Introduction: JIGSAW PUZZLE CARRYING CASE
With people sheltering in place, a fun way to pass the time is by doing jigsaw puzzles. They do take up table space. But what do you do when and if company arrives? Toss the unfinished puzzle back into the box? Here I've tried to solve that problem by making a carrying case. It is also a storage case that will keep your puzzle intact until you take it out to work on it.
The idea was to build a case with four drawers used to store separated pieces like all the blue for the sky in one, all the green for the grass in another, all the purple for the flowers, and all the plaid from the skirts of the Irish dancers in the last. Plus provide a working surface that could be secured during its various stages of completing and carried and stored until brought out again. AND NOT HAVE IT ALL FALL APART!
Step 1: DON'T LAUGH AT MY PLANS
If you are familiar at all with any of my projects you'll know I work from a sketch. No drafted plans; no SketchUp. As seen in the photo, I jot down what I want to accomplish, then, believe it or not, sleep on it and it all seems to work itself out in my dreams. Even the pitfalls I might encounter during the build.
Step 2: 24" X 30" PUZZLE
Jigsaw puzzles come in different sizes. I selected this large one as the starting point. It is 24" x 30" which dictated the size of the assembly board to which I added an extra half-inch all around.
Step 3: MATERIALS AND TOOLS
It seems that whatever project I work on I use a lot of different tools. The wood used to build this was things I had in the shop. I did buy magnets, drawer pulls, and a carrying handle. Also felt for the cover backing and spray adhesive.
Step 4: THE STORY "BOARD"
Taking an idea from construction's story stick, I created a story "board" that would allow me to repetitively and accurately make all my 1/4" deep dadoes. The first dado is for the base. Then a wide space for the drawers. Then a dado for the assembly board. Finally, a close-fitting dado for the covers to hold the puzzle pieces down when transporting the case. The storyboard would only be used for the two sides. The end caps where the drawers are would be finished to fit as needed.
What is a story stick?
A story stick, made from nothing more than a strip of wood, contains all of a project's critical measurements marked in full-scale proportion. Taken together, these marks present a precise visual representation—or story—of a project.
Step 5: THE SIDES AND BOTTOM
The sides were glued in place and squared up.
Step 6: DRAWER COMPARTMENTS
Each drawer compartment is exactly the same size. The center divider was 1 1/2" whereas the others were 3/4" wide. The reason for the thicker center divider was to make the "ears" on the drawer faces even.
Step 7: THE DRAWERS
Using scraps from my lumber cart I ripped down all pieces for the drawers, added a dado to each, and installed a bottom. I installed magnets on the drawer compartment stops and the back of each drawer. It was at this point I realized each drawer had to have its own compartment. Why? Because of the poles of magnets. They repel and attract. My MANTRA: I never make a mistake; I only create a challenge. So I added a note to make each drawer have a dedicated space.
Step 8: DRAWER IDENTIFICATION
Step 9: DRAWER PULLS
Each drawer face "ears" protruded 3/4" beyond the edge of the drawer, thus the reason for the 1 1/2" center drawer divider. I installed the pulls and glued the faces in place.
Step 10: ASSEMBLY SURFACE
I squeezed glue in the dadoes and schmeared it on the top of the drawer dividers and secured the assembly surface in place.
Step 11: END CAPS
I added the end caps and glued them in place.
Step 12: COVERS
Using the cutoffs from the 1/4" plywood, I made 3 covers. Why three, you ask? Just look at all those cutoffs. Besides, One huge cover would be a bit unwieldy. One of the dadoes is deeper than its counterpart. I slid the ply into the deeper dado and trimmed it just short of the opposite side. I added a handle to each. The covers could be slid into the deeper slot and pulled back into the shallower slot, and locked in place with the help of magnets on a crossbar. I used a magic marker and darkened the edge and dado of the deeper end. This makes it very easy to determine which way to install the covers.
To make sure the jigsaw puzzle being worked on stayed together, I attached felt to the back of each cover which made a snug fit against the puzzle and assured safe transportation and storage.
Step 13: LOCKING BAR
Again using magnets on either end of the crossbar, I tensioned it toward the shallower dado.
Step 14: THE HANDLE
I grabbed a piece of scrap walnut, cut it into an interesting shape, mitered and chamfered the edges, secured the handle to it, then secured the handle to the case.
Step 15: THE FINISH
I used a combination of Tung Oil and Paste Wax to finish the case. The paste wax really made the drawers slide easily.
Step 16: IN CONCLUSION
This case was not made to withstand rugged travel scenarios. It is for home use, something you are able to set aside until ready to work on the jigsaw puzzle again.
I hope you found this interesting. And as usual: all comments appreciated, all questions answered.
Participated in the
Puzzles Speed Challenge