Hi All. It’s Sarah from makeCNC.

I’d like to tell you about the status of our PDF Versions of all our 3D Puzzles. As you know we’ve been putting them up bit by bit over the past few months. Well, now most of them are done and we should have them caught up in the next couple weeks. We are also nearing the end of putting up the thumbnails and banners for existing products. We are happy that we are getting such an Overwhelming response from you, the customer, on our PDF Conversions. We appreciate all the feedback and suggestions from you. Thank you!

Once we’ve gotten caught up with the PDF’s and Thumbnails and Banners we will be adding them as the new products go up from now on. If you are shopping on our website and find a 3D Puzzle that you would like in PDF Version just drop julie an email at orders@makecnc.com and let her know which ones you want and she’ll get them ready for you.

These PDF Versions are printable. Make sure you have a look at our Scroll Saw Information pages on the website as well. Our Scroll Saw Patterns arrive in a zip file that needs to be uncompressed using A program like winrar or the equivalent. That is a free program you can find at http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

This is a very handy to have installed on your system. MakeCNC Scroll Saw 3D Puzzle Patterns come in both metric and imperial sizes to allow people from all over the world to enjoy cutting them out. If you are using our metric patterns then you should use the equivalent metric versions of measurements and tools described in our information on our Scroll Saw Information Pages. These pages will show you many Detailed pictures with Great explanations on the steps to making your Scroll Saw Project a Success!

Check them out and Thanks So Much for Shopping MakeCNC!


Hello. It’s Sarah from makeCNC again.

Just wanted to give you a few tips about beginners Scroll Saw Use. It’s so handy to have a Scroll Saw in your workshop. You can find a pretty decent Scroll Saw at a local hardware store or Home Depot for a reasonable price. Scroll Saws can cut patterns and shapes out of most types of material including wood, metal and hard plastic. You can either buy them as a portable that you can attach to a workbench or you can buy a stand-alone model. Always read the owner’s manual so you can familiarize yourself with your new Scroll Saw. The manual also tells you how to safely use the machine. Safety Always comes First!

Another tip is to wear a dust mask and a pair of safety goggles. Never rush through the cutting as you could slip and injure yourself or at the very least ruin your work. Keep clothing sleeves, jewelry and body parts away from the blade and pull your hair back if it’s long. Another important tip is to make sure it has plenty of light over it so you can see the material you’re cutting through. You need to be able to see the markings and lines you’ve made on the material clearly. If you are a beginner try using a heavier gauge blade that has many teeth.
You will be able to guide the material easier even though it will go a bit slower. The blade won’t be as apt to break either if you use too much force on the material.

When cutting Plexiglass, aluminum and other types of metals you need special Scroll Saw blades for saw. You can use strapping tape along the lines or marks where you are going to cut which makes the cutting smoother. When cutting Hardwood, the tape will reduce friction when you’re cutting the wood and you won’t have black marks on the edges.
Very interesting to note is that the original Scroll Saw was a manual cutter invented by a watchmaker in Germany around 500 years ago. It’s now considered the best Scroll Saw on the market. It’s called the German Hegner Brand. Now you know a bit more about Scroll Saw usage. I’ll be back with more information about Scroll Saw usage, CNC Machines and Laser Cutting.




Scroll Saw PDFWelcome to our Scroll Saw 3d puzzle Pattern learning pages these page are also on our main site but some people might find them simpler to read here in the blog

Cutting makeCNC 3d Puzzle Models  on Your Scroll Saw


3d Puzzle Models in general  have two basic uses: To display as a decorative item or to use as an  interactive toy. If you choose to display  your finished Model as a decorative item, consider gluing the pieces together  and affixing the assembled Model to a sturdy base. A glued Model that falls  from a shelf or mantel could sustain irreparable damage which is not fun when  using more expensive materials, such as hardwoods or colored acrylic. If you choose to use your finished Model as an  interactive toy, be sure that the child is over 8 yrs of age. These models include  some small pieces that can cause choking if swallowed by younger children.  Also, be sure to choose a durable wood, such as cabinet-grade Birch plywood and  a non-toxic finish.

makeCNC Scroll Saw 3D Puzzle Patterns come in both metric  and imperial sizes to allow people from all over the world to enjoy cutting  them out. If you are using our metric patterns then you should use the  equivalent metric versions of measurements and tools described in this  information.

Please read this important  introduction before reading the rest of the tutorial. This information is intended to give a basic introduction  to cutting our puzzles and projects patterns using a Scroll Saw and is not intended  as a replacement for training in how to use a Scroll Saw or basic woodworking  tools.There are many videos on You Tube explaining the  basics of Scroll Saw setup and use. If you have never used a Scroll Saw before we suggest  taking a look at those tutorials and videos before attempting to make our  projects. While they are simple to make, a basic understanding of Scroll Saw  technique is required and, as always, you must follow common sense shop safety  rules like wearing eye protection as well as protecting your fingers from the  blade.

