If you're looking for a great simple project to do with your kids this is it! This puzzle only takes about an hour to make not including drying time. It will provide many hours of educational entertainment for kids of all ages!
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Wood of your choice. I used 1 x 8 pine purchased at a big box store.
Pattern of your choice - can be found on line on many sites
Table saw or a wood hand saw
Stain or paint of your choice, stain that I used - Minwax Grey Stain
A drill with a small drill bit (size will depend on the pattern)
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Step 1: Apply Tape.
To start off you will want to apply some painters tape to the surface of the wood. This little trick will make it much easier to remove the scroll saw pattern latter on.
Step 2: Apply Your Pattern.
Using some spray adhesive apply the glue to the surface of the tape. From there you can apply the scroll saw pattern. Using your fingers spread the pattern out smooth.
Scroll saw patterns can be found on line by searching for "Scroll saw puzzle pattern".
Step 3: Remove Excess Wood.
Using a table saw remove any excess wood. This will make it easier to handle while using the scroll saw. As an option a hand saw will work just fine for this step.
Step 4: Cut Out the Pattern.
Using a scroll saw and a spiral blade take your time and cut along the lines to cut out the pattern. In addition you may have to drill some holes to allow access for the scroll saw blade to pass through on internal cuts. For this pattern simple holes worked fine for the eyes of the elephant. There was no need to make any more internal cuts with the scroll saw.
Step 5: Remove the Pattern.
Remove the pattern. This is made easy since painters tape was used at the beginning.
Step 6: Sand the Pieces.
Using 120 grit sand paper sand all the surfaces till smooth. Also be sure to round over the edges just a bit. This makes putting the puzzle together much easier.
Step 7: Apply Your Stain or Paint of Choice.
For mine I used Minwax stain in a grey color. It is an elephant after all! Using a shop towel I applied the stain until all surfaces were covered. Any small areas where the towel couldn't reach I used a small paint brush to get into the tight spots.
Step 8: Enjoy!
After the stain has had time to dry it's time for the little ones to enjoy the puzzle!