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Picture Puzzles

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  • Picture Puzzles

    Friday was the last day of teaching for a couple of months. (Summer break).
    Our oldest daughter is getting married Saturday and she is wanting me to make a puzzle using a wedding picture. I would like for it to be durable and last for a very long time.
    I need to know: best kind of wood? thickness? how and what to use to permantly adhere picture to wood? what to use and how much, to seal and protect? Plus,anything else that you feel I need to know. I guess what I am saying is; I need to know how from the beginning to the end of the project. Thanks a bunch!

    p.s. I have made puzzles using oak and dipped the pieces in danish oil; they turned out beautiful. Now, I want to use picture, etc. on wood.

  • #2
    Hi Sonja, I just started making picture puzzles myself. I use 1/4 Baltic Birch and I use Tacky Glue to hold the picture and Triple Thick Glaze to seal them. I don't know how long they will hold up though.
    I hope Carter will be on here to answer your question, he has been doing this a lot longer than me. He has helped me a bunch.
    Keep checking back and see if he replies.
    Delta P-20 & Q-3

    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


    • #3
      Is the Tacky Glue that you are talking about made by "Aleene's"? If so, I have used it before in other crafts. I haven't been able to find the Triple Thick Glaze. Who makes it? Also, the 1/4 Baltic Birch where do you get it. I have seen some plywood at "Lowes" but it only says "birch" or "oak" plywood. Is this what I use? Or do you suggest another place to purchase the "Baltic Birch? If so, I would like the address. By the way, I ordered some of the "Flying Dutchman" puzzle blades plus other ones from "Mike". Haven't used them yet; but plan to soon now that I have some free time.

      Originally posted by Greenfield_Bob
      Hi Sonja, I just started making picture puzzles myself. I use 1/4 Baltic Birch and I use Tacky Glue to hold the picture and Triple Thick Glaze to seal them. I don't know how long they will hold up though.
      I hope Carter will be on here to answer your question, he has been doing this a lot longer than me. He has helped me a bunch.
      Keep checking back and see if he replies.


      • #4
        A very long post.


        Baltic Birch is a specific type of plywood. Way too long as to WHY scrollers like it but in 1/4 or 1/8 inch it is great to work with. Big box home improvement stores, like Lowes, do not carry BB. In my area, a craft store Michael's carries BB but is $$$$ (about 4 times the cost per sq ft as other sources.) Woodcraft and Rockler's retail stores also carry BB but is $$ (about 2 times as expensive.)

        Try and you may find a local hardwood lumber yard that sells BB. Good price, but they generally sell full sheets at 5 foot X 5 foot which is hard to fit in my car. Charge extra for cutting it down, but that puts it close to Rockler's price.

        Post back if you want Web stores as a supplier, but there you are paying for UPS delivery. These are great for thin solid hardwoods, as well as top quality hardwood plywood (NO VOIDS in inner ply.)

        Yes, Tacky Glue comes in a brown plastic bottle by Aleene's.

        I like spray adhesive by 3M Photo Mount and their Super 77. The way you apply the 3M products can produce permanent bond or re-positional bond (like if you use a pattern on top of your photo which you want to remove after cutting.) Patrick Spellman's books recommend the 3M products. Normal problems- over spray, odor, too much / too little product applied, not uniform distribution, and so on as with any spray product.

        Mod Podge, by Plaid has a following at this forum also. Mod-Podge has a problem with not being level when dry. Mod Podge has sister product Royal Coat which is not as bad. Big Office supply stores carry 3M spray adhesive at good price, Michael's and craft stores carry the rest.

        AFAIK, Mod Podge is only non-toxic safe product for very young children. A whole 'nother' thread on what defines "safe" product for children. This forum has been there, done that.

        Triple Thick Glaze is a spray coating like spray paint, only clear and glossy as it is clear acrylic spray in effect. Krylon makes a very good TT Glaze. I found it at Wal-Mart; others did not at their local Wal-Mart. Look in paint department of other large discount stores to see if they carry Krylon spray paints. If they do, then they might carry TT Glaze.

        Michael's carries other brands of TT Glaze. Look in among the spray glitter and spray decoupage coatings. Plaid makes a good TTG, comes in a blue can. TTG at Michael's is twice to 4 times as expensive as Krylon at Wal-Mart. In a pinch you can use standard Glaze, or acrylic top coat, but then you need to apply it many more times for same thickness of glaze.

        See above about problems with any spray product.

        Large Office Supply stores carry adhesive Protective cover sheets. Very pricey. Comes in 8.5 X 11 inch sheets, peal off back and apply. If you use a pattern for cutting, protective sheets have a problem with lifting off when you remove the pattern and cannot be re-glued. My opinion: I don't think protective sheets will last 15 years. The plastic is made for office use, not library use.

        Large Office Supply stores also carry a heavy protective sheet that is bonded with heat to a document. Normally you place your document between two sheets and run the sandwich through a heated machine that also presses the sandwich together. Used for making employee badges, ID cards, and so on. Heat gun (Hair dryer?) with 'J' roller used by kitchen counter top installers might work.



        • #5
          Good post

          Great post Phil.
          I only have one more thing to add. If you get your picture printed at a commercial outlet like a photo printing service the picture will be printed on better quality paper that will reduce problems of paper wrinkling and colours bleeding. Laser printers seem to rule in this area
          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


          • #6
            My recommendation for wood is 1/4" baltic birch or, even easier, 1/4" five-ply poplar. I have also used 1/4" cedar, which smells nice, especially for a wedding picture. All these are available from Wildwood Designs, which sometimes has a www link on the top of this forum.

            I always use the triple-thick spray - except with photos. It destroys the emulsion. If the photo is printed on glossy paper, that's enough.

            The "Tacky Glue" is unique in that it comes in a brown tube-type plastic bottle. Trowel it real thin and apply the picture/photo carefully, smoothing as you lay it down. Works pretty good.

            Wedding photos are fun for puzzles. I l;ike cutting the heads and the outlines of clothing out as edges of pieces. The invitation is also great. It would be fun if you could combine the two somehow.

            Good luck - and have phun....



            • #7
              Triple Thick Glaze

              OK, I'm going to show my ignorance. I have tried to make a puzzle or two with varing success, some good enough to give away some not.

              Why do you use the TTG? Does it prevent the paper from delaminating? Does it soak into the paper? Is it just for looks or does it do something for the puzzle?



              • #8
                TTG is a surface finish used over a photo or graphic image.

                TTG, or what ever finish you use, is to offer a surface finish to protect the graphic under the finish. But you don't want something that will harm the graphic when applied.

                If you don't use a graphic image for your puzzles, for example a dog or a cat puzzle, you can just use Mineral Oil, BLO, or whatever you choose.

                The few puzzles with a graphic image I have made, I sand and apply a bath of BLO to the plywood before I attach the graphic. (The BLO must cure for a couple of days.)



                • #9
                  The principle reason I use a glaze over a puzzle before I cut is to protect the finished product. I can wash off fingerprints from little puzzlers and it keeps the puzzle from harm (for a short time) if liquids are spilled on it.

                  Everything I do I learned by sort of stumbling onto it, so in many cases there are much better, more proven ways. I never read a reference of any sort on cutting jigsaw puzzles and developed my own technique of line cutting and finishing. I'm sure I would find better methods if I were to make a business out of it, but I have some puzzles that have travelled thousands of miles and been put together over a dozen times - and they've held up pretty well. I'm sure the glaze helps.

                  Have phun...



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