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What is a handcrafted wood jigsaw puzzle?
A handcrafted wood jigsaw puzzle is cut one piece at a time using a scroll saw by one individual puzzle crafter. The wood used in this type of puzzle making has alternating grain directions between the different layers. This is to maximize the strength of each piece and allows for very tiny and intricate pieces to be cut. The blades that are used for puzzle making are very fine and produce a super thin curf that cause the pieces to fit together only with their mating piece.
What is a wedding guest book puzzle?
A wedding guest book puzzle is a jigsaw puzzle that is used as an alternative sign in method as people are arriving to an to a wedding. Although I have had past clients use them for all sorts of occasions other than weddings such as 10 year anniversaries, baby showers, 50th wedding anniversaries, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, bar mitzvahs, & christenings.
How many sign-able pieces will I need for my wedding guest book puzzle?
Typically I recommend 70-80% of the total guest count. This is because many times couples sign together, single people sign for themselves, and children do not sign.
What kind of wood do you use for your puzzles?
I use a 5mm 5-ply Cabinetmakers Grade Baltic Birch. It is special ordered. I then drive to the lumber yard & hand pick through the individual sheets to select only the best of the best out of the bunch for my puzzle making.
Are your wedding guest book puzzles frame-able?
Yes they are. A large portion of the puzzles I make for wedding and events wind up being framed and displayed within a home. The best way to accomplish this is to visit your local framing shop and have them make a custom frame specifically for your puzzle. I have found that every client is different and all have different tastes. Your local frame shop can accommodate a variety of tastes and décor options.
Do you take custom puzzle orders?
Yes. I have some of the most fun, creative, and imaginative clients! Over the years I have accomplished a host of things puzzle & carpentry related upon request. I welcome all new ideas. If you can imagine it I will do my best to meet that need!
How do I send you my image?
The fastest way to send me your image is via email. Once your order is placed you will receive an order conformation email. Use this same email address to forward your image.
You can also send the hard copy of your photograph, a CD containing scanned images, or a mini USB drive containing the images all via regular mail. While placing your order please include that you are using this method within the “Order Notes” box at checkout.
What kind images should I send?
This is a very important topic, especially in this day and age where every person on the planet has the ability to take pictures all the time. The range is so huge from professional photographers using top of the line gear with amazing lenses, to smart phone selfies, and finally the snapshot taken with a point and shoot. I do not claim to be a photography or image expert but when certain kinds of images are enlarged, different results occur. So I will break it down into different categories based upon my experience of what works well for puzzle making.
Recommended File Formats: .JPEG, .PNG .PSD .PDF, .TIFF, Nikon Raw .NEF & Canon Raw .CR2
Recommended Aspect Ratios: Landscape, portrait, & panoramic. (…yes I have used panoramic shots. A recent client sent me an image that was 7″ x 42″, that was a fun one to make!)
Image Quality Levels:
1. Best – The best images come from professional photographers and graphic artists. Typically for photo wedding guest book puzzles or large custom photo jigsaw puzzles your wedding photographer will have images that are in the 240+ d.p.i. range or greater. These will work perfectly for puzzle making. These images typically need no image correction and look amazing when delivered to you in the professional’s format preference. These images are normally are in the format of .jpeg, .pdf, or .png.
2. Better – These typically come from beginner or entry level camera, a point and shoot, or a cell phone. They need slight image correction for hue, brightness, or contrast with the possibly of no corrections at all. They are also delivered in the format of .jpeg.
3. Good – Good images can also come from a beginner or entry level camera, a point and shoot, or a cell phone. They normally always need image correction for hue, brightness, & brightness. The cell phones now-a-days do a decent job of capturing the moment and with smaller sized puzzles these can work well. Typically these are .jpeg’s.
4. The Not-So-Good’s – These images are typically snapshots taken in low light or in bad lighting environments with a variety of different cameras. The resolution is normally poor at 72 d.p.i. sometimes blurry and not in focus. They need image touch ups and major image adjustments. Sometimes they are cropped to an odd ratio. These are normally .jpeg’s.
Note: If you have a question concerning image quality or if you are unsure weather or not the image you have will work feel free to give me a call and I will help you with it.
Can you change my image to a black & white?
Yes. This is a simple image adjustment that is requested of me quite often and I provide at no additional charge. In fact some really poor quality color images look amazing as black and white images.
Do you provide image alteration services?
Yes. At times when an image is captured there can be sections within it that are distracting or unwanted. For instance a stray hand that needs to be cropped out, someone or something in the image that is only partially there, the odd particle on a suit, and maybe a blemish on the skin that you would like to be removed. Minor alterations such as the above do not take that much time and I do not charge for them.
Major alterations, photo manipulations, and photo re-compositions I do charge a fee based upon the amount of time it takes.
Do you provide image correction services?
Yes. 55-60% of the images I receive need some sort of image correction which normally involves changing contrast, brightness, hue, saturation, and sharpness. I simply want to provide the best quality puzzle print to my clients on the finished product as possible. So I do not charge for this service since I consider it part of making a great puzzle.
