Ready-to-go Projects

Get started right away using your ShopBot Desktop. These ready-to-cut projects will get your students excited about the possibilities of making things. Along the way they'll be absorbing the principles of STEM and other subjects that you want to teach.

These projects all involve wood, but we're developing more in other materials, and encourage you to do the same -- and share them with other teachers here at We're always adding to this gallery, so check back often!

Wooden Knot Puzzle

Candy Dish

Coaster Set

Jigsaw Puzzles

Marble Madness

Dowel Puzzle


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Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: A great way to turn shop scraps into puzzles fun for all ages, the wooden know puzzle has been around for years, but now can easily be cut with the ShopBot.

Materials: Any type of hardwood or softwood that you have laying around the shop.

Minimum Cutting Area: 4.5” x 11” for small puzzle. 8” by 20” for larger puzzle.

Bit Size: 1/4” for small puzzle. 3/8” for larger puzzle

Finishing: Minwax WipeOn Polyurethane works great for this puzzle because it is easy to wipe in all of the inside corners. It also has a thin coating so it does not interfere with the puzzle sliding together.

Project Files: 
Wooden Knot Puzzle Tutorial [Download pdf]
Wooden Knot Puzzle Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: Make a unique candy dish with all the scraps that you have laying around your shop. Find a few different types of wood and rip them into strips, glue them together and cut the candy dish out.

Materials: Try to find woods with different color accents. Stay away from exotic woods that contain harmful oils.

Minimum Cutting Area: 7/8” x 7” x 18”

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: A food grade finish will be appropriate for sealing these boards. Local hardware stores carry these types of finishes.

Project Files: 
Candy Dish Tutorial [Download pdf]
Candy Dish Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: Create a simple 6 pack of coasters and a coaster coral from minimal shop materials. Keep your favorite drink from leaving circles on the coffee table.

Materials: For this example red oak was used for the wood and a vinyl floor tile for the coaster circles. See below for more information.

Minimum Cutting Area: 1/2” x 18” x 24” red oak material. 12” x 12” floor vinyl floor tile.

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: Minwax Wipe On Polyurethane

Project Files: 
Coaster Set Tutorial [Download pdf]
Coaster Set Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: Cut a panda bear or a duck puzzle to create hours of entertainment for kids of all ages. The files for these jig saw puzzles allow the user to cut both projects at once using two different types of wood. There are also a set of individual files to cut only one at a time.

Materials: Red Oak and Walnut

Minimum Cutting Area: Each wood species calls for a 16” x 24” area

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: These puzzle parts could end up in a little ones mouth so it is a good idea to use some sort of food grade finish that would not be toxic to people.

Project Files: 
Jigsaw Puzzles Tutorial [Download pdf]
Jigsaw Puzzles Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: Create a marble game to keep your family and friends entertained during different gatherings.

Materials: Any wood you can get that is 1.5” thick. Poplar was used for this example. Also one marble 1/2” to 5/8” diameter.

Minimum Cutting Area: 18”x18”

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: The wood is sealed with Minwax Spar Urethane. A bristle brush, foam brush or piece of clean rag make it easy to get down in the grooves to apply a nice coverage. The Plexiglas does not need any finishing.

Project Files: 
Marble Madness Tutorial [Download pdf]
Marble Madness Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: This is a hands on puzzle that has the user thinking which puzzle slice connects to the next using wooden dowels. Each of the 12 pieces are different, and to win every hole on every slice has to be filled with a dowel. Great for kids; however, just as appealing for adults.

Materials: Try to find a piece of wood that has a neat grain pattern, these little pieces will really come to life. For this example beach is used. Material needs to have a thickness of 5/16”. 18” of a 1/2” dowel will be needed.

Minimum Cutting Area: 18” x 12”

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: Minwax wipe on polyurethane is ideal for this project because it covers the faces well and allows one to wipe poly into the holes.

Project Files: 
Dowel Puzzle Tutorial [Download pdf]
Dowel Puzzle Project Files [Download  zipped files]

Designed for ShopBot by TJ Christiansen

Overview: This is a set of three different shaped hot plates. These work great when removing hot items from the stove or oven that need to be placed at a serving area while they are still warm.

Materials: Any 3/4” thick hardwood that is acceptable to warm surfaces. Red Oak is used in the pictures.

Minimum Cutting Area: 10”x10” per trivet

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: A food grade mineral oil or butcher block oil.

Project Files: 
Trivets Tutorial [Download pdf]
Trivets Project Files [Download  zipped files]

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