Weekend Projects – Jigsaw Car Puzzles

Wednesday 11 July 2018


Photocopy and enlarge the puzzle patterns opposite. Temporarily adhere patterns onto the wood with spray adhesive. Install a No.5 reverse-tooth blade in your scrollsaw and begin by carefully following the pattern lines to cut around wheels. Small blades cut sharp curves, twists and turns. Because they are so thin, the saw cut – or kerf – is very narrow, allowing the puzzle pieces to fit together and interlock.


Next, cut around the outer profile of the car.


Separate the pieces of puzzle by cutting away sections in the following order: first, cut off the roof/top section, then cut apart the three sections of the body. Do not push or crowd wood into the blade. You do not want to force the blade to the left or right, nor to the back or front. Keep the blade cutting through the wood perfectly straight up and down. This ensures the puzzle pieces can be easily separated and reassembled.


After cutting out all the pieces, remove the paper patterns. Touch up any imperfections and soften any sharp edges with sandpaper. Finish sanding all surfaces to your desired smoothness, working through grades from around 100 up to 250, or even 400 grit for an ultra-smooth surface. Apply a colourful acrylic finish by thinning acrylic paints with water and smoothly brushing onto wood, following the grain of the wood. Remember that projects meant for children should always use safe non-toxic finishes. Allow one side of the puzzle to completely dry before painting the other side. The puzzle will probably require several coats because the wood will absorb a great deal of the paint. Paint adds thickness to wood, so keep your paint thin on the sides of the puzzle that fit together.