Puzzle 755 - Plastic Puzzle

By Custom Puzzle Craft

Home About Cutting Styles Journal Custom Puzzle Log Gallery Puzzle Log 100 Puzzles Project Annual Auctions
Puzzle 691 Puzzle 782

Puzzle 755 - Plastic Puzzle

In the fall of 2007 I made a puzzle out of transparent plastic, cutting it in my grid cutting style, per a customer order. I used a grid template I designed in Photoshop. While cutting, I frequently placed drops of a lubricating oil on the surface of the plastic to prevent the blade from binding to the plastic as heat from the cutting could easily melt the plastic without the oil. The process was rather messy and a lot of cleanup time was required to remove a protective backing on the plastic and the plastic residue from the cutting which clung to the sides of the pieces. I used my regular scroll saw for the job, but replaced my usual cutting surface table with one that I had used for metal cutting experiments which also required oil several years earlier . I had to be super careful with the completed puzzle as if it came apart it would have been nearly impossible to reassemble! I shipped the completed work assembled.

Much later (December 6, 2010) this puzzle was mentioned by me in an article in the New York Times!

Some pieces immediately after cutting with protective covering still in place on the back side

Plastic used for the puzzle (provided by the customer)

6 rows of 9 pieces, cleaned

All done!

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

October 28, 2007

Sunday 5:44 pm - Tomorrow I'll work with some plastic to see if I can make a puzzle for a potential customer in Portland Oregon. I have added this item to the Puzzle Queue.

October 29. 2007

Monday 2:27 pm - Today I visited the ruins of the residences of San Pasqual Academy, visiting the destroyed homes of Mixed Media members Bob Armstrong and Jean Cornwell. The 24 beautiful Puzzle Tree puzzle pieces I spent so much time making and some other wooden parts were stored in Bob's garage - of these there wasn't the slightest trace - anything not made of metal, concrete or ceramic was completely incinerated, both in the garage and the house. The destruction was profound. The Puzzle Tree's metal branches with wooden spear tips survived. These had been stored outside the garage, leaning against a stucco wall which collapsed inward, protecting the wooden spear tips although flames came through cracks formed when the wall fell, scorching the poles. Bob and I have agreed that this is the absolute end of The Puzzle Tree. All of Bob's personal effects associated with The Puzzle Tree (the scale models he made, posters, photos and Anne William's "The Jigsaw Puzzle" book with a picture of The Puzzle Tree were incinerated. As I had an extra copy of the book, I gave Bob a new one. I did take photos, but I must now get to the shop to do experimentation with the plastic I have mentioned. I'll update here with photos when I get a chance. I'll also eventually update the Puzzle Tree page too.

October 30, 2007

Tuesday 7:53 pm - I spent a good part of the day struggling with the plastic puzzle. I had to use oil to keep the blade from binding with the plastic. The oil made it very hard to keep the grid template securely in place during the latter part of cutting as the template became saturated with oil and wanted to slip. Cleanup of the pieces is also took much longer than expected as the plastic residue collected around the edges of the pieces. I expected to complete the puzzle today, but cleanup will extend well into tomorrow morning.

October 31, 2007

Wednesday 5:51 pm - The laborious clean up of the plastic puzzle is done and the puzzle is ready to ship.

Plastic Puzzle
Date Completed
October 31, 2007
11" x 8.5"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting

Home About Cutting Styles Journal Custom Puzzle Log Gallery Puzzle Log 100 Puzzles Project Annual Auctions
Puzzle 691 Puzzle 782