Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Puzzle blocks get chopped

Drawing finished

Before cutting the puzzle pieces I had to finish the drawing, redraw in marker, adjust and then redraw again in thicker marker. The jig-saw isn't quite as accurate as the drawing (operator error, mostly!) and so I make sure that each piece is drawn with plenty of leeway so that I can cut without fear.
Fear? Me?

Anyhow, here is a quick slide show of the drawing process. Basically, one large block at a time, I draw a grid both on the mock panel from the computer and on the wood block. Then I transfer the drawing, adjusting as need be. As each block gets finished, I place the adjacent block or two so that the drawing will flow from one to the other.

After the charcoal drawing is adjusted to my liking, I bring out the markers and redraw everything. A good sanding with 400 grit paper and every charcoal and pencil mark gets cleaned up nicely, leaving the clean lines of the marker. Time to cut!


Chopping Away

The cutting process is slow and I have to arm myself with patience, a jig-saw, blades, a map of the puzzle, a drill, sandpaper, styrofoam base and a box.
First I label the map with the puzzle pieces I will cut out, then I start cutting. When the puzzle piece hits the edge of the block, I just cut inside the black lines and around. When it is an "island" then I have to drill a starter hole, insert the thin saw blade and cut as before. When two pieces touch each other, I take advantage and cut from one to the other.
There is much dust, which is why I cut outside on the grass (no sweeping!) and cover my face with a scarf. After each block is cut, I sand the edges smooth, note the location code and an arrow indicating the sky on the back of each block and into the box it goes. Pretty soon all I have left is a skeleton block with a bunch of holes.

A little video/slide show demonstrates the whole process:


I felt a bit goofy today and named the big blocks peaceful names. Thus we have the Dove block, the Earth block, the River block, the Sun block,...I forgot the rest but they all be peaceful too. Only the first letter is used in the puzzle pieces code so nobody will ever know about my goofiness, ever.

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