Puzzle Joint Generator

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Tailmaker
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Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Tailmaker »

Over the years I have posted a few projects in the Gallery that made use of interlocking puzzle joints (a.k.a. frog finger joints). Some examples below. I really like this kind of joinery for flat parts for various reasons:
- they are much stronger than butt glued joints
- no clamping required, they just slip together
- no angular alignment required, the joint angle is as designed (provided accurate machining)
- no joint slipping when glued
- the joints can be decorative as well

Coffee Table:
CoffeeTable.jpg
Box lid and bottom plates and a cart wheel:
Box_CartWheel.jpg
Lazy susan and lids for a mini conga drum barrel:
LazySusan_BarrelLids.jpg
For these projects I have drawn the joints in CAD by hand which can be cumbersome and complicated. I wondered for a while if one could write some software to do this automatically based on key parameters.

So I spent a week or so scratching my head and digging out my 50 years old high school trigonometry and did just that. I wrote a little app for the PC to generate the joint or whole frame segments with joints as .dxf files that can be imported into Vectric software and used immediately. It can do polygonal frames or circular hoops with 3 to 16 joints based on a handful parameters (e.g. number of lobes, lobe overlap, minimum width of lobe necks and the overall dimensions of the segments.

This is for now a very raw program with hard coded parameters. Works for me but it is not suitable for distribution. But if there is any interest here, I could just as well add a simple user interface. So, please let me know if it is worthwhile to spend the time on that. I could post it as freeware or open source if somebody wants to build on that.

Please see some samples of the generated dxf files in the following posts. Actually the .dxf export is only one segment or a pair and I repeat copied this in Aspire to show the complete frame ot hoop for better display.
Download Puzzle, Finger Joint and Maze software at https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/

Tailmaker
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Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:40 am
Model of CNC Machine: Home Built 4-axis Router
Location: Fort Collins, CO

Samples: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Tailmaker »

Simple hoop (or wheel rim)
WheelRim.jpg
Wiggly Joint Octagon:
WigglyOctagon.jpg
Two hexagonal frames with different board widths:
WeirdHexFrames.jpg
Extreme example of puzzle joint, the Yin-Yang. I know this could be drawn easily by hand but just to show the flexibility of the algorithms.
YinYang.jpg
Last edited by Tailmaker on Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Download Puzzle, Finger Joint and Maze software at https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/

Tailmaker
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Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:40 am
Model of CNC Machine: Home Built 4-axis Router
Location: Fort Collins, CO

More examples: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Tailmaker »

A small picture frame with segments aligned for machining (and molding tool path vector).
PictureFrame.jpg
A large clock face. Only a thought experiment, I am not going to machine that.
ClockFace.jpg
Download Puzzle, Finger Joint and Maze software at https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/

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gkas
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by gkas »

I would be interested in such a gadget...basically being a lazy person. :roll: One of my 'real soon now' projects is to play with some CNC joinery to use in projects. This may give my butt a kickstart....

Charlie_l
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Charlie_l »

This looks like something I could often use.
Thanks.
Aspire, CAMaster Stinger II

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scottp55
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by scottp55 »

I'm interest also Tailmaker!
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Salmon's lair
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Salmon's lair »

i’m interested too, l want to make some wagon wheels

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scotttarnor
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by scotttarnor »

I would be interested !
Scott T

garylmast
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by garylmast »

They are definitely some beautiful projects you did. I think a lot people would be interested in the Joint Generator.

Gary

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dealguy11
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by dealguy11 »

Mark me as interested, too.
Steve Godding
D&S Artistic Woodworking http://www.dsartisticwood.com

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jfederer
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by jfederer »

I'm very interested as well. I've used both Fingermaker and Mazemaker a lot. The joints I made for 2 desks were designed manually, and look somewhat similar to yours. It would be great to simplify that process.
Joe Federer

www.fabrikisto.com incl. Tailmaker software
www.federer.ca

jimwill2
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by jimwill2 »

I am interested. Great work... I'm anxious to see the App. Thank you!
Jim Williams

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jarm2
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by jarm2 »

I am interested as well. I have done a couple like you from scratch and it takes a lot of time. Thank you for offering to do this.
Vectric Aspire 10, AutoCAD lite, Corel Draw 2019, ViaCAD Pro 12, W 10

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scottp55
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by scottp55 »

Looks like enough interest to make you work G. :) :) :)
LOVE the joints on that Shoji type light!!
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Will Williamson
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Re: Puzzle Joint Generator

Post by Will Williamson »

All I can say is, Good Job
Will Williamson willcnc.com willmade.com
Williamson Lumber & Millwork Inc.
Capac, Michigan

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