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Step-by-Step Guide to use Jigsaw Making Equipment



Are you interested in creating unique and intricate jigsaw puzzles? Whether you are a seasoned puzzle enthusiast or a beginner, having the right equipment is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable puzzle-making experience. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use jigsaw making equipment effectively. From choosing the right saw to assembling and finishing your puzzle, we will cover everything you need to know to become a master puzzle maker. So, let's dive in and unlock the secrets of this fascinating craft!

Choosing the Right Saw

When it comes to jigsaw making, selecting the appropriate saw is the first and most crucial step. There are various types of saws available in the market, each with its own unique features and cutting abilities. Here, we will explore the different options and help you choose the perfect saw for your jigsaw puzzle project.

A. Scroll Saw

The scroll saw is a popular choice among jigsaw puzzle makers due to its versatility and precision cutting capabilities. It is an electric saw that features a thin, reciprocating blade that moves up and down at high speeds. This allows for intricate cuts and detailed designs to be achieved effortlessly. The scroll saw also offers the flexibility to make internal cuts, which is essential for creating puzzle pieces with holes or cut-outs. With its fine cutting abilities, the scroll saw ensures clean edges and smooth curves, resulting in high-quality puzzle pieces.

When using a scroll saw, it is important to consider the thickness of your puzzle board. Thinner materials are more suitable for fine cutting, as thicker boards may cause blade deflection and compromise the accuracy of your cuts. Additionally, ensure that the blade tension is properly adjusted to prevent blade drift during cutting. Regular blade changes and maintenance are essential to keep your scroll saw in optimal condition for top-notch puzzle making.

B. Band Saw

Another popular option for jigsaw puzzle making is the band saw. This power saw consists of a continuous band of toothed metal that rotates around two or more wheels, allowing for straight or curved cuts. While the band saw is primarily used for cutting wood, it is also suitable for working with other materials such as plastic or foam.

The band saw excels at cutting thicker puzzle boards due to its robust construction and wider blade. With its ability to make straight and precise cuts, the band saw is ideal for creating larger puzzle pieces or cutting through thick sections of the board. However, it is important to note that the band saw may leave rougher edges compared to the scroll saw. Sanding or filing might be necessary to achieve a smooth finish on the puzzle pieces.

Preparing Your Puzzle Design

Now that you have selected your saw of choice, it's time to move on to the next step: preparing your puzzle design. This stage involves transforming your creative vision into a physical template that can guide your sawing process. Let's explore two different methods for creating and transferring your puzzle design onto the puzzle board.

A. Hand-Cut Templates

For puzzle makers who prefer a more hands-on approach, creating a hand-cut template is a fantastic option. This method involves drawing your puzzle design onto a sheet of paper or cardboard and cutting it out manually using scissors or a craft knife. Hand-cut templates allow for complete customization, allowing you to bring even the most intricate designs to life.

To begin, choose a sturdy material such as a cardboard or thick paper for your template. Using a pencil or pen, carefully trace your puzzle design onto the material. Ensure that the lines are clear and accurate, as any discrepancies will affect the final outcome of your puzzle. Once you are satisfied with the design, cut along the lines using sharp scissors or a craft knife. Take your time and work with precision to achieve clean edges and smooth curves.

When the template is ready, secure it onto the puzzle board using small clamps or adhesive tape. Make sure the template is positioned correctly and securely before moving on to the sawing process. With your saw and template in hand, you are now ready to bring your puzzle design to life!

B. Digital Templates

In the digital age, technology has revolutionized the puzzle-making process. Creating and transferring puzzle designs onto the puzzle board has never been easier. With the help of design software or online puzzle generators, you can transform digital images or drawings into precise templates that are ready for sawing.

Numerous design software options are available, ranging from beginner-friendly to professional-grade applications. These programs allow you to import or create your puzzle design, adjust the size and shape of the pieces, and generate a digital template that can be printed or transferred to the puzzle board directly. Online puzzle generators also provide a simple and convenient solution for generating puzzle templates based on uploaded images.

Once you have obtained your digital template, it can be printed onto adhesive paper or regular paper and attached to the puzzle board. Ensure that the template is aligned and secured correctly to avoid any shifting during the sawing process. With digital templates, you can easily replicate complex designs or photos, opening up endless possibilities for your jigsaw puzzles.

