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A Puzzle Puzzle


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
May 4, 2004
Alberta, Canada
I've never framed a puzzle and someone is threatening to get me to do one. I know there are commercially made "Puzzle Glues" that are brushed on to hold everything together but are there any other methods people prefer to use.

I plaque puzzles. They are done just like a poster that is plaqued - nonglare lamination film over the surface instead of glass or puzzle glue, edges beveled and covered with the foil colors. Works pretty well, looks good, and is cost effective.

There are several companies that do lamination and plaques commercially.

Do not do this if the puzzle is an antique or collectors puzzle - like the old gas station puzzles and games from the early 20's.

Do a search with "puzzle" and you'll turn up a number of previous threads including this one...
Puzzle Job.

Don't even think about using that watered down PVA to brush over the surface of the puzzle (Puzzle Glue) - you wouldn't do that to a decorator print, so why would you do this to a puzzle?

I had the same problem I had a customer who wanted one framed. So I did some research on the gluing. I bought a puzzle and assembled it. Then I used the puzzle glue you can purchase at a craft store made for puzzles. I found that if you put it on to heavy it puddles. It calls for one coat I found that 2 coats with a foam brush work
better. There is a brush that comes with the glue
that can leave bristles in the glue. I give my customers the advise I gave you and tell them to glue it themselves. I had one customer bring me a puzzle he said he glued and lost part of it in the driveway unloading it. Also warn them the glue will leave small brush marks on it no matter what brush you use. But with matting and maybe non glare glass they look great. I then framed the puzzle I did and hung it in the shop to show we do puzzles. People are surprised it's a puzzle.
I actually thought I'd tell him about the product and let him do it but now that I've read the previous threads I'll experiment on some old puzzles with the drymount technique.

Thanks All
"From the voice of experience".........Do not, I repeat, do not take a puzzle unless the customer has glued it. I had a 1000 piece puzzle fall apart on me.

I always have the customer do the glueing. I never want to be responsible for putting another customers work together. After they glue it, I still like to dry mount it with Fusion 4000. That way, it is solidly in place on the backing board. This definitely isn't conservation, but neither is the cardboard that the puzzle is made from.
Originally posted by Candy:
"From the voice of experience".........Do not, I repeat, do not take a puzzle unless the customer has glued it. I had a 1000 piece puzzle fall apart on me.
Hi Candy:

LOL, I can only sympathize with you if you had to redo the 1000 piece puzzle.
Originally posted by John Ranes II, CPF, GCF:

Puzzle Job.

Follow John's advise. We have done numerous puzzles using the same method, and I wouldn't change.
I have done alot of puzzles (probably over 100) in my vacuum press.....a large Print Mount. Use Print Mount brand adhesive, on foamboard, and Print Mounts laminating 3 mil film on top. Works great, sucks right down into the little spaces between the pieces. ONLY use Print Mounts perforated laminating film, other's may not work.
(Have no connection with Print Mount, just can't argue with success.)
However, once a lady phoned about doing a puzzle, and she comes in....a sweet little old lady with the puzzle.........still in the box. Fortunately, I found a young lady that would assemble it for her.

Here is one you wouldn't want to fall apart. 53" x 109", over 10,000 pcs. and untold hours. Had customer preglue it in 6 sections. We assembled it into 3 larger sections, mounted on plywood and over coated 3 times with z-gell and a foam roller. Tested compatability of z-gell to the puzzle glue first. Originally they wanted it framed as one unit, talked them into 3 units with the suggestion that in the future she (college student) might one to give a section to another family member and re-unite them at family reunion time.

(sorry if the pict is too big/it is a big puzzle. Someone who knows how can downsize if they wish)