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Scrollsawn Jigsaw Puzzles

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Alf

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In a thread far away, Gill rightly pointed out we should start a fresh thread rather than talk about jigsaw puzzles in Buying Advice :oops:, so with the miracle of Mod Power, here 'tis.

Gill":nf1n85u7 said:
Cutting very fine jigsaw puzzles requires very fine blades and the Eclipse blades will not be suitable. Carter Johnson uses #8/0 Jewelers blades from Sloans (who do not, unfortunately, ship overseas) plus blades from Mike Moorlach. I understand that Carter's blades rarely last longer than 2 or 3 pieces!
For mere mortals, who didn't have Gill to advise them at the time, a thin blade from Axminster can do a reasonable job to start with. :wink: My one and only jigsaw, 3"x4", photograph stuck on thin ply from the model shop. Carter Johnson I am not, but then who is? Apart from him, obviously... Sorry, can't remember which blade I used, it was six long years ago. You can tell by how few tools there are... :oops:



Cheers, Alf
 

Gill

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Hey, that's not bad, Alf. Not bad at all 8) .

Now, the real skill with jigsaws comes when you try to define individual items within the picture as single pieces of the jigsaw. For example, you might have cut the drill as a single piece, the mallet as a single piece, and so on.

Have a look at this:



Here, Carter has cut round the individual fence posts(!), the lamp post, the rabbits and other major components. He's also designed the jigsaw so that there are no four pieces meeting at one point and the edge of the jigsaw is irregular. See how this technique preserves the integrity of the picure whilst producing an attractive puzzle?

You're quite right, Alf, in saying that you can produce reasonable jigsaws using readily available components and without too much scrollsaw experience. But since Whippet was talking about using very fine blades (ie 0.008 and no big gaps between the pieces) I thought it would be prudent at this stage to give a sense of perspective to his aspirations. A beginner can cut rewarding puzzles that are far superior to anything that is produced commercially, so I hope Whippet won't be daunted by any of my comments. He could do a lot worse than start with a puzzle such as the one you produced and tackle more challenging projects as he gains experience.

I knew we should have started a separate thread. And we've hardly scratched the surface of scrolled puzzles, what with Greenfield Bob's "Grandpa's Puzzle" and Jim Sweet's woodimals... :roll: :)

Gill
 

Lin

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I can't help out with the puzzles.....haven't ever cut any with the exception of the woodanimals ones and they are cut from 3/4" wood....so a bigger blade is used on them.....but I can offer up a link that has some "Free" simple puzzles patterns and more difficult scrolling patterns on it.....the harder puzzle that is cut from a 2 x 2 on the site looks sorta interesting as does the alligator.....anyways..here's the link....
http://jswoboda.com/scrollsaw/easy.htm
Lin
 

Gill

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Nice link, Lin. Anyone with a copy of Patrick Spielman's "Scrollsaw Patterns" will recognise those! Anyone without a copy of Patrick Spielman's "Scrollsaw Patterns" might want to PM me (no, I'm just joking - honestly, Mr Corporate Lawyer).

Gosh, the napkin ring holders were the first projects I ever cut - in fact, I came across those cobwebbed bits of banana pine the other day and I've got to say they actually do resemble the patterns.

Gill
 

Alf

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Gill":m5hw1qu0 said:
Now, the real skill with jigsaws comes when you try to define individual items within the picture as single pieces of the jigsaw.
But I like jigsaws with jigsaw-shaped pieces! :lol:

Cheers, Alf

P.S. I'll split the topic off at my post above and edit in an explanation.
 

Gill

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Hi Chris

It could be argued that having conventional pieces which combine random elements of a picture makes assembly easier. Suppose you have a jigsaw of a castle; if it's cut conventionally, one piece might have part of a battlement and part of a window so you would look to find a corresponding piece. If it's cut in the style I've described, there might only be a window which might be one of several windows. Okay, I realise that this might not be the best example to choose because windows rarely make interlocking pieces in their own right, but I hope you get my drift.

I think you've also got to consider what puzzlers look for in a jigsaw. I can remember my mum poring over one puzzle which was a field of tulips. Each piece looked the same to me, but for her the picture wasn't as important as solving the puzzle. I'm different in that I like to see the picture coming together as the puzzle is assembled.

I suppose it's a 'horses for courses' thing. Interestingly, there are scrollers who make a living from hand cut jigsaws and they all use the freeform style. People who may not be regular jigsaw puzzlers still seem willing to commision freeform jigsaws to commemorate family events (such as engagements and anniversaries) and they clearly place great store by retaining the integrity of the picture that is being used.

