This week’s jigsaw puzzle table project and video is a promotional tie-in to Paramount Pictures’ 10 Cloverfield Lane. It’s a really thrilling movie! Purchase it now on Digital HD or Blu-ray™.
The Jigsaw Puzzle Table
My wife is the jigsaw puzzle enthusiast in our family. She’s a catch-and-release hobbyist: she assembles the puzzle, admires the accomplishment, takes is all apart and returns it to the box, then donates the puzzle to charity for someone else to enjoy. (Full disclosure: she put this whole puzzle together. I just took the credit in the video!)
Jigsaw puzzling is a pastime that it requires occupying table real estate, sometimes for a week or so. And in a home as small as ours, this is a problem. The solution is a convertible table: one that can be used to other purposes while a puzzle is under construction. This is a surprisingly simple project to make. It’s really all about the hinges.
The back support frame
This is the component that will mount to the wall. I glued three 3/4″ (18mm) boards to the face of a sheet of 1/2″ (12mm) plywood, lined up to the edges.
The Puzzle Tray
I made the puzzle-assembly table by gluing and tacking four 3/4″ (18mm) thick strips to the edges of a 1/2″ (12mm) plywood sheet. These add rigidity to the table and cover the exposed plywood edges, plus they extend above the table surface, creating a lip to prevent puzzle pieces from sliding off the table.
I attached this to the back frame using two t-strap hinges.
Here you can see why the back only has three boards framing it out. The puzzle tray rests on the top of the back frame when it’s open.
I cut two triangles out of 3/4″ (18mm) plywood for the support braces and attached them with piano hinges to the inside of the back support frame.
These fold out to keep the table in an open position.
The top table surface or lid is assembled just like the puzzle tray, except that I edged out the 1/2″ (12mm) plywood with 1/2″ wood strips. The lip isn’t needed on this table.
I attached it to the puzzle tray using these offset cabinet door hinges. Note that the lid is smaller than the puzzle tray. This is needed to give it wall clearance when opened.
To mount the table to the wall, I temporarily leveled and attached a board to use as a support cleat. If you have a friend to help hold the table, you won’t need to do this. Once the table was screwed into place, I removed the board.
I used a hook and eye to hold the lid against the wall when open.
Free Woodworking Plans
The jigsaw puzzle table is very easy to make. You may want to decide what size works best for you and modify these plans a bit based on the puzzle sizes you enjoy making.
- WWMM Drop-down Puzzle Table (PDF)
- Sketchup file
- WWMM Drop-down Puzzle Table -METRIC (PDF)
- Sketchup file – METRIC