Small Puzzles Made Easy                                                 

I was looking for an easy way to make small puzzles that others would be able to do. For this puzzle that is 3 7/8 " diameter of the actual circle puzzle. It could easily be enlarged to any size you want to make it. For a blade I used the 8/0 jewelers blades from Sloan's Woodshop. It would need to be enlarged a little to use a 2/0R blade. There are some Flying Dutchman puzzle blades that may be small enough to cut it this size, but I have not tried them.

For wood I used 1/8" Baltic Birch Plywood for the puzzle. The optional frame I used 1/8" for the frame and 1/4" for the back plate.

After the puzzle was cut I used a wood burner to burn the picture onto the wood. A picture could have been glued to the wood and cut out, but I have found that even with the very narrow saw kerf, it still distorts the picture a little. That is why I chose to burn the image on after the pieces were all cut out. The picture is correct now, with no distortion from the kerf.

ButerPuz.jpg (70870 bytes)I started out by cutting the circle then cutting it into smaller blocks. The cut each ring of the puzzle block , and then cut the individual pieces from the ring section. You will need a zero clearance table insert to do this size. A quick simple one is to tape a business card over the slot in the table.


ButerPuz1.jpg (77135 bytes)Cutting in progress. Notice I try to keep the puzzle together as I go. It can be put back together , but I am building it now, so don't want to take the time to assemble the puzzle after it is cut. Cut a few pieces of the puzzle , place them on a board in place then cut a few more pieces. An easy way to keep the pieces in order.


ButerPuz7.jpg (123337 bytes)After the puzzle is cut I use scotch tape and cover the front. Then turn it over and sand the back. Wipe or blow the dust off then tape the back, remove the tape from the front and apply the pattern to burn onto the front. The tape holds the pieces in place so you can burn the pattern onto the wood. After the burning is complete I spray with a light coat of Deft spray lacquer. Let that dry, lay the puzzle on it's face , remove the tape and light spray on the back side.

ButerPuz3.jpg (140061 bytes)At this point the puzzle can be done as used as a no frame puzzle.



ButerPuz6.jpg (125202 bytes)I chose to build a frame for the puzzle to set in. Lay the finished puzzle on the wood and trace around it. That was the kerf does not effect the way the puzzle fits the frame. Cut the frame from 1/8" plywood, then I cut the back a little larger to give a stair step to the frame, and the back from 1/4" plywood.

Sand and  finish the frame, place the puzzle inside.

Patterns for some of the mini puzzles.    PuzzlePDF

Puzzle 3 piece

Puzzle 4 piece

Circle Puzzle


Multiple piece circle Puzzle

Larger Puzzles

#3  36 Piece

#4  49 Piece

#5  64 Piece

#6  81 Piece

#7  Larger

Can someone make this one.