Projects made with the JGRO CNC Router

The JGRO CNC Router project has been entertaining and fun and a HUGE learning experience.  But the fruit of the labor comes with what you get to make with it.  This page shows some of the things that I have made with the router.  Of course it isn't everything but a small group of things that I actually remembered to take pictures of.  I hope you enjoy.  Also, look forward to a final instalment of the JGRO Router project where I sum up what I have done, what its strengths and weaknesses are and where I plan to go from here.

A Christmas Plaque.

A coworker and friend of mine, Sarah, has a fine drawing hand.  As a matter of fact, I am trying to get her to do some vector graphics to sell.  She is just that good.  Well Sarah thought it would be nice to take a quick pencil drawing and route it into wood as a gift to one of her family members.  I told her I would do what I could.  This project taught me a few things.  First, if you plan to scan a drawing be sure to ink over it if it is done in pencil.  Pencil lead just done not scan worth a crap for me at least.  The scan was then converted to vectors but then the vectors had to be cleaned up.  There were WAY too many control points and several of them had to be removed and the curves massaged into position.  Then it was scaled quite large and the vectors offset to create a second pair so that I could route between them.  The other option would have been to route them on the vector.  But, you know me, I like to over complicate things.  After the offset was made, the resulting vector was scaled to fit the 11-1/4" x 16" piece of clear pine, leaving and 1-12" border.  Once the design was routed the only thing else done was the edge rounded over with a rounding bit.  Now before we get to the photos, I have to make a disclaimer.  Her drawn image was much nicer than my final vectors.  Hindsight being 20/20 I would have had her ink them.  Better would have been to have her draw the drawing in a program like Inkscape and just use the vectors from that.  So hopefully, I can convince her to learn to draw using that tool or a similar one.  Remember, you can click on an Image to see a larger version.

JGRO Projects 001 thumbPainted Christmas Plaque

A Bi-Wing Airplane

 After I completed the change over from the pipe rails to the box style of slide from, I thought I would take a break from doing upgrades to the machine and cut something to see how it was doing.  So, over to I went looking through the forums at the different vectors folks had made available of 3D puzzles.  Well I downloaded a couple of simple ones and decided I would cut out a Bi-Wing Airplane.  The first one I cut was done in tempered hardboard and even though I had to clean a lot of fuzzies from the cut pieces and manipulate the vectors to get a better fitting puzzle, it turned out pretty good.  A picture of that one can be seen on the router clamp upgrade section of the JGRO Updates section.  Anyway, I took the puzzle to work to show it around and the next thing I knew, I had folks wanting one for themselves to give as Christmas presents.  Well, I rescaled the vectors for 4.75 mm Lauan plywood and started cutting airplanes.  Here are a couple views for you to look at.

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A Majestic Horse

Once some of my coworkers found out I could make 3D puzzles, they started asking what else could I make.  Well seeing an opportunity for the machine to start paying for itself, I set out to find vectors that have already been tested and were tried and true so to speak.  That led me to a website called  This website sells a lot of CNC related project material, including 3D puzzles and an assortment of other goodies.  So I bought the Majestic Horse vectors and set off to make some.  Below are a couple of pictures of the first one I made.

 Majestic Horse 3D PuzzleMajestic Horse 3D Puzzle

A Howling Wolf

The Next puzzle to be done was the Mournful Wolf puzzle.  I bought these vectors from  By this time I am starting to see some of the inherent weaknesses of the wood CNC Machine.  There is a tiny amount of flex at the router and the Y and Z axis.  Needless to say, I am starting to think even more about the future of this machine and CNC in general.  Below are a couple of pictures of the first wolf puzzle that I made.

 The Howling Wolf 3D puzzle. JGRO Projects 008 thumb

The Spinosaurus Dinosaur

The Spinosaurus Dinosaur was a fun project to do.  This puzzle when cut from 4.75 mm Lauan, was about 30 inches long and 18 inches tall.  I made it for a co-worker but I believe I will have to make one for myself as well.  Below are a couple of pictures of the puzzle.

 Spinosaurus 3D Puzzle. JGRO Projects 010 thumb

The Kangaroo

The Kangaroo was a special request from another co-worker.  I made some changes to the machining on this puzzle compared to the previous ones.  I noticed on the earlier puzzles that the outside of the board I was cutting looked better than the puzzle side of the board.  There were fewer fuzzies to clean off and looked like a better cut.  So this puzzle was cut using a conventional profile path instead of a climb path.  Also, I adjusted the machine somewhat to make it a bit more rigid.  The results were better than before so I knew it was a step in the right direction.  Also, I went over the sheet with a palm sander before cutting the parts loose from the board.  This save a LOT of hand sanding!!!  :-)  Below are a couple of pictures of the Kangaroo 3D Puzzle for you to look at.

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The Shark Helicopter

Another one of my co-workers has a relative in the military that likes Helicopters.  This puzzle was selected by her for that person.  This one was purchased from as well.  This puzzle is a little different from the ones I have made earlier in that the slots are a little longer than actually required to fit the piece into.  So if the slot is a little loose there is a potential that you will have loose pieces that have a hard time staying put.  For example the side tail pieces are only held in by the short tab on them.  This puzzle has the most pieces to date, coming in at over 80.

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The Train Engine

The train is a slotted puzzle that was requested by another co-worker for her grandson.  This was a pleasant puzzle to make and put together although all the little cutouts was a pain to sand.  Here are a couple of pictures for you to gander at.

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An Angelfish

The angelfish so far has been the most challenging project.  So far it has the most pieces of any puzzle I have cut, but that isn't what made it so challenging.  I found the vectors for this project on one of the forums at  If you want to know which one, email me and I will post it.  The exact name of the thread escapes me.  Something about 3D dinosaurs DXF files.  Again, if it is important to you email me and I will post it.  The problem I encountered with the vectors was twofold.  First, some slots appear to be in the wrong location and second, there are missing slots.  Particularly on the tail section where the upper and lower fins attach.  If anyone wanted to do this project, I would suggest just buying the vectors from and be done with it, rather than fiddling with the vectors to make them right.  Well, unless you like doing that sort of thing.  I just don't have the time.  Anyway, below are a couple images of the Angelfish that I made.

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Letters for a Co-Worker

A co-worker wanted some 7 inch tall letters cut for her daughters room.  I thnk they turned out pretty good!  Anyway, you can click on the images below for a bigger version.

Letters for a co-worker. Letters for a co-worker.

The Pegasus

Below is the Pegasus.  This project wasn't requested by anyone, but I think it would sell nonetheless.  At least I hope so, or it will end up adorning my office or something or be a gift to someone unsuspecting.  Anyway, I hope you like it.

The Pegasus Puzzle. The Pegasus Puzzle. The Pegasus Puzzle.

The Pirate Ship

(Coming soon)