Recommended Equipment and Supplies

Electrical tools

  • Good lighting - for saw and work area
  • Scroll saw - for making replacement pieces
    • Blades of various sizes, (.010 or .012-blades for replacement pieces may be larger than those used for new puzzles because the size of the kerf doesn't matter. You only need it small enough to turn tight corners and curves, especially with respect to depth. 10/1000" is best.
      • to cut plywood boards into usable pieces with larger blades.
      • to cut replacement pieces from plywood boards.
    • Magnifying glass or magnifying goggles to use when cutting
  • Dust Removal system, i.e., window fan, dust collector, dust masks
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Dremel rotary tool with long flexible cord neck
    • Suspend rotary tool with neck attached from ceiling so that tip of bit is about at the top of most puzzle pieces.
    • Buy tungsten carbide cutter bits #9901 (1/8") and #9902 (3/32") sanding, grinding bits and bands (cutting/carving/sanding kit model #685-01)
  • Hair Dryer - used to dry paint and shrink wrap
  • Dry Mount Press (optional)

Sheets of quality plywood in various thickness

(Okoume, Baltic birch, Finland birch, poplar, basswood. Any good quality plywood with no voids or patches. Boulter Plywood in Somerville, MA is a good supplier.)

  • 2/32" = 1/16"
  • 4/32" = 1/8"
  • 5/32"
  • 6/32" = 3/16"
  • 8/32" = 1/4"

Hand tools-most can be found at home improvement and hardware stores

  • X-acto knife and extra blades
  • Self stick sandpaper and block
  • Carpenter Squares, in a variety of sizes to stabilize puzzle
  • Wood boards
    • to cut on to remove paper off piece w X-acto knife
    • to sandwich repaired puzzle piece in vice when drying
  • Work Bench and 6" bench vise
  • Sets of needle files in small and large sizes
  • Scratch Awl with wooden handle
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Tweezers
  • Caliper for measuring thickness of puzzle to determine thickness of replacement piece
  • Razor blades for scratching off old glue and broken wood
  • Clamps
  • Very small flat end screwdriver for packing Plastic Wood into knob holes.

Art Supplies-most can be found at art supply stores

  • Glue
    • Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue (yellow) for wood layers
    • Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue (white) for paper layer
  • Paper Towels
  • Sheets of quality hot pressed (smooth finish) watercolor paper. 90 pound weight for replacement pieces and most knob repapering; 140 pound weight for knob replacement where original paper is thick.
  • Variety of cardboard pieces to hold assembled puzzles
  • Architect's pencil with plenty of .05" lead
  • Variety of small brushes for glue and watercolor pencils
  • Plastic wood, natural color
  • Acetone to reconstitute plastic wood when dry
  • Watercolor pencils
    • REXFL Derwent Watercolor (England) - Most used colors: Flesh Pin, French Gray, Chocolate, Ivory Black, Copper Beach, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Brown Ochre, Bronze, Burnt Umber, Olive green, Cedar Green
    • Staedtler Karat - Most used colors: #17, 19, 57, 58, 72, 73, 83, 85, 800, 805
  • Gum Arabic
  • Release Paper to form mold for new knobs. Used if dry mounting. University Products carries appropriate paper.
  • Dry Mount Tissue Adhesive (optional). University Products carries this.
  • Cans for holding clean water
    • to moisten paper, mix with water color pencils
    • to soak badly warped / curled pieces
  • Very small glass (shot glass?) for glue
  • Sponges
    • to dampen watercolor pencils
    • to clean puzzles before coloring replacement pieces and repaired knobs
  • Rubber cement (may be used to hold pieces together when tracing replacement pieces. Also rubber cement eraser for easy removal.

Personal Items

  • "Puzzle Glasses" - Like computer glasses, a mid-range prescription in the upper half of the lens is helpful to puzzle restorers who are near sighted!
  • Apron
  • Old clothes to wear while working on puzzles