I’m making a puzzle piece plaque and you can too!

I received a commission to make an 8″ x 10″ puzzle piece with some text on it.

It was a perfect job for my X-Carve CNC machine.

I designed it using my free Easel account on the Inventables website.

I just shared the project files on their site and you can view them here:

If you would like to go in and modify or play with the design, you can sign up for a free Easel account here: https://www.inventables.com/technologies/easel?ref=fww

If you decide to purchase one of their X-Carve CNC machines, please consider using my affiliate link here: https://www.inventables.com/technologies/x-carve?ref=fww

More details on the actual build are below.

I did a quick Google search and found a free puzzle piece that was already in .svg format.  I imported it into my Free Easel account and modified it to make the bottom flat.  I added in the requested text and then broke it into 2 separate parts so that I could use a 60° V-Bit for the text and a 1/8″ 2 flute bit to cut out the puzzle shape.

I setup the piece of Birch in my X-Carve CNC machine and carved the text first.

Once that was finished, I cut out the puzzle shape.  I tend to run the machine a little slow so each step took about 20 minutes.

It didn’t quite cut all the way through so I used a razor knife and flush trim bit to remove the excess.

I then masked off the letters and gave them a good coat of black spray paint.

I let it dry overnight and through the day on Monday.  That night I sanded off the excess paint.

The next step was to break out the router table and give the top of the puzzle piece a 1/4″ round over.  I then sanded the whole thing with 120 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper.  The side and top cutouts took the longest as I had to sand them by hand.

Once it was sanded to my satisfaction, I built a quick finishing board with screws (does it have a proper name?) to rest the piece on and then gave it a couple of coats of walnut oil.

I gave it a couple of days for the finish to cure and then it was delivered to the customer.

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