Do you accept scanned images?
Yes. The single most import thing that I can recommend when providing a scanned image is make sure that the glass on the scanner bed is clean and free of dust. The same goes for your scanned media. Make sure the photograph, canvas, or media is clean and free of dust. Typically your local photography shop or Fed-Ex Kinkoes will have a high resolution scanner for use.
If for some reason you can not fit your whole photo within the scanner bed that is ok as well. Make sure to scan all of the surface area and we can digitally stitch the scans together.
Can I just send the photos in the mail?
Yes! In fact I have a few clients that prefer to use this method. When sending actual photographs make sure to use a bubble mailer of the appropriate size. Then sandwich the photo between four layers of cardboard, two on each side. Make sure to mark on the bubble mailer envelope, “DO NOT BEND” & “FRAGILE.”
Once I receive your image I will handle the scanning & enlargement process. Then the image that you sent will be returned to you when your puzzle order ships.
I have a Not-So-Good Image type what should I do?
Images that I would rank as Not-So-Good’s still have hope! Sometimes I run into this situation where the only image a client has or wants to use for their puzzle is of very bad quality or has a ton of visible pixilation when enlarged. Fear not! I have a few solutions that have worked well in the past. Give me a call and I we can discuss your options.
Should I crop my Image?
No. It is best to send the bare un-edited digital files uncropped and without any form of in-camera filter or out of camera effect applied to it.
How long does it take to make a puzzle?
This is a broad question and varies based upon the puzzle type, size, and complexity. My smaller kids puzzles take a few hours to process, cut, and ship. Whereas the largest puzzle I have ever made took slightly over a week and a half.
Which Shipping Services do you use?
Within the United States I ship using three different methods:
1. Priority Mail® – (2-5 day service) anywhere within the U.S.A. I have found this to be a reliable, consistent, and cost effective service for clients. They also provide a tracking number which is great when tracking a package is needed.
2. Priority Mail Express® – (1-2 day service) More expensive than normal Priority Mail but has the same great features as the above service and has a faster turn around time.
3. Fed-Ex Overnight® – (1 day service) The most expensive shipping service I offer within the U.S.A. but it is a true overnight service. Your order must be placed before 8 a.m. of the day it needs to be shipped. It will be dropped off at Fed-Ex before 7 p.m. that day and will be delivered the following day at 10 a.m. or later. Call us in advance to work out the details.
Outside of the U.S.A. I use three methods:
1. First Class International™ – (2-4 week service) I have found that this has been the most affordable and reliable method to ship for my international clients. The price and timeframes vary by country but in my experience the closer you live to a major city the better. If you do live close to a major city those orders always get delivered the fastest.
2. Priority Mail International® – (5-10 day service) price and timeframes still vary but has a faster turnaround time.
3. Priority Mail Express International™ (3-5 day service) to many major markets with the fastest turnaround time internationally.
What is a figure piece or silhouette puzzle piece?
It is simply a puzzle piece that fits within the puzzle but it is a shape, letter, or name. These are referred to as customizations and are what make hand cut wood jigsaw puzzles so easy to tell a story with.
What kind of silhouette or figure pieces can you cut within my puzzle?
Any shape. The only limit is your imagination. If you have specific shapes that you would like to use within your puzzle let me know what they are by sending a demo or example via email. Also include these details within the “Order Notes” when you place your order.
Do Figure Pieces Count Towards Sign-able Pieces?
No. They are completely separate and included in the puzzle price when placing your order. For example Mary & Frank are getting married on 8.15.15. They purchase a Natural Wood Wedding Guest Book Puzzle with a total of 130 sign-able pieces. They would like to customize it with their two names and the date. The sign-able pieces will be 130, the figure piece count will be 17, for a total of 147 pieces included in the puzzle.
Do you accept posters or calendars for puzzle prints?
Yes! In fact a few of my favorite wood jigsaw puzzles of which I have made for my own personal enjoyment have come from posters and calendars. I have picked them up at yard sales and a variety of online art venues. The paper that they use to make posters out of is perfect for puzzle making! For calendars make sure to send the whole calendar page. Do not cut or trim the page at all.
Certain size restrictions may apply since I am limited by my equipment. Call me in advance to let me know you are interested in this puzzle type and we can discuss sizing options, as well as the best way to proceed with your order.
Do you provide digital proofs?
Yes. When a client requests a proof I will provide one. After close to 900+ completed & shipped jigsaw puzzles typically clients trust my creative eye when it comes to design, layout, and figure piece placement. Out of that 900+ or so puzzles I have made, I have received maybe 30 or so proof requests. This was due to the puzzle type. There are a few situations where I will always provide proofs before print.
1. If a client purchases a photo collage jigsaw puzzle I will provide a digital proof via email before the final goes to print. At which point the client can make changes or give feedback. I will then make the necessary changes to the layout and the design. Then I will submit additional proofs for client approval until we reach a final. I want to ensure that the print is 100% perfect before I make the wood jigsaw puzzle.
