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Do You "Puzzle" over Puzzle Pieces? How Jigsaw Puzzles are Made.


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Okay. This is another "factory tour" post, but I think this particular is best suited for the homeschooling forum because you could probably get some math and/or business "classes" out of it. B)  Perhaps someone will be inspired to get a job in one of the many aspects of this industry after seeing this vid. :hapydancsmil:

 

Do you like doing jigsaw puzzles? Have you ever wonder how they are made, and how in the world do they get 1,000 unique puzzle pieces for each one? This is the video for you!

 

 

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Doing puzzles is a favorite activity at my house (way before 2020).   We stick with White Mountain and Cobble Hill brands, as we think those 2 are the best made ones.  Cobble Hill puzzles are really neat in that they have unique puzzle piece shapes.   Worse than the run on TP was the run on puzzles....and the prices some places still reflect that!   I'm glad I had "bought ahead" (gifts for DD).  

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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Love the video. I'm a puzzler too. I have puzzle programs on all of my devices. On the Kindle Fires I have an app called Just Jigsaws. They give you 12 puzzles and as you finish each one you get so many coins. As a matter of fact they give you some coins every new day. So even if I'm not going to work on a puzzle, I still check in everyday to get the coins. You save up the coins to buy more digital puzzle sets. I bought some coins once but since then I get enough coins to keep me in puzzles. They give you a free puzzle every month or so. You decide how many pieces you want. 

 

I have a really nice program on the computer. I can't remember the name of it right off but it came with a bunch of puzzles and you can use your own pictures. I scoured the internet and got some really nice pictures and loaded them into the program. Scenery, quilts, stained glass, art, fantasy, animals, Christmas cards, Disney toons etc. My favorites are (of course I can't think of the name right off) computer generated swirles. What the heck are those called. Anyway, you can make them any size you want and the number of pieces and piece shapes. I started doing all of my puzzle pieces shaped like a square. A little more challenging but fun. All my Kindle Fires and computers have a puzzle in progress open. I don't have to worry about lost pieces on the computer. And it's mobile. 

 

I have about a dozen real ones put away for the apocalypse. One is just of old licenses plates. I thought that might be cute hanging in the garage. Put together, glued and sealed. Put in a cheap frame from Michaels. I love the Wysocki puzzles too. Folk arty. Lehmans has some nice puzzles. A little pricy but frame worthy. When I had jury duty, they had a jigsaw puzzle set up on a card table for the people to work on. That's probably a thing of the past since Covid though. When my cousin died she had about a hundred boxes of puzzles. Her husband donated them to nursing homes, senior centers etc. She also had some really nice ones she framed. 

 

I'll check out your puzzle styles too OOTO.

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13 minutes ago, Jeepers said:

I started doing all of my puzzle pieces shaped like a square. A little more challenging but fun.

A long long time ago, in a land far far away..................................... I bought a puzzle that was cut in squares, but the "squares" were attached to each other in different configurations (think, Tetris ). When the puzzle was complete it looked like a tile mosaic scene. I've never found another one. :(

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@out_of_the_ordinary @Jeepers

 

Did you know that you are dissectologists?  :lol:

 

Quote

What is a Dissectologist and Why is This Word Used for Puzzle Fans?

 

The definition of dissectologist is a person who enjoys jigsaw puzzle assembly. That is precisely what it means.

 

Jigsaw puzzles prior to and during the 19th century were called dissected maps and also known as dissected puzzles. These were wooden pictures that were hand cut with a fret saw into irregular shaped pieces. These pieces were then assembled together to complete the whole picture.

Dissected maps was a name used because some of the earliest puzzles were made from printed maps. These puzzles were educational as well as recreational. They could also be referred to as picture maps and wooden maps.


The dissected word gradually fell out of use in favour of picture puzzles and eventually jigsaw puzzles in the 20th century.

Why jigsaw puzzles? Jigsaw refers to the saw used to cut the wooden puzzles which was a type of fret saw.

Unofficial Names for People Who Like Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

Not surprisingly, I'm not too keen on the word dissectologist although the history of where that word came from is kind of fun.

But, let's be honest, if someone asks me what I do all day (okay not all day!) I'm hardly going to use that word. They'll just say,"What," or get the totally wrong idea.

 

I prefer to describe myself as a puzzler. I know it could apply to other puzzles and not just jigsaws, but it's a better choice of word.

Here's some more unofficial names for people who love jigsaws:

  • Puzzler
  • Jigsaw Junkie / Junky
  • Puzzlist
  • Jigsaw-ist
  • Puzzle-ologist
  • Jigster
  • Piece-ologist
  • Nerd!! (That last one is a joke, by the way)

Some people have mentioned the word enigmatologist, but this means someone who studies and writes mathematical, word or logic puzzles so it doesn't specifically cover jigsaw puzzles. It is a more precise word for word puzzles such as word searches, number puzzles like sudoku and riddles.

