Something's fishy Key Ring
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Wood Magazine

Something's fishy Key Ring

To Peter Chapman, anything can become a puzzle. Want to try Peter's puzzling technique? This fish key ring is the perfect project. It'll only take you a few minutes at the bandsaw, so after the first, don't be surprised if you make more.

For the key ring, you'll need the following materials:

- A 3/4 x 1 x 3-1/8" piece of stock - A 1/8" dowel 1" long - Clear finishing material - A metal key ring

First, shape your fish

Rip and crosscut a piece of 3/4"-thick stock (Peter chose cocobolo for this fish) to 1 x 3-1/8". Then, make one photocopy each of the full-size Side and Top View patterns shown below right. Adhere the Top View pattern to the top (the 3/4" side) of your stock, and saw it to rough shape following the outside lines. Next, adhere the Side View pattern to the 1" side of your stock, and saw to the outside pattern lines.

Remove all paper from the stock, and then smooth the edges and sand the fish to final shape with coarse sandpaper (60-grit). Finish-sand with 80-grit, then 120-grit.

Puzzle up your fish

Now, you're ready to puzzle. But first, saw the notch that represents the fish's mouth. Next, with a pencil, sketch the red cutlines shown in the Top View drawing on the top of the fish blank (close is good enough). At your bandsaw, saw the fish's body along the line you drew to remove Part A (Peter uses a 1/8" blade with 14 teeth per inch). Then, turn the fish on its side and sketch the red cutlines for the side, as shown on the Side View. As before, saw to the pencil line to remove Part B. Turn the fish right side up again (to sit on its belly) and saw along the line that frees Parts C and D.

After bandsawing, you have a fish body with four loosely interlocking parts. To keep them together, join the parts, then drill a 1/8" hole through the fish's head where shown in the Side View pattern (use a backing board). Cut a 1/8" dowel to 3/4" length, round each end and insert it into the eye hole. When in place, the dowel "locks" the puzzle. Lastly, with a 3/16" bit, drill a hole through the fish's tail, where shown, to accept a key ring.

Remove the rough stuff

Go over the fish with 120-grit paper to knock down any raised wood along the saw lines and drilled holes. When smooth, coat the outside surface of the fish with a clear finish and let dry. To complete, add the key ring.

Drawings: Roxanne LeMoine Design: Peter Chapman

If you like this project, please check out more than 1,000 shop-proven paper and downloadable woodworking project plans in the WOOD Store.



Wood Magazine