Printing the PDF of Your 3D Puzzle Patterns

Our Scroll Saw Patterns  arrive in a zip file that needs to be uncompressed using A program like winrar or the  equivalent. Winrar is available here:


It’s a free program and  very handy to have installed on your system. After you have  uncompressed the files into a folder on your computer you will need to navigate  to the folder to view the contents. There will always be two files in the  folder and sometimes more. These will be PDF files and they will need the free  Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view and print them. You can download Acrobat  Reader free at Adobes website. This program will allow  you to print your PDF patterns. You have several options available when you  print the pattern. The images below are  printed copies of our Rooster puzzle and are for the purpose of this tutorial.  They are printed in color but you will more than likely want to print your  patterns in black and white and not print the cover to save paper and ink. You do  not need to print the assembly guide if you are comfortable reading off your  PC, laptop or tablet.


In the PDF print options you will need to make  sure that you have the print options set to print the pattern at the actual  document size. This will ensure that your pattern prints will stay at the  correct scale to make the slot sizes correct for the thickness of material you  use.If you would like to cut  the patterns from thicker or thinner material than the standard 1/8th  or 3mm size that the pattern comes in then you will need to calculate the %  increase or decrease you need to set the print out to in your print options to  make the slots and tab sizes correct for the thickness of material you are  cutting. For example, if you increase the size of the printout by 100% on a 1/8th  pattern you will have a printed pattern for ¼ inch material and so forth.The option to do this will  be presented in the print options when you go to print out your PDF patterns.  In Windows this will be under the button that says “poster” in your print  options.

Material Choices

The Scroll Saw is a  versatile tool, able to cut a variety of materials. Usually the type of wood  used to cut out our patterns is from cabinet-grade Birch plywood. This type of  plywood can be left unfinished for a light tan, almost bone color, or it can be  stained to resemble cherry, walnut, pecan or any other number of hardwoods. The  pieces can also be painted, however, frequent disassembly and reassembly will  cause the paint at the joints to wear and flake.  You may also want to try staining and clear  coating. There are numerous finishing techniques to try and you will find more of  these being added all the time in this and other areas of the makeCNC website.


A second option is to cut  the 3D Puzzles from hardwood. Walnut and cherry are highly recommended. The  tight grain of these woods makes them ideal choices for these types of  patterns. Woods with a coarse grain, such as oak, should be avoided as it  becomes brittle and has a tendency to break.

. http://www.yorkshiretimbermerchants.co.uk/images/sheetmaterials.jpg

A third option is to try a  non-wood material such as Corian, commonly used for kitchen and bathroom  countertops, or acrylic. Both of these materials come in a wide variety of  colors which can produce some spectacular results.


How to Use the PDF 3D Puzzle Patterns

The pattern PDFs are  usually supplied at their actual size and are arranged to fit 8.5” X 11” boards.


After printing them out on  your laser or inkjet printer you will need to fix them to your material because  each of the pattern pieces fit together with 1/8” thick wood. Be sure to  measure the thickness of the material prior to cutting the pieces. If the  material is slightly larger or slightly smaller than the slots on the patterns,  adjust the slots to the exact thickness of the material by printing the patterns  at a slightly larger or smaller scale or by offsetting from the line a small  amount when you are cutting the slots with your scroll saw. I recommend the  first method for the best results.

Patterns can be affixed to  the material in a variety of ways. At makeCNC we use repositionable contact  adhesive. It is clean, easy to use and has a remarkably strong hold.  Another possibility is repositionable photo  spray or double-sided tape.




Scroll Sawing TIP:

Coat your wood with blue painters tape  first. Then apply your pattern to that. You will get no residue on the wood,  and it doesn’t matter if you put too much glue on the pattern as the painters  tape comes off every time. Works like a dream!

Cutting the Pattern Parts Out with Your Scroll Saw

You are now ready to begin cutting the pattern  parts. First cut it down into several smaller pieces before you begin to cut  the individual parts. This will give you more control over the board and  increase the accuracy of your cuts




1:  Use a #3 scroll saw blade. This blade is easier to control than #5 blades. 2:  Use a 1/16 drill bit to drill starter holes for the inside cuts if required.

If  the pattern overhangs the edge of the board, trim it back with your Scroll Saw.  Your fingers can slip if you grab paper when you are expecting to grab wood. Hide  the start of your cut in a nook or curve of the pattern. An inconspicuous start  will help you to end up with a smooth finished piece.

As you cut the parts it is  important to check the fit of the interlocking joints.



