jigsaw puzzle pieces

This is hard for me to describe but I’ll do my best. Every stinkin’ jigsaw puzzle i see nowadays is made with the same piece: 2 “holes” on either side and 2 “nipples” on either side–on opposite sides?–however you say it I’m sure you know what I mean. But I’m wondering why are puzzles made this way? My grandparents have puzzles with goofy-shaped pieces that look like something out of a lava lamp. So what ever happened to those old-time puzzles that now I have to settle for these mundane pieces that all look alike? Where can i get the goofy-shaped puzzle piece puzzles nowadays?

Ummm, I assume this is GQ, if not please move to where ever it should be.

Yeah, they don’t have the same charm as the old ones, do they? The old ones with the funky shaped pieces were hand cut using, oddly enough, a jigsaw. I have a couple small ones that were handed down in the family. New ones are punched out by a big machine. But, there are still a few people making "hand cut "puzzles. Some of them may actually use computer driven saws, but they’re still much more interesting than mass-produced puzzles.

Here’s a few links;



I am sure the puzzles are cut with a “die”. It is like a big cookie cutter with sharp edges. They do cost money to produce so i would assume it is cheaper just to reuse the “same ol’ cutting die” they have used for years. Savings baby!

That bugs me too. It’s not that they used to be hand-made; Machine-made ones used to be such that any combination of holes and nipples was possible. I think one reason is that the finished puzzle looks neater, somehow.

Wooden puzzles from England, though they are mostly interlocking pieces, generally have “interesting” pieces scattered in - pieces of the shape of swords, dogs, etc.

I think the main reason squiggly pieces are rare these days is that interlocking pieces don’t move around on you, and thus make the puzzles easier to do.

I wonder if puzzles are cut by laser these days. The shmuzzle puzzle series, in which all the pieces were identical Escheresque lizards, claimed to be, and that was a long time ago.

If you want something different, though, you might try Puzz-3D puzzles, available everywhere. I’ve got way too many of them.

I’ve done those and even the Sculpt 3D–too easy to do which is why i want the ol’ fashioned kind.

I think MuldoonIII is oversimplifying in saying that all the pieces are the same (unless you are just buying extremely dull jigsaws).

Although most jigsaw pieces are indeed based around the “two lugs and two holes” idea, there are, in most jigsaw I have done (which is a lot) always various combinations of lugs and holes which makes for a good half dozen shapes.

There can be anything from no lugs at all, to all four, plus all lugs and no lugs and the good ole 2 lugs 2 holes.

That, I believe, makes 6 shapes.

I have one of those wooden jigsaws and the pieces are all weird shapes, and it does make for a different kind of jigsaw experience.

Those 3D ones are great too.

This is what we want, but in the puzzles we’re finding lately every piece apart from the edges has 2 lugs opposite each other and two holes opposite each other. Maybe we just need to hunt around different stores to find a better brand.

I’m pretty sure some companies make puzzles (and I’m referring to ordinary ones, not necessarily fancy wooden ones) with “interesting” pieces and some use mostly boring ones. Give me a day or so and I can probably have more specific information.

Muldoon, if you’re talking about cardboard puzzles sold at retail establishments–as opposed to “collectible” wooden puzzles–different brands have different shapes. Springbok puzzles, in particular, have fiendishly irregular piece shapes, and are probably what you’re remembering as “lava lamp” pieces.

Those standardized “two plugs and two holes” pieces are a mark of your lower-class or El Cheapo Wal-Mart puzzle. :smiley:

You want lava lamp shapes, you gotta get Springbok. Don’t expect to finish it in a single night. :smiley:

Well here’s my information, as promised. I’ll quote my dad- my parents run a puzzle store.

FYI Springbok puzzles are/were (not sure if they’re still made) sold exclusively through Hallmark stores, but there’s no shortage of them in thrift stores. I especially enjoy the round ones from the 1960’s.

I’d be afraid I’d get the 999 piece puzzle instead of the 1000 piece puzzle. How’s your luck been?

Springbok, still alive, still kickin’.

I have another question about puzzle pieces.

Why are the backs of them usually green?

Almost all of the puzzles I’ve worked on the back of them were green. What’s up with that?

I’m running around, oh, 70% have all pieces, and I don’t think I’ve ever had one missing more than two. You gotta consider the fact that you won’t know there’s a piece missing until the end of your fun, and at 25-50 cents, it’s not THAT great a loss.

All I gotta do is find a Hallmark store in the Westminster, MD area. AFAIK, there are none. I’ll ask around but I definately can’t stand doing these lame-brain Walmart puzzles anymore.