Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mounting Large Puzzles

Over the years we have completed and mounted so many puzzles that I can't remember them all.  As we have completed more and more puzzles and the size has grown larger and larger we have had to alter our technique of mounting the puzzle so it can be displayed prominently on the wall.

Below is a quick video we put together demonstrating our technique of mounting large puzzles.  In the video, we are mounting an 18000 piece puzzle by Ravensburger.

This mounting technique is also outlined on our LIFE puzzle website.  Go down to the section titled "The Completed Puzzle" for a step by step including pictures.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Section "A" of the 32000 piece puzzle "Double Retrospect" is complete.

Well, we're moving along now.  Not quite as fast as I was hoping though.  We did have about 8 days where we left on a Caribbean cruise for a vacation that we didn't work on the puzzle.  This section is the top-left corner section.  We continue to build new sections on top of already completed sections as this is the easiest and fastest way to assemble large puzzles.  I was thinking of putting together a couple videos to demonstrate our techniques for organizing pieces and using the previous section to help build the new one and how we flip the puzzle over to put the contact paper on the back.  Maybe I'll do that for the next section.  Here are some pictures from the assembly of section "A".

 Sections B & C are done.  We are doing the top-left section.

 Sorting by color is first.  We even create a color priority list because some pieces have multiple colors.

 First was green and then pink.

 Yellow was next.

 Red pieces all sorted.  Notice how they are organized by how much black was on the piece.

 All that's left is the white.

 Sorted by shape.

 Doing the white is all about finding the duplicates.

 All done!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Section "B" Complete! - 2 of 8 sections done.

Well, we finally found enough time to get the 2nd section completed.  It's been sitting on the table, 99% complete, for almost 4 months waiting for me to finally fix the white border part to connect this section with the previous one.  Since this was the second section we were able to start using one of the best assembly techniques for these types of puzzles. That is building one section on top of another completed section.  Each section is a duplicate of the others with regard to the pieces.  So, when you build on top you can tell exactly the shape of the piece you are looking for.  When you couple this with a sorting process that sorts all the pieces by shape it makes finding the pieces very easy!  The pictures below illustrate these techniques. Look closely and you will see one section being built on top of the previous.

 Section C is done.  We are doing B (to the left).

 See how we built the yellow man right on top of the other section using the bottom piece shapes as a guide.

 Look very closely and you will see the parts of the B section being built on top of the C section.

 Sorting the pieces by shape is key.

 More sorting.  Notice the two groups at the bottom.  They are the same shape but we found that you can divide them into those that run vertically or horizontally in the puzzle.  The ones that the bottom are slightly longer and narrower.

 Just needs the white border to be completed.  This is basically where it sat for 4 months!!

 Finally found the time to get it done.

Since our busy time of year is over we are now back in full puzzle mode.  This means that we will be working on completing the puzzle soon.  My goal is to try to have it finished by the end of June.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Section "B" Status

Hey everyone!  Sorry it's been a while since I've updated the blog but this is a very busy time of year for us.  We usually don't work on puzzles during this time of year since we don't have any extra time to work on them.

Section "B" (2 of 8) has been completed for well over a month now.  I just haven't had the time to put all the pictures together and post them all on this blog.  As it sits right now we are shuffling some pieces on the edge that connects "B" to "C".  Since they are all white and there are several duplicate shapes that can easily be in the wrong place so the two sections do not fit together right now.  Once this busy time is over, which should be in a few more weeks, we'll be able to finally get section "B" out of the way and start the next section.  At that point I think we'll finish the puzzle very quickly as it really isn't very hard.  Thanks for being patient.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Section "C" Complete! - 1 of 8 sections done.

Tonight we completed section "C" of the 32000 piece "Double Retrospect" puzzle. Start to finish it took us approx. 7 days to complete.  In actuality it took less than that because we had a trip to Arizona over the weekend. Sydney and Justin stayed behind and did a LOT of the work themselves. The next sections will go much faster (barring work and other events getting in the way) now that we have a piece shape reference to build on. Since each section has exactly the same piece shapes we can literally build each section on top of the other. It is a huge time saver. In fact, we found that within a section the left and right halves are also duplicates of each other. You'll see in the pictures below where we built one half of the section on top of the other.

 Organizing the pieces is key

 Knowing the shape of the piece you are looking for when building one section on top of another is really helpful

 Only the white part left to do

 Not only did we organize the white pieces by shape, we found all the duplicates and stacked them together

 Section "C" Complete!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let the fun begin!!!

We started building our first section of the puzzle at 7:00pm on Jan 5th, 2011.

We decided to start with section "C" which is the third section on the top from the left.

Sorting colors took about an hour and the organizing of the pieces for the colors we choose to start on took about an hour.  We figure the first section will be the hardest since we don't have a piece pattern to work from.  The remaining sections will be a lot easier.