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Making Game Boards Without Gutters by siskny

OVERVIEW

This tutorial will show you how to make full wrapped game boards of any number of folds without gutters. The images and procedure will show a board with the front artwork wrapped around to the back of the board, and a backing glued over the ends. The procedure can easily be used to wrap the backing of the board around to the front and then place the front artwork over the ends.

MATERIALS

  • Board : Either 2-ply chipboard or book binder’s board (also called Davey board).
  • Hinge Tape : Either book binder’s tape or cloth gaff tape. You’ll definitely want white to keep color bleed-through to a minimum.
  • Spray Glue : I use 3M Super 77 for boards. I have used others (including Craft Bond and a few others), but these seem to release their hold over time. Super 77 does a good job making a permanent bond to keep the artwork and backing from pulling away from the board core.
  • Stick Glue : For wrapping the corners and edges.
  • Laminate : I suggest a thin heat laminate (1.5 mil), though cold laminates may also be used. DO NOT laminate the side of the paper to be glued to the board. (Optional)

TOOLS

  • Post-It? Notes: Holds pieces of the artwork together until game board is glued together.
  • Weights: When initially gluing the individual pieces of the board, I use freeweights to hold the unglued pieces in place, and to put immediate pressure on the glued pieces until I can get the board into the press. I use two 5lb weights and one 25lb weight.
  • Cutting Mat: Great for using as a backing to cut when using an xacto knife. Be sure to get one that is larger than the largest piece you wish to cut.
  • Xacto Knife and Blades: To cut and trim the materials. Chip board is brutal on blades, so have an extra blade or two ready.
  • Straight Edge: Either a metal ruler or a ruler with a metal edge. The metal will keep the xacto knife from cutting pieces from the edge of the ruler (and no longer cutting a straight line).
  • Sandpaper: 60 or 80 grit sandpaper for smoothing and rounding edges.
  • NOTE: The following are used to put the glued board under pressure while allowing the glue to form a strong bond. You may use any method or materials you want to do the job. I have included the set-up that produces the best results for me.

  • Clamps: Quick clamps are about the best things ever invented! Two of them used together can apply more than 250 pounds of pressure for pressing and clamping, I use the Quick-Grip? mini bar clamps.
  • Press Boards I use pieces of 3/4” hardwood plywood to press glued pieces firmly together to ensure a good bond. Hardwood (red oak is cheapest) plywood has a much smoother surface than regular plywood. Two 24” x 24” boards will work or just about any game board (except for oversized ones). I also use a smaller piece (can be plain plywood or even a hardcover book) to temporarily put pressure on individual board pieces while I’m gluing everything together.
  • Rigidity Bars: 3” x 3” x 24” oak bars or something similar to prevent 24” wide plywood from bowing at the weakest area.
  • Compression Material:I use the thin underlayment foam intended for use with laminate flooring. It compresses nicely into the lower areas when under pressure and ensures an even overall bond. You can buy it by the foot at most flooring stores. You’ll want 3-4 pieces on hand.

Comments

Amazing

Amazing tutorial, thank you very much. I'm looking to build a board right now and was wondering what it took to make it look good.
I do have one question, do you need to fold the edges then apply tape on the back side? I know you used book binders cloth on the back, but if you want to use paper, do you need to fold then tape? I'm just worried there will be a tugging issue between the front and back sides of the hinges. This would probably mean there will be tape jammed in the hinge when it's open.

Any thoughts?

Wow.

Thanks for the very thorough, detailed tutorial!

It might also be possible to

It might also be possible to have your sheets laminated at
a place like Office Depot or Staples.

I would recommand Planatol glue

This could be very specialized material, but in libraries we have a special white glues called planatol (at least here in canada). It's a very flexible glue which is non-acid. It works pretty well.

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