Snake Puzzle Friend for Tuggles and Wigglesworth

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Project by RussInMichigan posted 11-18-2012 05:04 PM 1615 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This snake puzzle is one of my original designs. Here I’ve customized it for my daughter’s roommate whose name is Coral. Coral really enjoys snakes and she owns two of them herself, named Mr. Tuggles and Mrs. Wigglesworth. The original design, shown in pictures 4 and 5, leaves the spaces in the snakes coils empty. Here, I scrolled in the letters of her name, which conveniently and coincidentally, fits. To set off the letters I veneered them in black walnut.

This puzzle with the base has only 34 pieces, not including the customized letter inserts, but it presents a challenge no matter how often it’s put together. Note that the pieces are not rectangular and they are not all similar in size and shape. They are the same color top and bottom. Almost everyone can figure out where the base piece goes and how it’s to be oriented, but after that things are not so straightforward.

Image Captions:
1 and 2. Completed Snake Puzzle with letters inserted.

3. The veneered letter inserts

4. The original design with the letter inserts.

5. The original design by itself.

6. Customized snake puzzle in exploded view

The puzzle was cut from 3/4” Baltic birch plywood using #5 scroll reverse blades. I could have used a #7, but with the finished height being about 9” (and the length is about 11”), I prefer the snugger, that is, less wobbly, fit of the #5. The snake itself is finished with Watco’s Danish Oil – Black Walnut. For the inserts and letters I used the Watco’s Natural. The base was painted with acrylics.

The puzzle would be good to go as is, but I’ll allow the oil to cure for a few days then spray on a few coats of clear lacquer. Then, as a final flourish, I’ll fill the eye with yellow polymer clay and a ruby red pupil.

Thanks for looking.


9 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26776 posts in 4345 days

#1 posted 11-18-2012 06:26 PM

Man, those are really cool!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30645 posts in 3577 days

#2 posted 11-18-2012 07:53 PM

Wow. that would drive me nuts to make.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4159 days

#3 posted 11-18-2012 08:17 PM

It is sssssssssssssuperb! :D Wonderful piece!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Rustic's profile


3260 posts in 4835 days

#4 posted 11-19-2012 01:12 AM

nice work

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 4020 days

#5 posted 11-19-2012 02:02 PM

Thanks Jim.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 4020 days

#6 posted 11-19-2012 02:14 PM


Would it be the making of it that drives you nuts, or the assembling the puzzle?

If it’s the cutting of the puzzle that would drive you nuts, then don’t try cutting jigsaw puzzles. I’ve cut quite a few of them – I think there is one in my LJ projects list with over 100 pieces – and, I’ll soon post a 320 piece puzzle of a monkey, I’m making for my daughter. They’re demanding, but they are fun too.

Sheila Landry helped me decide which scroll saw to buy last year and I have made hundreds of things with it since, including lots of puzzles. And, as with this, having the saw inspired me to make my own designs.

I really find it rather cathartic, in a meditation sort of way, and it is lots of fun.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 4020 days

#7 posted 11-19-2012 02:36 PM

Thank you so much.

Aided by your work I’ve started adding accents like beads. On this puzzle, I filled the eye with polymer clay and added a red glass bead. Kinda sets it off nicely.

Thanks again.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 4020 days

#8 posted 11-19-2012 03:15 PM

Thanks Rustic.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3415 days

#9 posted 11-19-2012 06:14 PM

I am more than awed. Thanks for sharing.

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