2. When I receive an image and it requires a large amount of digital enhancement, adjustment, or manipulation. As in the above example I will provide proofs until the client is happy with the digital copy and we reach a final.
3. When a puzzle design is new or is something that I have never made before.
What kind of pens do you recommend?
There are three different pens that I recommend for singing the back or front of my wedding guest book puzzles:
1. Good – A high quality ball point pen will work. You can find them at most office supply stores in a variety of sizes, shapes, & colors. They are the most cost effective.
2. Better – A Sharpie® Fine Point No-Bleed pen will work as well, but it MUST be the no-bleed variant. It will say on the package, “NO-BLEED.” If it does not have the no-bleed on the packaging it will bleed.
3. Best – A PIGMA 0.05 Micron is the best quality pen that I recommend. It is an archival quality and acid-free artist pen. These can be found at fine art supply stores and craft stores such as Michael’s® & A.C. Moore®.
Do you accept wholesale orders?
Yes. Wall Woodworks Co. accepts wholesale orders. I have found that every wholesale account and client has different goals they wish to accomplish. The size and scope of your project may include multiples of a single image, multiples of a set of images, or multiples of a particular product. Wholesale pricing will be calculated based upon the volume of your first wholesale order and will be applied to that order. The higher the volume the greater the discount. Samples of wholesale products are provided at a RETAIL price for a single unit and sizing specification as shown on this website and must be ordered as such. Indicate within the “Order Notes” box at checkout that you are ordering a particular product as a sample. Once samples are reviewed by you and the wholesale order is placed the initial sample product price (excluding shipping costs) will be issued as a credit on the wholesale order.
Wall Woodworks Co. does NOT provide net 15-day, net 30-day, or net 90-day payment terms. Payment is required in full at the time your wholesale order is placed. Certain products on this website may not qualify for wholesale pricing.
Feel free to call in advance to discuss any details of what it is that you are trying to accomplish, I am easy to talk to and a good listener.
What is the difference between a hand-cut puzzle and a laser engraved puzzle?
A hand-cut wood puzzle is made by me and is cut one piece at a time on a scroll saw. A laser cut & engraved puzzle employs the use of a laser to cut and engrave the surface of the wood. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, I will be combining the use of both.
What if I want the regular puzzle knobs?
At the present time by default I cut my wedding guest book puzzles and custom jigsaw puzzles in what is called ear-let. This is the cut style that looks like a small hearts. On the rare occasion I do have clients request the knob style as opposed to earl-et. No problem! Just enter this into the order notes box at checkout.
What if I don’t want figure pieces?
No problem! I have had multiple requests where clients do not want figure pieces at all within their puzzle. This is simply a matter of preference and perfectly acceptable. Just let me know within the order notes box at checkout.
What if you misspell our names or date?
This has happen only a few times. When I am designing & laying out each puzzle I have a specific process that I go though in order to 100% guarantee this never occurs through any fault of mine. I copy and paste directly from the text you enter into the order notes box.
There have been a few occurrences related to this situation:
1. The first example was where a client entered the date in U.S. format and she was from the UK. Within the U.K. the common way you see dates are DD.MM.YY as opposed to the U.S. when it is MM.DD.YY. To avoid this make sure you enter the date EXACTLY how you wish for it to appear on your puzzle.
2. The second example was a name was spelled incorrectly. The explanation was they were in a rush and did not check the spelling. To avoid this simply take a few moments and check the spelling of your two names before you submit your order.
What is the largest puzzle you have made?
The largest puzzle that I have ever made was a giant tree wedding guest book puzzle. It measured roughly 47″ wide x 54″ tall. It had a total of 430 sign-able pieces with 30 or figure pieces. The total piece count was in the 460 piece range.
When can I send you my image?
Once your order is place you will receive a order conformation email. Use that same email address to forward your image to me. This way the image is linked to your order within the system.
How often do you process orders?
On a weekly basis. Orders placed throughout the week are processed on that weekend. I typically start processing a new batch of orders Saturday and Sunday evening. The following Monday I start cutting the puzzles and normally ship out the batch on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. At times if I have a heavy workload for the week I will ship Saturday Morning as well.
How do you control what areas are cut through when making a puzzle?
While making a photo guest book puzzles or custom photo jigsaw puzzles I make my best effort to avoid cutting though the eyes and faces of subjects. At times it is unavoidable though. If you have concerns about this particular point just let me know!
Do you give military or senior citizen discounts?
Yes. I have a deep respect and admiration of the true men and woman that do or have laced up their boots everyday and protected this country. I have the same respect for seniors that have made it through life and are now retired.
So if you are active duty military, retired military, or a senior citizen call me directly for immediate assistance.
Do you work with non-profits?
Yes. To date I have worked with two local non-profits. As a growing small business I understand the importance of giving back to the local community and look to improve in this area in the up coming years.
Do you recommend using wood stain on your puzzles?
Weather it is before or after the puzzle is signed I really don’t recommend staining my natural wood puzzles. Many stains are oil based and can cause the ink the puzzle is signed with to bleed or become blotchy.