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Jigsaw puzzle games excite everyone irrespective of their age. What makes them interesting is the puzzle sorter trays. They are essential to sort jigsaw puzzles easily. Each sorting tray can hold several hundred pieces based on their capacity and the puzzle’s requirement.
What are puzzle sorter trays?
They are like a storage space to hold your jigsaw puzzle pieces. Some sorter trays also have special attachments to add a little tweak to the puzzles. You can take the puzzle pieces off the trays and solve them using the images present at their bottom. But why sort trays? Don’t we have another arrangement to store our puzzle pieces?
Benefits of Puzzle Sorter Trays
As said earlier, a sorter tray comes with several perks. Have a look:
Several other advantages of puzzle sorter games still make these games an all-time favorite. So, let’s learn something interesting about these puzzle trays.
Making your Puzzle Tray at home
Well, we can find several websites selling unique puzzle sorting trays. But you can make one for yourself! Several DIY hacks at the moment can help you create a unique sorting tray of your choice with a puzzle that you love. So, let’s get going and see how to create puzzle sorter trays at home.
First, let’s start with the basics. You’ll need the following tools to create a sorting tray for yourself.
Apart from these, you can also include optional attachments like tiny stickers, etc., to make your tray attractive. Now that we have everything ready, let’s see how to make a puzzle sorter tray here.
Making the lateral Stretcher:
We’ll first begin by making the lateral stretcher for the tray. First, cut your lumber material into strips. (The measurements will depend on the chosen puzzle. So, I’m not discussing the measurements here.) Then make an underlayment by cutting a groove using the table saw. The length and depth of the grove will depend on the tray’s underlayment. Make the necessary cuts to fit the underlayment snugly.
Making the Puzzle Tray end pieces:
Now, you need to make the end grooves based on the requirement. Again, the measurement would depend on the first piece you’ve created above. Remember that you need to create a dado joint by using a dado stack or the table saw. This is to hold the ends in place and transport the tray easily.
If this feels clumsy or hard, you can miter the corners to fit them inside the later stretchers. You can also adjust the drawer front for this arrangement. Basically, you need to create a board-shaped arrangement as a base for the tray. It's now time for the tray’s assembly!
Assembling the puzzle tray:
Cut down the underlayment that is serving as the tray’s top. Create a center support post by cutting the material based on the measurements. Use wooden glue (or whatever is convenient) to stick this piece to the center. Leave it to dry for some time and stick the edges to the board. Leave them all to dry. Make sure that the assembly is perfect as you cannot change it later. The slightest disturbance can ruin the entire puzzle tray for you.
Assembling the drawer box:
Now you have a base and need to assemble the box. More or less, it looks like a table drawer but as a box. The lateral stretcher can be coming out one side or from both ends (you can play around with that). We’ve already created the lateral stretchers, right? Adjust them according to the tray’s top.
The centerpiece we’ve fitted above is a separation of the two stretchers. You can finish the pieces based on the measurements. Cut the extra pieces if there is a disturbance in the measurements. Finish the board and the tray to avoid hurting your fingers later.
If you don’t find making the grooves and cutting the arrangement, you can follow this method. The materials required are the same, and the steps will change slightly.
Cut the pieces:
Start by cutting the pieces of wood or the material is chosen, based on the measurement. Here, you’ll be cutting the lateral stretchers, tray’s top, and the centerpiece (if required). You can avoid the grooves here and cut the rest.
Assemble the trays:
Different attachments are available in the market to attach wooden pieces. You can use them to attach the sides and assemble the box. Later, fix the stretchers based on the fitting here.
You can decorate the trays with paints, stickers, or anything of your choice. The best thing would be to paint the puzzle on the board so that you can use it to solve the puzzle at any time. You can also polish the board to enhance its shine and give it a new look. You can also add additional attachments like secret pockets. You can use these to hide some pieces and tease your family and friends!
Puzzle sorting trays are always fun as an individual or group activity. So, if you really want to enjoy jigsaws, the best way is to create your own puzzle tray and use it. You can also paint the puzzles on cardboard or anything and cut the pieces. Attach them on the board and then store them back on the same board! You can also use these trays if your old puzzle tray is damaged but, the pieces are intact. The process might be tedious but, the results would surely be amazing!