Jigsaw dinosaur

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Blog entry by shawnSK posted 02-29-2020 03:46 AM 631 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A bit of an intro… I work in an office and have been wanting to do something hands-on and productive lately. My dad is really handy and I wanted to see if I have that gene too. So, before Christmas I decided to get a jigsaw and see what I could create. I settled on a dinosaur puzzle for my nephew.

I have no idea if I’ll be successful or stick with woodworking, so I am using mostly a jigsaw and a Workmate in a corner of the living room. This is my first project without using my dad’s tools, shop, and expertise. Here we go!

First step was figuring out what all the settings do, and if the Bosch “clean for wood” blades will cut nice smooth curves.

Any of the really rough cuts was with supplied blade, and the really torn ones are from trying out the orbital setting. The clean for wood blade actually does a decent job though, so I figured I would forge ahead.

For the puzzle, I really wanted clean, tight curves. As a test, I tried to follow the pencil line and completely failed. Massive gaps along the outside too, if I tried to pivot the blade in place to get a tight curve. I had drawn the puzzle on a chunk of pine, but it needed to be re-scaled since the jigsaw would never be able to make super small curves. Pivoting also deflected the blade quite a bit, which also messed up the test puzzle pieces. So, back to the drawing board.

Once I got a bit more familiar with the saw, I cut out the main body of the dinosaur. I had hoped it could stand and each interlocking piece would hold, but that was a pipe dream too.

So, the dino ended up being large than I had hoped, but once I cut out all the pieces and sanded them up (soooo much sanding! – I had thought a smooth cut line would mean very little sanding, but I wanted to round all the edges since my nephew is 3 and his little brother is 1.) but once they were sanded and painted, it came together really nicely for a first project.

And finished! Took longer than expected (sanding!!!) but I grew to like the little guy.

-- Shawn, Saskatchewan

8 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9456 posts in 2319 days

#1 posted 02-29-2020 08:24 AM

Hi sSK, welcome to LJ’s…

A good scroll saw will make operations easier (like blade change, speed control, tension adjustment, table tilt), however, no doubt you’ve discovered that it’s the quality of the blade that makes the job.

Practice and technique will give you straighter lines, tighter curves and better circles/arcs… but with a good blade, the result off the tool, would require little after work like sanding…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View htl's profile


5628 posts in 2657 days

#2 posted 03-01-2020 04:54 AM

That’s one cool fun looking project, the more you make the better you’ll get.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View shawnSK's profile


39 posts in 857 days

#3 posted 03-01-2020 06:14 PM

Thanks LBD… what I thought a jig saw could do and what it can actually do are proving to be very different. Haha. As I move into more furniture building, I think I’ll be using it more for it’s intended uses. I really challenged it on that puzzle. (Or it really challenged me…)

htl, it was a fun project once I accepted the size of cuts more natural to a jig saw. Some practice oughta help too.

-- Shawn, Saskatchewan

View Ofinthsnset's profile (online now)


2732 posts in 1225 days

#4 posted 03-01-2020 06:46 PM

Pretty cool, I like how you put on the numbers, teaches them to count as they’re playing.

View shawnSK's profile


39 posts in 857 days

#5 posted 03-01-2020 07:04 PM

Initially it was supposed to be the alphabet. I just couldn’t get the jig saw to cut 26 shapes in that space… I made it to 18. So numbers it is!

-- Shawn, Saskatchewan

View JCinVA's profile


245 posts in 2328 days

#6 posted 03-02-2020 07:19 AM

Great project. I’m sure your nephews loved it.

Yes, practice and learning how best to use any tool is important. Look for free wood to practice on, such as pallets or even old furniture that was tossed out.

FYI there are jig saw blades available with a shorter distance front-to-back that work better for tight radius’s.

And welcome to LJ’s!

View TraditionallySpeakin's profile


65 posts in 1239 days

#7 posted 03-02-2020 06:12 PM

Wow, looks great. We have a metric ton of nieces and nephews that I make gifts for whenever possible so this is something I might give a try to. I’ll have to keep my eye out for easy shapes and designs like this.

-- “If not for Roubo, the back of the U.S. nickle would be blank.” -Roy U.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9456 posts in 2319 days

#8 posted 03-02-2020 11:09 PM

... We have a metric ton of nieces and nephews…
- TraditionallySpeakin

Sorry to hear you missing out on a royalty status. Move to the STates (if not already there) to become imperial.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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