Ding Puzzii

This will give you smooth cuts and rcducc the need for sanding, which can destroy dimensional accuracy. Set blade depth to just cut into the top surface of the jig base.

Set up your jig by cutting some test blocks to sec if a pair of blocks can be stacked up to form a cube. You want equal measurements on all sides. Follow my directions for using the jig, adjusting the screw in the stop block until you get two blocks that attain cube status. For safety and accuracy, tighten the screw on the hold-down to lock the workpiecc in position.

After cutting the 16 puzzle pieces, touch up their crosscut surfaces by lightly sanding them, rubbing each against a piece of fine sandpaper placed on a flat surface. Glue the pieces into the eight assemblies shown here, taking care to neatly align the pairs before clamping.

After the glue sets, clean off any squeeze-out and very lightly chamfer or round all exposed edges. The little tray shown in the top right photo makes a handy container for the puzzle and facilitates solving it on your lap. The 1-in. center cube is optional.

Finishing the puzzle pieces with a penetrating oil will bring out the color and grain of the wood, and provide a little moisture and stain protection.

Once your puzzle is complete, see how many solutions you can get without referring to the drawings on page 59. Who knows—maybe you'll discover a few new ones that have evaded the experts! A

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