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Freehand Jigsaw Puzzles

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Carter Johnson

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Hello friends in the UK....

A few months ago, someone posted on this forum a picture of one of my little postage stamp puzzles. I thought that I would post a picture of a typical puzzle I produce and encourage others to give this freehand scrollsawing method a try. Below is a photo of the front and I will follow it with my next post and a picture of the back. This one has 156 pieces and measures about 11 x 7".

Most of my puzzle are pictures from calendars and are 300-400 pieces. I use no pattern whatever and simply try to cut along the color lines of the images within the picture. The wood is 1/4" birch or poplar and I spray the mounted pictures with any Triple-Thick Glaze spray I find at craft and large department store.

All our Christmas cards are puzzles and have been for nine years. I don't sell my work but rather loan them to friends whose families enjoy putting them together.

Anyway, I'm happy to help anyone who would like some hints regarding this style of cutting. You can reply through this forum or email me at CarterJ636@aol.com. Where am I? Just outside Chicago, where right now it's about zero degrees.

Merry Christmas...

Carter Johnson

 

trevtheturner

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Howdy, Carter,

Welcome to the Forum.

That is a superb puzzle. =D> Thanks for showing it to us.

How long does it take you to cut a puzzle like that, of that size?

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Carter Johnson

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Time: I can cut about 70 pieces per hour, but I take my time. I'm at the saw for about 20 minutes before my attention span is exhausted and I quit and put the 30 to 40 pieces I've done together. (if I cut more pieces than that at a time, I sometimes find it's too tough to put together.)

When I'm finished, I sand the back and take it apart and count the pieces and add a small photo of the picture I've taken before starting. I then turn it over to my wife, who has assembled all of the 450+ puzzles I've made, many more than once.

Carter
 

ProShop

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Absolutely fanastic, "WOW"

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

Hi Carter,
if it makes you feel any warmer it's minus 0.5 over here at the moment. :)
 

StevieB

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Fantastic work, I reckon you could certainly sell them if you had a mind too.

How long does it take to get the round 'knobs' on each puzzle piece looking round when you freehand saw? I have tried this but end up something that actually looks like its made of many flat sides rather than a circle :oops: Any hints or tips on achieving this or is it just a case of practice makes perfect?

Thanks for sharing this with us, an inspiration for all scrollers!

Steve.
 

Gill

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Your work with jigsaws sets the standard for us all, Carter.

=D>

Gill
 

dedee

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That really is very nice.
I am not sure whether to be inspired or downhearted :lol: . I cannot every imagine producing a piece like that.

Andy
 

Carter Johnson

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Many, many thanks, folks, for your kind compliments.

The only "secret" to this kind of freehand scroll sawing is to just do it. To learn to cut round locking tabs, perhaps you could start with the outline of a small coin and work smaller and smaller.

A good place to begin would be to gather the Christmas cards you receive this year and pick out those that have images on the fronts that can be sawed into puzzle pieces. Mount the card on 1/4" wood and find a thin blade of 2/0 or so and simply start cutting. If you make mistakes, who cares?

I'm happy to contribute more pictures to this board if you'd like them, but I don't want to impose. Here is a picture of our Christmas card puzzle from a couple of years ago. It's an ideal picture because, in many case, its images have natural locks with their neighbors. Where those locks are not natural, I have inserted round locking tabs.



I welcome further comments and questions. In preparation for Christmas, I'm staying home and cutting more puzzles. It's still almost zero outside - and that's farenheight (sp?). .We know some people who went to the Chicago Bears porofessional football game Sunday night, where the wind-chill temperature was -10F. That's nuts!

Carter
 

trevtheturner

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Carter Johnson":39ieryps said:
I'm happy to contribute more pictures to this board if you'd like them, but I don't want to impose.
You certainly won't impose, Carter. We like pics. on the forum. The only problem I can see is that the rest of us will soon exhaust our supply of adjectives to compliment you on your work! :wink:

:shock: Blimey, zero Fahrenheit makes our zero Centigarde (or, in modern parlance Celsius) seem positively warm. :lol:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Ian Dalziel

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Carter Johnson":sygydlju said:
I welcome further comments and questions. In preparation for Christmas, I'm staying home and cutting more puzzles. It's still almost zero outside - and that's farenheight (sp?). .We know some people who went to the Chicago Bears porofessional football game Sunday night, where the wind-chill temperature was -10F. That's nuts!

Carter
Accchh we wear shorts and tee shirts in that temp over here....

beautiful jigsaws expertly done.....lovely city and love the harbour...i visit Addison quite regular

welcome to the forum

Ian
 
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