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  • Puzzle storage boxes

    I vaguely remember many years ago a post that addressed the dimensions you would need for a box to hold a given size puzzle. I was asked to make a puzzle (retirement gift) and I would like to make a presentation box to go along with it. My attempts to search for that post came up empty. Does anyone remember this or have some idea how to estimate the box volume needed for a given size puzzle?

    Bruce
    Bruce
    . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
    visit sometime
    Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

  • #2
    I second that request....

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    • #3
      Hello Bruce.

      This is not a perfect formula for puzzle pieces but will get you close enough. Width x Length x Height. If the puzzle is 12 inch x 12 inch x 0.25 inch = 36 square inches in volume. If the puzzle pieces were very small, or you stacked them side by side, then you would need a box with an inside volume of at least 36 inches, which is a box of 4 inches x 3 inches x 3 inches.

      If the pieces are about a half inch in size I would add about 20% to each dimension for air, nobs and a bag or packing material. Now the box is 5 x 3.5 x 3.5 = 61.25 square inches. If the puzzle pieces are bigger you will need to add a greater percentage.

      Having said all that, Carter Page told me his secret. For him, the formula was too much math. (And he admitted he never accounted for the packing material correctly.) The box choice method that worked for him was to cut the puzzle, and reassembling as he cut to make sure all the pieces were there. Then he moved the pieces to a plastic container as he was counting to get the puzzle piece total. The plastic container's dimensions, and to what level the pieces filled the container, then told him how big a box he needed. ; )

      Practical experience and math working together.

      Michael Mayrend
      Last edited by MMayrend; 09-14-2018, 02:21 PM.

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      • #4
        Michael, I really like Carter's plastic container method. It would make it much easier to gauge an accurate box size than filling a plastic bag. Thanx for the feedback.
        Bruce
        . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
        visit sometime
        Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

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        • #5
          I use 2 methods:
          1 - a rectangular plastic container (see above)
          2 - statistics. I write down the size of the package that came up for each puzzle. Now it is enough for me to measure the dimensions of the puzzle and calculate its volume in the assembled form. I simply multiply the length by the width by the thickness. After disassembling, its parts will take up 4 times the volume. This formula works for me quite accurately, but if you have a different cutting style, deviations are possible.
          Alexey Morozov & my puzzles

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          • #6
            By Leshko's experience, the 12 x 12 x 0.25 inch puzzle with 288 puzzle pieces will need a container with internal dimensions of 8 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches, or a volume of 144 square inches (versus my estimate of 62 square inches). Since I don't make my own boxes I defer to his experience. My puzzle pieces are also not nearly as beautifully artful as his. ; )

            I use Carter's method above to figure out what size container to use. The containers I use to hold the puzzles I have given as gifts are recycled containers that usually had a previous life. They range from loose tea leaf cans with lids I get from a co-worker; to Christmas tins (or other themed) containers found at the donation centers; to small plastic containers with plastic screw on lids (but higher end than just "Ziploc"). Then I put an ink jet printed oversized sticker with the puzzle information over any previous labeling. The bags holding the puzzle pieces that go in the containers are usually faux velvet bags from higher end liquor packaging - also found in the donation centers.

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            • #7
              Here's what I ended up with. The inside volume was approx. 2.5x the calculated puzzle volume, which was enough room if I stacked the pieces but not quite enough if they were just thrown in. The next time I'll play it safe and go with 3-4x the calculated volume.
              Bruce
              . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
              visit sometime
              Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Bruce,
                The puzzle box looks great. I like the dove tails and rounded shape. Well done. And I bow to Leshko's mastery and experience knowing that four times (4x) the calculated board volume would be needed for storage when it was turned into a puzzle.

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                • #9
                  Hello Bruce,

                  One method to store puzzles was with having access to used business card boxes from my job before i retired. The business card name was removed. The business card was usually held on to the lid with scotch tape. These boxes would hold small puzzles 4x6 5x7 and were pretty sturdy. The second method is a cigar shop in town that sell empty wooden cigar boxes for 2 or 3 dollars a piece. They donate the money earned from those sales to Meal on Wheels in our town. Some are used as is, others are painted black or another color and have a photo on the cover. They work well for for larger puzzles. Larger for me is up to 11x14. All puzzles are on 1/4 inch thick Baltic birch or similar stock for point of reference. Some of the nicer boxes get felt pads placed in the corner and are good to go.

                  djd
                  Last edited by oldvaxguy; Yesterday, 10:22 AM. Reason: Fixed spelling

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