20 Frequently Asked Questions about Jigsaws
1. What is a WASGIJ jigsaw?
On the right you will see the picture that is on the box of a WASGIJ. The catch
is that the picture on the box is different to the puzzle that you do! On this
particular WASGIJ the puzzle is what the footballers are looking at and not the
WASGIJ are manufactured by Falcon and they have developed a substantial cult
following with new releases being eagerly awaited each year. In case you hadn't
noticed, WASGIJ is JIGSAW spelled backwards!
2. Can I buy jigsaws on the Internet?
Yes - of every conceivable shape and size. Try the links on our
Jigsaw Puzzle Contacts and Links page to get you started.
3. Can I get replacement jigsaw pieces for ones that I have lost?
Some cardboard jigsaw manufacturers offer a replacement piece service and you
will find details of this either on the jigsaw box or on an insert within the
box. For wooden puzzles, the BCD (see details elsewhere on this page) will point
you in the right direction but be aware that the process of replacing wooden
pieces is extremely time consuming and therefore expensive. It is only likely to
be worthwhile with especially rare puzzles or ones that are of sentimental
4. What is a Photomosaic jigsaw?
It is a jigsaw on which very many tiny images can be found when looked at
closely but collectively they form a completely different image when viewed from
a little further away. The illustration on the right is a photomosaic from BV
Leisure. It is an intriguing concept but beware, these are NOT easy to do!
5. Are all cardboard jigsaws the same?
By no means. The material they are made from often differs between one
manufacturer and the next and this has a bearing on how durable the puzzles are
and how well the pieces fit together. The most significant differentiating
factor is the size and shapes of the individual pieces. Take a look at our
Cutting Styles of Jigsaw Manufacturers page to see what we mean.
6. Who makes the best cardboard puzzles?
All the various manufacturers have things to commend them and everyone you talk
to has different ideas about what makes a "Good" jigsaw. What we suggest is that
you make an effort to try puzzles from several different manufacturers and in so
doing you will quickly find out which ones suit your own particular taste.
7. Why and when did we first start calling them "Jigsaws"?
In the early 1900's it became apparent that "Dissected Puzzles" needed a name
all of their own. Manufacturers and enthusiasts experimented with "Zig-Zaw
Puzzles" and "Zag-Zaw Puzzles" but eventually settled on "Jig-Saw Puzzles" after
the tool that made them. By about 1940 the word "Jigsaw" was so well understood
that "Puzzle" was no longer required. Ever since there has been confusion when
talking about "Jigsaw" - does the speaker mean a saw or does he/she mean a
8. Where can I find out more about the history of jigsaw puzzles?
The jigsaw world is greatly indebted to Linda Hannas, Anne Williams and Tom
Tyler for their excellent research into the history of jigsaw puzzles. These
individuals have each produced books that are fascinating even if you have no
great affinity for history. Details as follows:
- "The English Jigsaw Puzzle" 1760 -1890 by Linda Hannas
- "British Jigsaw Puzzles of the 20th Century" by Tom Tyler
- "Jigsaw Puzzles: An Illustrated History and Price Guide" by Anne D.
If you have difficulty getting hold of any of these then the links on our
Jigsaw Puzzle Contacts and Links
page provide some pointers in the right
9. Why are wooden jigsaws so much more expensive than cardboard ones?
Mainly because cardboard pieces can be stamped out 1,000 or more at a time
whilst wooden puzzles necessitate cutting each piece individually, even when
lasers and water jets are employed.
10. Are wooden puzzles worth the extra that you have to pay?
For most people the answer is probably no. Modern cardboard puzzles provide
extremely good value for money and you will be able to buy ten or more for the
cost of a wooden puzzle. For general entertainment (especially where children
are involved) then stick to cardboard.
11. Do many people still do wooden jigsaws?
It is no exaggeration to say that for every wooden jigsaw sold there will be
over 100 cardboard jigsaws sold. Many true lovers of jigsaw puzzles have never
even tried a wooden puzzle!
12. Why are people prepared to pay so much more for wooden puzzles?
Because they have a charm all of their ownâ€¦. They are more tactile, the pieces
fit together more snugly, they are more durable, they appreciate in value, they
have more intriguing shapes, they are more difficult to do, they are each unique
(hand cut puzzles), they make great family heirlooms etc. But always remember
that the best wooden puzzles are true works of art and they deserve to be
treated as such - it is not advisable to have them out when the family (along
with their children and pets) descend upon you!
13. What is a Whimsy?
It is an integral piece within a jigsaw that is cut into a recognisable shape
such as an animal or bird. If you talk nicely to a cutter of good quality wooden
puzzles then he/she will often build in individual pieces that are unique to you
- such as your initials or a likeness of your favourite pet.
14. Is it possible to hire jigsaws for short periods?
Yes. If you are
interested then The British Jigsaw Puzzle Library would love to hear from you.
Contact them at "Clarendon", Parsonage Road, Herne Bay, Kent. CT6 5TA. Telephone
15. Is there a British national jigsaw club?
The BCD (British Confraternity of Dissectologists) is as close as you can get to
a national club. If you would like to know more then contact Tom Tyler at 32 The
Limes, Rushmere, IPSWICH , Suffolk . IP5 1EA. Telephone 01473 723458. Annual
subscription is about Â£6.00 per household and it provides you with regular
newsletters (see illustration on the right), opportunities to buy puzzles and
invitations to get-togethers all over the country.
16. How do I start a jigsaw collection?
Start by collection jigsaws that you LIKE - most people elect to collect either
puzzles from a specific manufacturer or puzzles on a theme like railways or
ships. Whatever you choose, make sure that you enjoy your collecting then it
will be a bonus if your puzzles appreciate in value.
17. Exactly what is a jigsaw puzzle "Accessory"?
It is anything that is used by a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast in the pursuit of
his/her hobby and includes boards, boxes, cases, frames, roll-up mats and
tables. "Accessory" is a very mundane word for something that is meant to be fun
but nobody in the trade has managed to think of anything better. Any suggestions
you might have would be much appreciated!
18. How can I store all the pieces the right way up and within easy reach
whilst making up a jigsaw?
Have a look at our
19. How can I easily frame a jigsaw without using glue?
Have a look at our
20. How can I store completed puzzles?
Have a look at our
Back to our Jigsaw Puzzle Info. page.