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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> A woodworkers puzzle
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08/09/2010 09:49:09 PM · #1
I would like to construct a Settlers of Catan board out of wood. For those of you who don't know the game, it would involve creating wooden hexagons. The question I've been wrestling with is how best to go about cutting a perfect hexagon out of wood. I've tried a few methods and I have to say it's very hard. Even a small imperfection and the pieces do not fit together smoothly.

Any woodworkers out there with ideas?
08/09/2010 10:11:05 PM · #2
ok I have been a carpenter, engineer, etc. I hope that I can help.

First, using cardboard make a template. To do this, take a compass and draw a circle...That will be the outside of your hexagon. You may have to experiment with the locations of your other lines to make sure they all intersect at the edge of the circle. After it is drawn out cut it out with an exacto knife.(it would be better if you use something like heavy poster board....the corrugated stuff makes for a horrible template. Then just trace the template on the wood and cut it with a jig saw. Let me know if you were sucsessful.
08/09/2010 10:15:19 PM · #3
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Message edited by author 2010-08-10 16:08:52.
08/09/2010 10:27:16 PM · #4
I'd go with a table saw. Not sure how big it would be, but let's say take a 2x2" inch stock "board" to run through lengthwise. Set the blade to, what? 60 degrees? to the left. Set the gate to line up with your marks. Run that puppy through there rotating it each time. Use all the safety precautions, cuz that small piece getting cut off may, most likely, come shooting back at ya. Then you can set it back up to a 90 degree and set the gate for how thick you want each one, run it through over and over. Again....may shoot back out at ya. :-)

Message edited by author 2010-08-09 22:29:12.
08/09/2010 10:40:23 PM · #5
OK, so if I have to make 25 hexagons a template becomes less appealing since each one I make may have smaller errors? I thought about making one thick hex and then cutting it into slices, but it's actually hard to get the vertical sides perfectly parallel.
08/09/2010 10:44:49 PM · #6
CNC...might be cheating though
08/10/2010 01:19:08 AM · #7
Use a router and one template. The tool shown in the attached link will allow you to copy the template, exactly. Just make sure that your template is as close to perfect as you can make it.

//www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2007&filter=inlay
08/10/2010 01:32:42 AM · #8
Lots of people do it, apparently. Instructables The Geek

eta: You might also be interested in this site ponoko... they could do it for you, perhaps. ;-Þ

Message edited by author 2010-08-10 01:36:30.
08/10/2010 01:39:35 AM · #9
Originally posted by Pug-H:

Lots of people do it, apparently. Instructables The Geek

eta: You might also be interested in this site ponoko... they could do it for you, perhaps. ;-Þ


Hey! Now we're talkin'. The first one sounds decent and you can tell from step 3 that he had some of the same troubles I'm having. I want to get it right because I want to use some exotic woods for each land type. Should be sweet. :)

Thanks for the links!
08/10/2010 02:52:29 AM · #10
If you lived next door I could make one for you, although I guess that spoils what is known as 'the fun'.
Here's a link to a mitre saw, just in case you don't know what one is :) It's pretty much the tool you want, but:
You don't need more than an 8" blade
You can't cut 60 degrees off the fence

A radial arm saw will get you the 60 degrees as well as costing an arm and a leg. Actually, I used one to cut a half inch (and the rest) thick piece of aluminium as seen at the bottom of this picture:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/654/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_488087.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/654/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_488087.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
This I did by making a plywood jig into which to place the aluminium and hold it hard (by hand).

You can cut them by hand, but if you're not a craftsman than you don't 'have the habit', so it might be a bit tricky. Again a jig would help. Adjustment with a block plane.

Experiment with plywood (or some other cheap waste) first. The dimension side to side of a hexagon is identical three ways, so work from a strip that size. In order to cut 60 degrees on a normal mitre saw, make a jig that you can push (and cramp) against the fence, effectively creating a new fence enabling the acute angle. You'll need to cut squares first, then chop the corners off them.

At the end of the day you'll use what you've got, so remember to let your hands do the thinking.
08/10/2010 04:31:32 AM · #11
Nothing to add other than that it's a great game and my friend drew up plans to do the exact same thing. Unfortunately, he got bogged down with school and it's no longer really on the drawng board. I'd be interested in seeing pics of the final product though. Are you going to be making a robber baron with a lathe, too?
08/10/2010 09:13:59 AM · #12
Yes, please post some pics of your finished product - to boardgamegeek as well, but you'd have to register, freely.

Message edited by author 2010-08-10 09:19:01.
08/10/2010 12:54:23 PM · #13
You should build the DPC version.

eta: ...or maybe I should, since I already cut the pieces.

Message edited by author 2010-08-10 12:55:23.
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