From: Nancy Hepler
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:01 AM
To: Janet McClure/RoyceArt
Subject: Re: question about glue



Thanks for all the help! I did eventually find the gluing tips on the blogs.

Stripping the last column from the first quarter and using it as a guide to the second was extremely helpful. We found a blog where a couple rubbed a piece of paper on a section of puzzle to get the shapes of the pieces. We liked the rubbing idea to get the shape of the pieces and are building the second quarter of the puzzle on top of the first with a piece of paper in between. We're using newprint which is stiff enough to use to slide the puzzle onto a board when it comes time to move it to glue it. We used grey crayon (rather than pencil because of the graphite coming off on clothes). Some of us like having the shapes. Some puzzlers find it distracting. We build the center sections on flexible strong paper (we're using the backs from legal pads, file folders cut in half, construction paper, etc) to build the pictures that fit in the middle then we slide the pictures into the puzzle. Having the shapes on the paper help us accurately place the pictures. We're building up quite a crowd when the library is open. People are coming into town from outlying towns just to puzzle. That's a big deal for us to have out of town guests because we are quite remote and not on the way to anywhere else.

We have a mentor who has built, glued and hung several large puzzles...the latest is 18,250 pieces. He puts the puzzle all together upside down and uses elmer's glue. He then hangs the puzzle with 2" long thin brads (you can't detect them when you look at the puzzle). He puts the brads in the line between the first few rows of the puzzle (I think two lines of brads worth). He only puts the brads in halfway so he can move the puzzle. He finds the combo of glue and brads holds the puzzles on the wall fine and when he wants to move them around he pulls the brads out with pliers. That way the puzzle isn't harmed. We've formed a committee of people who will glue. We have Tom Wright who is the experienced puzzler, another couple in town, the Heilman's who puzzle and glue and hang them and Dot n Ellis Anderson who build miniature doll houses and have lots of finishing experience.

We're finding that puzzling over the logistics of the puzzle takes as much time as putting the puzzle together. We're having fun with this community project.

The BIG excitement was the night of our annual Friends of the Library meeting when we all worked together to finish the first quarter and we were missing a piece. We cleaned the room and I scoured my house where I'd sorted the pieces for the first section. No luck. This week, I moved the chair at my house that was holding the box with the last two bags of puzzle pieces and found the missing piece. It had dropped off the bottom of the box. I'd taken the box to the library so we could all read the bottom that has instructions. Evidently I'd set the box on some pieces and it had picked one up. Fortunately it traveled safely all the way back to my house on the bottom of the box (3 blocks) and was found.

It took us a calendar month to put the first quarter together (we took a week off around Christmas where no one puzzled). We're making some quick progress on the second quarter with the rubbed paper to show pieces and I'm sorting as people puzzle. We dissect the bag and pull the pieces out carefully. I turn the bag to ascertain the top so we can get the top edge as a guide, then a fellow puzzler figured out the left side so we pulled the pieces out carefully and they came out in a ray from the top left corner.  That makes it easier for us to determine what is fish from fowl and air from water...a problem we had with the first quarter.

We are finding that with so many different skilled jigsaw puzzlers we have all kinds of different approaches to puzzling which helps with such a big puzzle. We don't yet play music to determine when to switch chairs but we have found many puzzlers swapping spots when they get stuck and many of us move around the puzzle: when we get frustrated with the part we're working on, we move to another spot. And,  yes, we've been known to applaud when a puzzler gets a part finished that the rest of us struggle with and couldn't complete.  We've found that when the adults gets stuck we're saved by the kids getting off the school bus. They come in and quickly finish parts that we were stuck on for hours.  Sometimes when we're at an impasse we go and get a child or teen to help us.

We are having a lot of fun.

We'll see if all our new ideas cut the calendar time on the puzzle and make it more fun for the puzzlers.

I don't know how to blog or we could put all this info into our puzzle link. I'll see if the library webmaster can do that for us when the pictures are updated.

Thanks again for all your help.


----- Original Message ----
From: Janet McClure/RoyceArt <>
To: Nancy Hepler
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:26:33 PM
Subject: Re: question about glue

Dear Nancy,

I am sorry but I some how missed seeing your email!

since 10 days have past I'm wondering if this gluing question is still
topical or if you have already ploughed ahead.

We have a section in our FAQ about glueing and mounting the puzzle.

> Is there a glue you'd recommend?
We don't have a specific brand but it needs to be a glue that is slow
drying so that you have time to adjust the 'tension' so that the different
sections fit together. Otherwise the holes and knobs can get slightly out
of alignment with the next section and once the glue is set they cannot be
joined. I hope you understand what I mean by this. Our local puzzle shop
used a white PVC wood glue i guess it's much like Elmers glue and he finds
that is satisfactory and inexpensive. And if any does get onto the front by
mistake it dries clear so isn't noticable whereas some other brands are
brown or grey.

> Will there be a problem with getting the glued sections together
> if we glue them at separate times?
there shouldn't be if you do it right. Glue all of section one together.
And then when it comes time to glue section two you must fasten it on to
section one before the glue dries. You can do it so that it comes apart
again but the positions of the knobs and holes in section one and two need
to match. We have a person who has glued the entire puzzle in 1000 piece
sections. He had to have each glued when joined to neighbour but you can
devise a way so that the sections can be separated when dry. He has put his
in storage but it can be brought out at any time in the future and
reassembled very quickly because there are only 24 'pieces'.

> We thought we'd strip the last
> column of pieces from the first section and use it as the side
> guide for the second section
That sounds like a good plan - if it does help you might submit that as a
tip when you do you 'write-up' :-)

> The magepage directions
> state that we spread it on the front of the puzzle. I purchased
> matte but it also comes in glossy (and glitter and some other
> obviously inappropriate varieties). Do you have a recommendation
> for the gloss vs. the matte? The library is very well lit and
> quite bright in the area we're to hang it.
I don't know this exact brand but in the past I have used a special puzzle
glue that you put on the front surface of the puzzle. It was just a 750
piece puzzle. I've spoke with an 'expert' in our local puzzle shop and he
says that there is a great difference between the different brands and some
he thinks are a waste of money...but I do not remember now which were the
good brands and which weren't. And what we have here in New Zealand might
not be available to you anyway! The special puzzle glues tend to be
expensive and since this puzzle is UGE it would take a lot. However they
have the bonus of not having to turn them over or lift them to glue! Though
I would suggest that due to the size of the puzzle you do mount it onto
another board because i do not think that the puzzle glue will be strong
enough to hold it by itself. So really you are having a double cost by
using this type of glue but that's my personal opinion.

Certainly if you have bright lights then matt would be best to avoid glare.
Because otherwise the light reflection might obsure parts of the puzzle
image depending on where you are standing.

Let me know how it goes.

Best Regards,

        Janet W. McClure