The Sawing Process

With your saw and puzzle template prepared, it's time to dive into the sawing process itself. In this section, we will guide you through the steps involved in transforming your puzzle board into beautifully crafted puzzle pieces.

1. Secure the Puzzle Board

Before you begin sawing, it is crucial to secure the puzzle board firmly in place. This will prevent any unnecessary movement or vibrations that could affect the accuracy of your cuts. Workbenches or sawhorses are common options for holding the puzzle board during the sawing process. Ensure that the board is clamped down or securely attached to the work surface to eliminate any potential hazards.

2. Start with the Outer Edges

To establish the shape and boundaries of your puzzle, it is advisable to start by cutting the outer edges. This will provide you with a clear guideline for the subsequent internal cuts. Begin by carefully following the outline of your puzzle template using your chosen saw. Take it slow and steady, ensuring that the blade is aligned with the cutting line to achieve clean and accurate cuts. Once the outer edges are complete, you can move on to the internal cuts that will define the individual puzzle pieces.

3. Internal Cuts

Internal cuts are the heart of any jigsaw puzzle, as they transform a single board into a collection of unique pieces. Using your template as a guide, carefully navigate the saw through the designated lines, cutting out the individual puzzle pieces. Depending on the complexity of your design, it may be necessary to make small relief cuts to facilitate maneuvering through tight corners or intricate shapes. Take your time, and do not rush the process to maintain the precision and integrity of each puzzle piece.

4. Sanding and Finishing

Once all the puzzle pieces have been cut, it's time to refine and finish them with a few additional steps. Start by using sandpaper or a sanding block to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections. This will ensure that the puzzle pieces fit smoothly together without any snags or misalignments. Be cautious not to remove excess material, as this could affect the overall fit of the puzzle.

After sanding, consider applying a finish or sealant to the puzzle pieces. This step not only enhances the appearance of the puzzle but also provides protection against wear and tear. Options such as varnish or lacquer can be applied using a brush or spray, depending on your preference. Allow the finish to dry completely before assembling the puzzle.

Assembling and Sharing Your Puzzle

Now that your puzzle pieces are cut and finished, it's time to embark on the final step: assembling your puzzle and sharing it with others. Here are some tips to ensure a seamless and enjoyable puzzle assembly experience.

A. Sorting the Pieces

Before diving into the assembly process, it is helpful to sort your puzzle pieces. This can be done by arranging similar colors, patterns, or distinctive features into separate groups. Sorting the pieces will make it easier to locate specific parts of the puzzle and help you progress more swiftly.

B. Choosing a Suitable Surface

Selecting the right surface for puzzle assembly is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Large puzzle boards or dedicated puzzle mats provide ample space to spread out the pieces and work on the puzzle at your own pace. If you prefer mobility or need to store your puzzle temporarily, specialty puzzle roll-up mats are available, allowing you to save your progress without sacrificing space.

C. Start with the Edges

To kickstart the puzzle assembly, it is advisable to begin with the outer edges. These pieces have a distinguishable straight edge, making them easier to identify and connect. Arrange the edge pieces to form the border of the puzzle, creating a foundation for the remaining internal pieces.

D. Work in Sections

Assembling a jigsaw puzzle can be an overwhelming task, especially with larger and more complex designs. To simplify the process, consider working on the puzzle in sections. Focus on distinct areas or prominent features of the puzzle, gradually connecting the smaller sections to form the complete picture. Working in sections allows for a sense of accomplishment with each completed section, motivating you to keep going.

Once your puzzle is complete, it's time to share your masterpiece with friends, family, or fellow puzzle enthusiasts. Frame your puzzle for display or disassemble it and pass it along to others for their enjoyment. Jigsaw puzzles have a universal appeal, providing hours of entertainment and relaxation for people of all ages and backgrounds.


Congratulations! You have now mastered the art of using jigsaw making equipment effectively. From choosing the right saw to assembling and finishing your puzzle, you have gained valuable insights into every step of the puzzle-making process. With practice and experimentation, you will continue to refine your skills and create stunning jigsaw puzzles that captivate and challenge. So, gather your tools, unleash your creativity, and let the magic of jigsaw making unfold before your eyes. Happy puzzling!


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