Quick and easy project makes a great Hannukah gift
Finding a pattern suitable for those of the Jewish faith can sometimes be difficult. I designed this puzzle when I realized how many of my customers wanted Hannukah gifts. You can cut it from any wood, but as you probably know, I have a marked preference for hardwoods. I cut the one pictured here from cherry.
Because the Star is not interlocked into its base and only rests there, it is less stable than a completely interlocking puzzle. Start by attaching your pattern to the blank, using temporary bond spray adhesive or your method of choice.
Step 1:Cut around the outside. Start on your side of choice. Be sure to leave some scrap wood to hold onto.
Step 2:Cut around the points, removing them as you cut them free. Do not cut off the point that goes down into the base (see Step 4).
Step 3:Cut out the middle pieces.
Step 4:Cut down one side of the point of the star going down into the base. Then turn your saw off, and back out of the cut. You don’t want to have to sand out that jagged cut you sometimes get when you back out under power. Cut down the opposite side to form a sharp corner at the lower point of the star.
Step 5:Sand all the flat surfaces. I use a 5"-diameter disk sander chucked into my drill. Sand the puzzle with progressively finer grits of sandpaper up to 220-grit. I round over all the edges with a flap sander. Use rubber fingertip protectors to save your skin when sanding. It is possible to sand by hand, but it will take longer.
Step 6:Finish the puzzle. Dip the pieces into Danish oil, and let them drip dry on paper towels. Check after a couple of hours to be sure the oil is drying evenly. Wipe the pieces to distribute the oil properly, if necessary.