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Old 02-13-2015, 06:09 PM
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Default Puzzles, toys and such

Greetings from the 'Uncommonly Cold Workshop'. It's in an unheated part of the basement and there is no big project cluttering up the place. The machinery has been tuned up and the blade of the tablesaw is finally parallel to the T-Slots! (It was necessary to disassemble the trunnion assembly and enlarge a couple of boltholes to make this adjustment possible.)

Since there are no immediate plans for large furniture builds, I am beginning a series of puzzles and toys for my grandchildren and other family members. The first group has about a dozen sets of the Tangram puzzle and a dozen sets of a 7-piece puzzle of my own design. These projects were chosen to help clear out an inventory of thin boards (1/8 to 3/8 inch thick) left over from previous projects.

All of the puzzle pieces have been cut and two boxes have been prototyped so far. The 'Uncommonly Cold Workshop' is too cold for any of the gluing or finishing operations at this time, so they are being done elsewhere. Further posts in this thread will show the setups used, and highlight some of the decisions made during the construction process. My plan is to use several different styles of joinery to make the puzzle storage boxes. This will help me identify preferred box styles for future projects in the puzzle series.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

I'm VERY much looking forward to what you've come up with, Charles! Can hardly wait!
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

Great. Thanks for this Charles.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

Here are the first two boxes ready for delivery:

Both have sliding lids facing toward the camera.

The square box contains the 7 pieces of the Tangram Puzzle.


The Tangram pieces are stored in the box in two layers.


The Tangram pieces are derived from a square. This square has 5 inch sides.


The rectangular box contains the 7 pieces of the Hexgram (as I have dubbed it).


The Hexgram pieces are stored in three layers.


The Hexgram pieces are derived from a hexagon. This hexagon has 3 inch sides.


The sliding top is glued to a mitered border section. The bottom is made of plywood and fits inside rabbeted box sides.


These first couple of boxes were not splined or reinforced at the corners. This lucky box survived the 4 foot unintended drop test.


Here are puzzle pieces for more than a dozen sets of each puzzle. Various woods and wood thicknesses were used. The 1/8 inch thick sets in Bloodwood will remain in my personal collection.


Before finishing, the pieces need to all be the same thickness, and sanded to perfection. This setup allows the pieces of a Tangram set to be sanded all at one time. Clamps hold the pieces together so that the ETS-125 can easily do the job.


The Hexgram pieces can be arranged in a rectangle, and thus can also use this holding method.


These Mahogany pieces have been mitered for assembly into two more boxes for each puzzle type. Different lid arrangements and corner reinforcement will be used for these boxes.


Here is some of the remaining thin stock that will be utilized for the building of boxes. Curly Maple is on the left, followed by Walnut and Mahogany.


The puzzle pieces were cut using a sled on a Table Saw. A 7 inch thin kerf plywood blade from Freud was used. Three inch wide boards were used to make all of the puzzle pieces. The guide fence shown is set to cut a 60 degree angle for the Hexgram pieces. Earlier it was set to cut at 45 degrees for the Tangram pieces.


Here is a close up of the configuration. The lower part of the leading edge of the fence indicates where the saw will cut the puzzle piece.


Future postings to this thread will describe the variations in box construction. Hinged lids will probably use wooden hinges of some kind or another.There will be dovetailing, finger joints and even some solid hardwood (not plywood!) bottoms. Maybe there will be some magnetic latches. Its too early to know for sure what an Uncommonly Cold Workshop will do to my better judgement.

Charles
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

I am puzzle challenged, but still impressed.
Thanks for posting I enjoy reading your posts.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

Wonderful pictures, Charles. It looks like one of Bridge City's JMPs would have been the perfect tool for cutting the puzzle and box pieces!

I'm looking forward to the rest of the journey!
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

They look great! And nothing like one of Tico Vogt's shooting boards to fine tune the fit.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

Here are some jpg's showing the dimensions of the puzzle pieces.


These are the Hexgram Packing dimensions. The box internal dimensions must be sized to allow this figure to fit inside. Due to seasonal variations of the puzzle piece dimensions, I have increased the internal sizes of the containers. If you build yours in Houston, you won't have to worry too much about this.


These are the dimensions for the stored Tangram pieces:


These are the dimensions of the individual Hexgram pieces:


Here are the dimensions for the Tangram pieces:


This picture shows the convex shapes I have been able to identify for the Hexgram. Convex shapes have no internal angle greater than 180 degrees.
There may be more, but these are all I could come up with.


I intend for my next pair of boxes will have mitered corners, spline reinforcement, wooden hinges for the top and a hardwood bottom.

Charles
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

I am impressed. Very nice work and hours of fun ahead.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Puzzles, toys and such

Fascinating projects and great craftsmanship, as always Charles. Thanks for letting us take a look.
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