Kerf-adjusted Jigsaw Puzzles, Tutorial

Here’s the promised tutorial on Kerf-Adjusted Jigsaw Puzzles:

  • Part 1: Using the Alignment Sled — Detailed walk-through with prepared example files
  • Part 2: Single-page puzzles — How to create your own vector files
  • Part 3: Masking and de-masking (weeding) — Discussion; weeding trick
  • Part 4: Multi-page puzzles — How to divide the puzzle; how to mitigate relative error

The overview video is below. I’m most interested to hear feedback (reply here in the Glowforge forum).

(Thanks for expressing interest, @GrooveStranger, @rvogt, @brok09, @LauraZM, @cynd11 , @CMadok.)


Thanks for this intro. You make it look easy, and it will be much easier for all of us because you did the hard work and shared your experience with us. You have given us quite a gift!


Still looks hard to me :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


It’s both easy and hard … but I don’t want to mislead anybody; be prepared for some effort.

The alignment part is actually straightforward — as long as you’re careful to get all the finicky steps right. It does add a few minutes of work for each page. And it will take some practice before you can call it “easy”.

The hard part is the masking, which I’ll discuss later. It’s challenging on inkjet photo paper. UPDATE: solved now, as noted in a later comment.


This overview has me excited to learn more!

The link to Part 1 of the tutorial is taking me back to the Glowforge forum main page. Where do I go from there? Thanks!


Sorry. Link should be fixed now.


So kind of you to post this! It looks like a really fine way to get perfect alignment. I had forgotten about your three point positioning jig, thanks for the reminder. I’m looking forward to the upcoming parts of the tutorial.


What a well done tutorial! Thank you for the time you have taken to create it. I appreciate you sharing the knowledge you have gained through experience.


That looks awesome…and misleadingly easy :rofl: Thanks for the efforts to put this together. Great potential!!


Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I look forward to hearing any suggestions for improving the technique or the tutorial — if anybody is crazy enough to actually try it!:crazy_face:


Very kind of you to put this together. Thank you!


Hoorah! @brok09, I finally found an inkjet photo paper that works well with transfer paper masking. Tearing is eliminated, and I can firmly roll the masking to avoid burn marks.

This cuts the effort in half, and makes the process a lot more reliable. It’s early days, but I think I’ll rarely have to deal with failed pieces any more, nor inspect all of the pieces individually.

As a bonus, the edge charring is much lower and I’m going to say goodbye to the salt tumbler!

The trick, apparently, is to choose a cotton-based “art paper” instead of any paper labelled as “photo paper”. This is the one I found (Promaster Fine Art Inkjet Paper). Compared to Canon matte “photo paper”,

  • It’s softer in appearance and feel
  • The cut lines are slightly less visible
  • The contrast isn’t as great. (May depend on printer settings. Blacks aren’t as deep, but still it’s much better than Fuji “Deep Matte” prints.)

I’ll update the tutorial when I get a chance.


Great news! I’ll order some.
I’ll try using thermal bonding on this new ink jet medium with hope of heat not damaging the image. I have managed to get the Kirkland ink jet paper to bond without damage. Haven’t figured out how to make spray glue work without getting it where not wanted.

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Yeah, spray glue is way too messy. I haven’t tried thermal adhesive. This cotton paper bonds well with my usual pressure-sensitive cold adhesive sheets. Those are acid-free and very easy to use (peel and stick, then apply pressure with rubber roller or squeegee), but the website doesn’t warn you if they’re backordered.

Another pressure-sensitive cold adhesive option is a roll of Scotch 568. Also acid-free, but a little less easy to use.


Finally got the last part of the tutorial posted. Sorry it took so long!


Added some notes on how to handle the case of inconsistent print sizing (for multi-page puzzles)


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