 

https://www.puzzlehour.com/2020/04/what-call-person-jigsaw-puzzles.html

 

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The computer ones just click together like little magnetic tiles. I started doing them that way to slow myself down. 

 

I checked out your link OOTO very nice. I really liked the cat library and the chickens. The White Mountain ones look like some of the ones I got at Lehmans. 

 

Okay I went and checked. I do have some of the White Mountain ones. I have two of the old tin cans, just add water, cereal, games and license plates. I thought they looked familiar. I did get them at Lehmans but not all at once! They have a really big supply of puzzles down there.

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I've never been to Lehmans.  I want to go someday.  I used to tell DH that I didn't want to go to Lehmans until we had moved, so I'd have room for all the things I'd want to buy.  :D     Why, hello, cookstove!

 

 

We stick with the 500 and under puzzle counts because of DD  (pre-2020, I bought 1000 pieces if I found them on clearance and put them back for someday).   Cobble Hill has ones that are "family puzzles" where there are 3 different sized pieces, one end is very large, part is medium sized pieces and part is very small.  It's supposed to be so that the whole family can work on it.   We do those, but mostly the 275 pieces (I try to find a "busy" scene for DD) for Cobble Hill.    She outgrew 100 piece puzzles awhile back.  Tried a couple other brands, but the quality wasn't very good.   White Mountain, we do the 300 or 500 ones, but they seem to be focused more on producing 1000 and up piece puzzles.

 

Rainbow Resource (homeschool supplies) has excellent prices on puzzles.   Search by brand or size.

https://www.rainbowresource.com/category/6364/Jigsaw-Puzzles.html

 

Good's Store has good prices,too.

https://goodsstores.com/

 

Both places have had trouble keeping up with the demand.  Other places are charging prices I won't pay.   (I don't blame them, but it is a tight budget here.)

Some libraries also have puzzles to check out, just like books. 

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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Well thanks a lot ladies. I just fell down the White Mountain rabbit hole. I've decided I'll decorate my garage with puzzle pictures. I love to put them together but I never know what to do with them when they are done. Nearly everything is out of stock due to Covid. Understandable.  One that I really liked, gas pumps, is discontinued. Would have been good for a garage theme. 

 

I like the idea of different size family pieces in one puzzle.  Grandson is doing something like 18 piece size. 

 

Our library has toy and puzzle check out too. 

 

Lehman is a beautiful sight to behold. So much more in there than the website shows. But they are very expensive. I usually only buy there what I can't get elsewere. It's a touristy shop and they charge accordingly. But if you know that going in, you won't be too surprised. Or angry. If you decide to go let me know and I'll tell you where the best bulk food stores are. Also a couple of health food stores. It's a peppers Disneyland down there.  

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I've been to the East Earl Goods store many many years ago. I thought I was in New Holland though. Also the one in Ephrata when I went to see the Cloister. 

 

Can you tell PA is my favorite vacation spot. Lancaster and Mifflin counties. And Lawrence County.  See a trend. Amish buggies. 

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I've never been to Goods Stores, but have ordered from them. 

 

There are floor puzzles for kids, too, Jeepers.  I don't know if you know about them.   They are giant over-sized pieces.   The puzzles completed are a a couple feet wide and high.   We have a map of the USA and the Life Cycle of a Butterfly.    I think both Cobble Hill and White Mountain were making them.

 

 

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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Was chatting with family today about the boxes full of puzzles we donated when Mother passed.  We were al puzzler's but just didn't keep them.  NOW?  Sure wish we had.  Would have loved to put them back together again.  We have a huge library of our own so we've had plenty to read.  The local library will pull your selections and set them outside the door for you to pick up, but you have to go to their online web site to make selections.  Not a big deal.  We also have our Kindles to read.

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I have been to Lehman's only once, many years ago on vacation, and LOVED it. (Though I do order from there when I can't find something elsewhere)  It was more touristy than I'd expected but once I got over the shock of knowing I couldn't afford much of what I wanted I was lost in the experience.  Loved the old room settings especially.  I SO wanted to buy an Amish Made stove they had on sale for $900 and WOULD have bought it if we'd had room to take it home with us on the utility trailer we were pulling.  It was FULL of Motorcycles (we'd been at the races and swap meet nearby) and I couldn't talk DH into leaving one there to make room.  I have wished for that stove every since.  That same stove is over $2000 now.  

 

Anyway, what we DID come home with were two puzzles.  I usually do not keep puzzles but these I still have and have put together several times over the years. When I've been bored and didn't have a new puzzle to work on I sometimes have put them together upside down using just the shapes to fit them.  That is not often easy as shapes are often repeated again and again in the puzzle.  Still, it's the same as doing a solid color puzzle which is challenging.  The Lehman puzzles have a large X marked on the back side to help with the center and with the outside edges together it's mainly trying to see which remaining sections the rest of the pieces fit.   

