By Ray Levy

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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Most any woodworking project is a puzzle of sorts—when the pieces finally fit, you get that familiar feeling of satisfaction. Here's another type of puzzle—a wooden puzzle that's meant to be taken a pail and reassembled again and again to test just how clever you are.

Making this puzzle is a matter ol preparing a wooden cube and bandsawing out the puzzle pieces from two sides of the cube in two separate steps. It's fairly easy to make, but not so simple to solve. Look at Fig. 2 and the photos, and youH be able to figure out how the interlocking picccs slip together.

Choose a uniformly grained wood of medium density to make the puzzle. I've had good results with poplar, basswood and mahogany. It's best to avoid the harder woods because thev can cause a narrow bandsaw blade m to wander from a straight cut in the wide wood. (See sidebar. Tips for Bandsawing Thick Wood.) You will need a 3V4-in. thick cube. If you can't get 3V4-in. thick stock, glue up the block from two or more individual pieces. Match the grain carefully to help hide the glue-joint line.

You'll need to make a copy or tracing of the serpentine line patterns in Fig. 1 (see page 48) to help guide the band-sawn cuts. (Be sure it is a full-size copy.) Glue the copy directly to two adjacent sides of the wooden cube. Next, saw along the lines with a '/fc-in. bandsaw blade. The stcp-

bv-step photos show how it's done.

When the sawing is completed, lightly sand the band-sawn surfaces by hand. You can make a simple hand-sanding stick with a dowel and a piece of sandpaper as shown in Fig. 3. After sanding, apply a finish that won't build up on the wood surface and doesn't require sanding. I'd recommend a penetrating oil finish like those from Watco or Minwax. Apply the finish to every surface of each of the puzzle pieces.

The best way to disassemble the puzzle is to slide it apart in layers, either horizontally or vertically. (See Fig. 2.) Disassemble each layer. Reverse the order to assemble the puzzle. Don't start assembly of the puzzle in two directions at the same time—it won't work. Hint: If your w wood puzzle block has a prominent end-grain figure, use it as a visual aid to assist the assembly.

One final caution: I'd bring this puzzle out after dinner to amuse guests. Otherwise, you could end up with empty chairs at the table until the puzzle is solved. A

Levy is a retired mechanical design-has been Marking wood most of life. He has a new lxx)k out, Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood (¡991. Publishing Co. Inc.. 387 Park S., New York, NY 10016).

■46 a AMERICAN WOODWORK:*

n Band saw along the puzzle lines on one side with a slow, even feed. Try to split the pattern Hoes with the blade, and keep the cut square and straight (Don't bow the blade in the kerf.l q When you've finished cutting one side, blow out the dust and remove the pattern on the side that you've cut (tftl come off easily if you warm it with a hot-air gun.| Next, set the puzzle parts on a flat surface and tape them together securely, keeping the ends aligned as shown.

A Turn the block so the remaining pattern faces up, and handsaw out the lines on the second side. Remove the tape and patterns from the puzzle pieces.

1 To nuke the puzzle, start by squaring up the Xs sides of a 3 %-in. block. Round the edges with a Vit-in. round-over router bit, and fin* sand the faces of the block. Make a full-size copy of the two puzzle patterns shown in Fig. L Que the patterns to the block with spray adhesive, centering them on two adjacent faces of the block and aligning the two arrows where the patterns meet.

n Band saw along the puzzle lines on one side with a slow, even feed. Try to split the pattern Hoes with the blade, and keep the cut square and straight (Don't bow the blade in the kerf.l

A Turn the block so the remaining pattern faces up, and handsaw out the lines on the second side. Remove the tape and patterns from the puzzle pieces.

The puzzle block looks like this when it's partially disassembled. " The small waste pieces result from the intersecting handsaw cuts and wont affect the puzzle. Sand the bandsawn surfaces and finish.

Continued q When you've finished cutting one side, blow out the dust and remove the pattern on the side that you've cut (tftl come off easily if you warm it with a hot-air gun.| Next, set the puzzle parts on a flat surface and tape them together securely, keeping the ends aligned as shown.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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