Cut at a slow, steady  pace, but don’t cut so slow that you burn the wood. Beginners may want to cut  the outlines first, then returning to cut the slots in a second pass.

Double-check the width of  the joints on the patterns against the width of the wood before you begin to  cut. Wood that is sold as 1/8” or 3mm plywood often measures slightly less in  thickness.

Check the joints again  after they are cut by test-fitting the joint with a piece of scrap wood.

Cutting Perfect Tabs with Your Scroll Saw

Cutting the tabs by which  the pieces are connected may look like a difficult task, especially to a  beginner. Follow the pictures shown in the document, and do some practice on a  piece of scrap wood.  This will help you  learn to make perfect slots and tabs.

Always cut to the outside  of the pattern line. Cutting to the outside will make the tab just a little too  narrow, making the fit very tight. Cutting to the inside of the lines will make  the fit too loose, making it necessary to re-cut the entire piece. Test fit the  tab with a small piece of waste wood. If the fit is too tight, simply remove a  small portion of wood with the scroll saw or with a piece of coarse sandpaper  until the fit is perfect.



Cutting Perfect Corners Every Time

Cutting perfect corners with your Scroll Saw is easy.  Just follow the techniques shown in the diagrams below:


1: Use a looping cut to make outside  corners.   2: Make inside corners with several  cuts.

Scroll Sawing Tip:

Enlarge or reduce the  patterns to create table top or room-sized models. In your PDF printing  preferences you can do this by say enlarging the PDF print by 100% to print out  patterns that will work with ¼ inch material.

Assembling and Finishing Your 3d puzzle Scroll Saw  Pattern

Once you have cleanly cut  out all you parts and you are happy with the fit you should remove the pattern paper  and move on to doing any finish sanding of the parts before doing a test  assembly of the puzzle.



If you live in a confined  space and do not have good ventilation then you can make a box like the one you  see in the images here connected to a shop vac to suck the dust away as you are  working on any sanding you may need to do to clean up the puzzle parts.  If you use MDF to cut your puzzles remember  it can be toxic and the dust is not pleasant so the use of this type of system  is almost a must.   We also made ourselves  some detail sanders for this type of work and other craft work and you can  purchase the patterns to make your own click here  or  purchase a set of them ready-made if you live in the lower 48 states in the  USA. click here




You can  also use power tools like this one. I love it as it makes the job much quicker  with less elbow grease on the flat surface sanding if needed.



The detail sanders are very handy  when working on complex puzzles like the Mansion Doll Houses or the scale model  HO buildings and complex Automata Projects that we create and sell on the  website.   Many of these have  hundreds of parts and we suggest you make a four or five part puzzle or two and  work your way up before attempting any of these unless you are an experienced  Scroll Saw user.    So now you are ready to do the test assembly  and its time to refer to the assembly guide PDF that came with your pattern to  create a test fit before painting and final assembly.



The assembly guide will supply you  the information needed to assemble the puzzle




Painting  and Final Assembly of the 3D Puzzle Model

How you finish your 3D Puzzle Scroll Saw Model is really  your own choice. There are literally hundreds of ways you can do this. Here we  will run through just one of them that we have found to be a fun, enjoyable and  inexpensive method of getting a great looking model.

Here is a list of things you will need which are mostly available  at your local craft store and/or department store:

                    1: Krazy glue or equivalent (Super Glue)                     2: Inexpensive acrylic hobby paint                     3: Several brushes and types                     4: Water                     5: Paper towels                     6: Plastic mixing pallet                     7: A cup of hot tea





Even though your puzzle has many separate parts it is not  always created to just paint each part a different color.  In some cases you may need to paint different  parts of the same puzzle part in different ways to achieve the effect you are looking  for with that particular puzzle so you will need to think about these things  and perhaps study some color images of the real thing to give you ideas on how  you might want to achieve the look you seek. For example with this Rooster puzzle the head and comb,  which needs to be red, are actually part of the puzzles whole head and neck piece.  It also includes the eye which we want black.   Below are some pictures of what we did using a pencil to mark off areas  we wanted to be different colors.



Next the eyes


And  onto the rest of the parts.



After awhile and a cuppa tea they are all done



Out with the Krazy Glue and the Assembly Guide





And  the finished Product… It’s  a beauty !

Here at the makeCNC workshops we have been hard at work converting most of our patterns to Scroll Saw compatible PDF files for easy printing. If you have little computer experience and want to make great models then try our 3d Pattern PDF files they come with assembly guides and you can refer to this page to help you get started. The conversion process is an ongoing Job here but if you find one of our patterns that’s not yet converted then just purchase it and we will get the PDF done for you within a day or so and email it out to you .We hope to fully complete the conversion process by Christmas 2013.

if you are new to this try a simple pattern first you can find these here just click the banner below

Leave a Reply