Gill
 

Gill

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Hi Alf

Can you remember what materials you used to make your jigsaw? Anything that can last 6 years has got to be made of durable stuff. I'm particularly interested in what glue and which protective finish you used. Oh, and I'm sure we'd all like to know what material the jigsaw was cut from. Apart from that... oh! I don't think there's enough remaining to form an "apart form that" :wink:.

Gill
 

Alf

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Gill":2xk20qdk said:
Can you remember what materials you used to make your jigsaw? Anything that can last 6 years has got to be made of durable stuff. I'm particularly interested in what glue and which protective finish you used. Oh, and I'm sure we'd all like to know what material the jigsaw was cut from. Apart from that... oh! I don't think there's enough remaining to form an "apart form that" :wink:.
You don't want to know what I was wearing at the time...? :roll: :lol:

Well lessee, it was early scroll sawing days so it's likely I did it "properly" and used UHU spray mount stuff to glue the photo onto the 1/8" birch ply. No finish at all (how Krenovian). I have a feeling I probably made a sort of stack with a simple grid on the top and free-formed the "ears" - as if you couldn't tell that... :oops: IIRC it was one of a number of wooden puzzles and toys I made to go in homemade crackers for Christmas; all small but not all scrolled. I think a whistle might have been one of the others. Sheesh, wish I was better disciplined at keeping a record. ](*,)

Cheers, Alf
 

Whippet

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I agree Gill, the freeform style of Carter and a few others I've been researching really appeals. I initially thought they'd be easy to solve, but if you use some tricks, they're really difficult.
For example, having straight edge pieces within the jigsaw (how many people start by arranging straight edges on the outside!! Sneaky :twisted: ).
Also something called colour line cutting where you cut along a defined line in the picture so that the solver can't match pieces with the same colour...sorry if my explanation is perplexing :?
You're right Gill, I'm going to build up my skills with the easy projects with the aim of (Hopefully :wink: ) getting close to the standards of the great jigsaw cutters out there. It's good to have goals, especially if you have to work hard to get there, ooh I'm getting all philosophical :roll: .
Thanks for that link Lin, they look like a fun place to start, I'll even try posting my results (if I'm feeling brave).
I've bought some spray mount, I think it's called Stick2 contact adhesive, depending on the way you use it it's repositionable or permanent bond. Has anyone ever used it for jigaws?
As for protecting the picture, I'm clueless. A friend has said there's a product you can get from computer shops that you can spray onto your prints. Haven't investigated this yet though, but perhaps worth a look.

By the way Gill, I'm a girl...well woman. I named myself Whippet after my dog who's a whippet (obviously :oops: ) called Alf! I'm Mel, maybe I should change my username...hmmmm. 8)
 

Whippet

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Sorry, forgot to add..I like your jigsaw Alf and it has kept really well. :D What sort of photo paper is that, did you print it yourself? Also did you finish the back in any way? I was thinking of using oil.
 

Gill

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Hi Mel

I hope I haven't embarrassed you - it's just that there are so few women here that I automatically presumed you were male. Perhaps it also had something to do with the classic image of whippets belonging to Northern males with toothbrush moustaches, flat caps and comforters :lol:. Thinking about it, though, we do seem to have an increasing number of females on the forum \:D/ .

Please don't tell us that your whippet is also a female. I don't think we could cope with another female called Alf ;) .

I haven't used the 'Stick2' contact adhesive myself, so I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on with it. For myself, I use 'Copydex' adhesive, which seems to work fine. The triple-thick glaze that Carter uses is available in the UK, but I've only been able to find it at Calico Crafts. I've got some of Chestnut's acrylic lacquer which I intend to test out some time in the near future, but there's so many other projects also in the queue.

Gill
 

Whippet

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Thanks for the link to the triple thick glaze. This looks good for general pictures, but reading Carter's post on the US Scrollsaw forum, doesn't sound like he reckons it's safe to use on photos.
I've found a computer site that sells a spray that protects inkjet prints
http://www.blankshop.co.uk
Enter the site then click on 'Labels and Paper' and the spray is the only listing under ACCESSORIES. It's called 'PressIT print protection spray'. I'm going to shop around to see if I can find it cheaper, but it looks like it's worth an experiment. :D
 

Alf

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Whippet":8swo9ur6 said:
What sort of photo paper is that, did you print it yourself?
It was an old fashioned, take-the-film-to-the-chemist-to-be-developed, print. Ah, those were the days...

Whippet":8swo9ur6 said:
Also did you finish the back in any way? I was thinking of using oil.
Nope, au naturale. It was supposed to be a quick, easy, disposable thing for fun - except my dad kept it for some reason. I'd be wary of oil, in that it soaks in to a certain extent and may perhaps adversely effect the glue? :-k

Gill":8swo9ur6 said:
I don't think we could cope with another female called Alf :wink:
And why not? :-s :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 
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