 

Dissectologist.  I believe that's me even though my spell check says it's not a word????   :curtsey:

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OOTO, I'm going to look for a couple of floor puzzles. I have the perfect base for them too. A long time ago I bought a couple of different things to use in the basement and garage to to keep items up off of the cement floor. One is a plastic hollow form that I had a piece of plywood cut to fit and the other is supposed to be used as some sort of subfloor. It has a chipboard top with raised plastic on the bottom. Each one is about 2-3 inches high and about 4 foot square. I painted the wooden parts so they wouldn't splinter. I think I have about 6 of each. They could be slid under a bed too. Butterfly cycle would be so neat. I've seen posters of a tadpole cycle too. U.S. floor puzzle would be just the thing for him! 

 

Thanks for all of your ideas for this aging out-of-touch granny. 

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1 hour ago, Jeepers said:

OOTO, I'm going to look for a couple of floor puzzles. I have the perfect base for them too. A long time ago I bought a couple of different things to use in the basement and garage to to keep items up off of the cement floor. One is a plastic hollow form that I had a piece of plywood cut to fit and the other is supposed to be used as some sort of subfloor. It has a chipboard top with raised plastic on the bottom. Each one is about 2-3 inches high and about 4 foot square. I painted the wooden parts so they wouldn't splinter. I think I have about 6 of each. They could be slid under a bed too. Butterfly cycle would be so neat. I've seen posters of a tadpole cycle too. U.S. floor puzzle would be just the thing for him! 

 

Thanks for all of your ideas for this aging out-of-touch granny. 

No problem, Jeepers!   I didn't even know floor puzzles were a thing until a couple years ago.   DD just does them on our carpeted living room floor and the puzzles fit and stay together just fine.   Our USA Map one is White Mountain.   I might have bought it at Ollie's.   But, now, I bet they don't get or keep puzzles in very long anymore.   The Butterfly Life Cycle one we have is Cobble Hill brand.   It's completed size is 24" by 36", so it's not HUGE.     Both brands have held up well for DD.   She has taken them apart and put them back together many, many, many times.    I don't think you're an aging out of touch granny!   With my allergies/sensitivities, making sure everything is made in USA has been quite the challenge since having DD.  So I usually feel out of touch with other people on the kid toy stuff.   God provides, though! 

 

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I'll check Ollie's next week. I have one just a few miles from me. I got some really good deals there on all kinds of books in the past. I keep forgetting about them. I got some science type toys at Barnes and Noble this past Christmas but they are for older kids. I have a few things put away for when he is older. 

 

I thought this was kind of cute

Kids DIY Maze Planter by Merchsource | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

 

I also got some dinosaur 'eggs' to hide in his sand box at my house this summer. You crack them open and a little dino is inside. Kind of like geodes.

And a globe

And a magnifying glass

And some binoculars

And a little microscope

And a telescope

LOL I went shopping when K-Mart and Toys-R-Us went out of business. Saved  a fortune!

 

I still need a solar system and a learning clock.

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Jeepers, that's neat you have those things bought ahead for your grandson!   Looking back, most of my toys were more educational than entertainment.  

 

If there's any lurkers out there :hi: interested in Made in USA stuff:

For the puzzles, White Mountain is made in the USA.   Cobble Hill (a Canadian company) is made in the USA, but their tray puzzles are made in China.   

 

For tray puzzles, Maple Landmark's tray puzzles are made in the USA (I think they source some of the wood from Europe for the tray puzzles, but I can't remember).  https://www.maplelandmark.com/products-by-type/framed-puzzles   Older Maple Landmark's puzzles were thicker pieces and a smaller overall size.  They then changed them to a bigger tray, bigger pieces, but thinner pieces.   Both types have held up here.

 

I once bought some USA-made cardboard tray puzzles at WM--I don't know what the brand was, but the quality was HORRIBLE and we didn't keep them.     We have some cardboard tray puzzles from when I was a kid, and they were good quality and still holding up after 3 decades. 

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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The online puzzles I do are here: 

 

https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=385ecde16b41

 

It begins with Tiny Kittens  ....a refuge shelter for feral cats in British Columbia.  They bring in the mammas to have the kittens.  Kittens are adopted out to homes.  So is mamma if she adapts...otherwise, released to the Happy Forest.  They bring in other cats too for medical treatments.  Some have to stay if they have permanent medical issues.  

 

So that's why there is tons of real cat pics from there.  But that's only a small portion of the whole site.  They have Thomas Kinkaid puzzles.  [HINT:  you can go to full screen with button on lower right corner]

 

Since I have no place to lay down a real puzzle [tho I help my mom with hers when we go in]...the computer puzzles are great!  Options for how many pieces to work with.

 

MtRider  ....voted child puzzle prodigy at age 2 ....by my adoring grandparents.  :lol: 

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