The PortaPuzzle has a suede-like interior, which grips the jigsaw pieces, providing a non-slip board which can be worked on anywhere.
It provides a rigid work surface, and solves the problem of moving and storing complete or incomplete jigsaw puzzles... just by closing it like a book.
PortaPuzzle is available in two sizes, to fit puzzles up to 500 pieces, and puzzles up to 1000 pieces.
NOTE: P&H and/or Courier costs may apply.
My nana was a huge fan of doing 1000 piece puzzles and because there are 1000 pieces of course they would take days to complete, and she never had the room to have the puzzle pieces out where they wouldn't get disturbed, and especially with a house full of young grandchildren and cats if the puzzle was left anywhere it would be disturbed or knocked..and it used to drive my nana nuts.
So thank goodness she invested in a PortaPuzzle, because it features a lining that keeps puzzle pieces in place, and it is lightweight and robust enough that my nana could rest it on her lap while sitting in her armchair in front of the television so she didn't have to be in a separate room like the dining room, away from us. So my nana could enjoy doing her puzzle in comfort while spending time with us, and when it was time to pack away the puzzle all she needed to do was fold in the sides and lay it right there on the floor or under her bed where she knew it was safest.
I remember all the velcro straps so when the unit was folded up and transported it would keep all the puzzle pieces inside so if it was stored under the bed you knew the pieces wouldn't fall out and even when the board was tipped up the pieces were stuck to the board which was great, because the pieces are in exactly the same place...and the extra little boards that come with the unit gave my nana the option to put together a few pieces of puzzle and then move this grouped pieces into place when she figured out where they went.
Fairly expensive but well worth the money and it gave my nana peace of mind that her puzzle was safe when she wasn't working on it, and especially with young children and pets round it was the perfect thing for her at the time. So if you like puzzles this is definitely a must, and is a great investment.
My mother loves to do big jigsaws of 1000-2000 pieces. This means that the kitchen table was taken over for days with her puzzles. She would also leave threatening notes on the puzzle of what she would do to us if we dared to touch her puzzle. Once she got a PortaPuzzle she (and the rest of the family) didn't have that hassle anymore.
She still chooses to work with the PortaPuzzle on the kitchen table but she is able to quickly hide her puzzle under the couch or her bed. She often takes her puzzle out onto the outdoor table but if it got too hot, too cold or too dark she could bring it back inside. She has also been known to take her puzzles away on holiday in the PortaPuzzle.
The only problem she has found is when she starts a new puzzle there isn't the space on the PortaPuzzle to lay out all the pieces. She solved this by having a couple of pieces of thick cardbord about the size of the central part of the PortaPuzzle. She spreads the extra puzzle pieces onto these and when it is time to put the puzzle away she just places them inside the PortaPuzzle.
The PortaPuzzle is one of the best gifts my Mum has ever received and she recommends them to anyone she knows that loves doing puzzles.
Not a great jigsaw puzzler, I have been known to enjoy the theraputic value of a couple of hours spent staring at tiny mishapen pieces of colured cardboard, wondering if it's an elaborate practical joke, or if all these tiny things will actually attach together to form a pattern. It does something soothing to the ol' grey matter...
So, when the mood does hit me, I don't really want to be forced to either lose valuable flat workspace for months on end, or have to pack it away again and start from scratch down the track... that's where this Portapuzzle really comes into it's own.
It does a great job of holding the pieces in place... almost too good at times. Small positional adjustments of a string or cluster of pieces is not exactly easy, beacuse of the drag the surface places on the tail end of the group, pulling the assemblage apart. However, if you are smart about assembling the border first, and keeping all your pieces in a number of small clusters, you can do the puzzles without any major stresses. Build little clusters of 10-12 pieces, and then assemble them into the larger framework from the border inwards to the centre.
Overall, this is a must-have for any serious puzzler. A few design alterations, as mentioned above, would enhance it's effectiveness dramatically, but the added cost of manufacture would probably push the unit price above 'reasonable', though for those with plenty of dollars to throw around, these folders also make a wonderful display option. Stack them, label them, and when you want to show one off, just open it all up.
The board and fold-over 'wings' are great. They are covered in a velvet-like material which allows the pieces to stay (mostly) where you put them. The addition of 2 thin sheets of sponge that are the height and width of each of the side panels is brilliant. I think a slightly stiffer material could be used, as I found closing the case difficult when you had pieces on the wings and only two hands to hold the foam onto the jigsaw and also close each velcro fastening. An idea a mate suggested was if the sponge was mounted to a piece of stiff card, and it was attached to the top edge of the wings by a hinge arrangement, that way you could keep it pinned shut with your thumb as you folded the side wings closed.
Storage for me was a bit of a headache as I had nowhere to put it and keep it flat. I could only place it upright behind a door which is far from ideal. The velcro fastener flaps that hold the wings closed are good, but not very helpful for keeping pieces inside while stored on edge. They are not very wide and can allow some pieces to make a break to freedom. Flat storage is advised, or caution if you simply have to store it on edge.
This is a good gift for a regular puzzle maniac. Although the price was a little steep to go buying more than one at a time, I'm sure it will be beneficial to people who have lots of space and free time to do puzzles, but want to protect them while in-progress.
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