Children's Jigaw Puzzle

I thought that I would start off simple and small.

This is 25 pieces and measures about 10" square. It is cut from 1/4" MDF. I cut the first 1/8" using a 1/8" downcut bit, then cut the rest using a 1/8" upcut bit so that I get a clean surface and bottom - no sanding.

I’ve been experimenting with image transfer, but the methods that I have used in the past don’t work on puzzles. The media that I use - modge podge or clear poly - glue the pieces together. I have some ideas that may work, but I’ve yet to try them. This one is just a simple laser etching using my generic diode laser.


Nice! What kind of speed/power/dither settings did you use on the MDF.

I have been thinking about some simple puzzles for one our our many small great grandchildren :open_mouth:.

@stevendq I knew that I forgot something, Steve. :grinning:

In LightBurn, I used a speed of 100 ipm and a power of 60 with Stucki dither. I would either drop the power or speed it up a bit next time. It’s a bit dark and the slight gradations don’t show well.

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Thanks, Grant. Something to add to my knowing so little about so much…Despite the darkness, it looks fantastic.

That is the most challenging thing with the Laser, power and speed and what’s being lasered. I will probably do some power scale pieces for the different wood types we use, to have a better handle on it.

I have yet to use MDF for anything, generally use cheap-o pine because my wife is “frugal”, although just lasered some coasters for Christmas presents on Poplar and they came out very nice.

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@stevendq My next puzzle will be on pine, I think, as I want to keep trying image transfers and they don’t work at all on MDF, in my experience.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is the application that I used to determine the pieces. It is free for download. I can’t attach it here as it is an .exe file. If you want it, send me a pm with your email address and I’ll send it to you. It is really good in that you can choose how many pieces, how many lobes on each piece and the size of each piece. It exports a .dxf file. You still need to play with it to close vectors and to choose a suitable offset in your CAM software, but the application takes a lot of work out of the initial design.

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@gwilki I was going to ask if you used a gadget/plugin or secondary program. Does clicking your name/avatar and selecting message send you a PM? - never done that before.

Email Sent. Here are the coasters - I have to make 8 sets of 4. Bottom left one is finished with some butcher block conditioner.

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Lookin’ good, Steve. :grinning:

The programmer of the application that I used to create the .dxf of the puzzle pieces has just opened a website. Here is the link:

I’m attaching a description of the process that I have found works well to take the .dxf file to completed tool paths in VCarvePro.