pieces a little larger.
      Bill

      I have an RBI Hawk 220-3 VS

      Visit my Gallery
      and website www.billswoodntreasures.com

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      • #4
        Chris, this is a big step forward and absolutely brag-worthy!

        While refining your style, it helps to look at different pieces and consider why they look good or not-so-good. Something that generally looks good is to be fairly consistent in the thickness of the body vs. the size of the tabs. Another is fairly uniform tab sizes, though I think with your style, thickness is more important than length. Smoothness is good; I have a maddening tendency to wiggle lines to make them more "interesting", then when I'm all done I wonder, "Why the hell did I do THAT?" because the smoother curves and straights look so much better. Although a "ragged edge" on pieces would be an interesting style if done throughout; the important thing, IMO, is consistency.

        Something that helps with the shapes of tabs is to remember that an "innie" on one piece is going to be an "outie" on another. Sounds stupid but it works. Another is to keep the shapes symmetrical; if I blow one side of a tab (not ideal shape), I'll cut the other side to mirror it if I can.

        I'm still very much working on style, and have a recurring dread that if I start cutting a puzzle in one session and finish it in another, that the two halves will look nothing alike!

        Great picture and figures, btw. They suit each other very well.

        Nice job!

        Pete

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        • #5
          Chris, nice looking.

          Bob
          Delta P-20 & Q-3

          I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

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          • #6
            Bob, Dale, Bill - Thanks!

            Pete - I agree with you about thickness vs length in my "long round" cutting style. Usually the problem is a sudden change in the ease with which the blade is cutting which changes the shape of the curve as I turn around a tab. But also what you say about "innies" and "outies" comes into play where what was supposed to be a curve between one tab and the next becomes a large unsightly tab on the adjacent piece. I am probably making some pieces too frilly in that respect. But the pieces I dislike most are those small squat ones with only a couple of tabs that you sometimes end up with if you haven't looked ahead quite enough while cutting. I try to think about the piece I'm cutting in relation to the pieces around it but not necessarily any further than that.

            I do the mirror thing too, with mistakes and also sometimes I will try and mimic part of a figural so as to make a piece look like it is attached to one when it isn't.

            Incidentally the figures of the girl and the governess (?) about to smack her are two separate figures (although the silhouette pattern is a single pattern). My idea is that you don't realise the two belong together, and you can only see what is going on when you have put the pieces both in place. I was pleased with the effect and plan to do that trick again.

            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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            • #7
              thats a beautiful job you did there Chris some will have a lot of joy doing that puzzle
              Daryl S. Walters Psycotic scroller with a DeWalt 788

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              • #8
                Originally posted by chrispuzzle
                Usually the problem is a sudden change in the ease with which the blade is cutting which changes the shape of the curve as I turn around a tab. But also what you say about "innies" and "outies" comes into play where what was supposed to be a curve between one tab and the next becomes a large unsightly tab on the adjacent piece. I am probably making some pieces too frilly in that respect. But the pieces I dislike most are those small squat ones with only a couple of tabs that you sometimes end up with if you haven't looked ahead quite enough while cutting. I try to think about the piece I'm cutting in relation to the pieces around it but not necessarily any further than that.
                Something you might try for going around corners is a series of non-interlocking bumps that have radii similar to the ends of your tabs, just a thought.

                If a blade betrays me, I look at the cut to make sure that it wasn't a knot that caused the problem, but otherwise don't give a blade a second chance. Once I went through four blades before finding one that cut fast and predictably, though that was a rare ocasion.

                Small pieces can be a problem, and I hate it when I cut one by accident or "cut myself into a corner". When I get down to the last few square inches, I stop and plan the last few cuts. Other than that, I've gotten so I don't need to assemble as I go, and just stack the pieces in fives and assemble it all at the end (unless my wife grabs it first because she loves puzzles).

                Pete

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                • #9
                  The puzzle I am cutting at the moment is from a Thomas Kinkade callendar and the size of it is about 11-1/2 by 13-3/4 inches so instead of having to move the whole sheet around while I am first cutting the puzzle I like to cut the picture in to quarters to give me smaller pieces to work with. On this one I made the lobes and loops too large between the halves so it is going to look rather odd when I am finished, but I am using these first puzzles mostly for practice anyway. After I got this puzzle all glued up and ready to cut, I found that there were some voids in the center sections of the ply. Oh well, live and learn. I am going to buy some okoume ply for my next puzzle to see if it is better.
                  Bill

                  I have an RBI Hawk 220-3 VS

                  Visit my Gallery
                  and website www.billswoodntreasures.com

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                  • #10
                    That is a great looking puzzle, Chris - and a nice job on the figurals too. Looks like your puzzle-cutting is progressing in leaps and bounds!
                    Ian

                    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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