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A recurring frustration when playing Settlers of Catan (a registered trademark. I am in no way affiliated) is that the cardstock pieces tend to warp, especially the outer water pieces that form the frame. This causes some annoyance when playing because the tiles start shifting around. I started a project to solve this problem by laser-cutting a frame to hold the pieces.



I made it at TechShop San Francisco, where I had access to Epilog 60W laser cutters, so parts of this tutorial will be specific to using those, but if you're familiar with a different brand, it should be no problem to translate.

(Thanks to scoochamaroo for inspiring me to make this Instructable)

Step 1: Acquire Resources

You will need:
2 sheets of birch plywood 12x24 inches, 3mm (1/8th of an inch) or so thick
https://www.google.com/search?tbm=shop&q=birch+plywood+12x24

Medium tack tape - I use TransferRite 582U 12-inch
https://www.google.com/search?tbm=shop&q=transferrite+582u
(if you're ok with a smoky patina, or doing lots of sanding, you can omit this)

1 piece of 18x22 inch "backing" material
Either leather, wool felt,  synthetic felt (aka "eco-fi") or Pellon interfacing (found at fabric stores). Make sure it is safe to use in your laser cutter.

Sandpaper - 320 grit is what I use.

Glue - I use a combination of Liquid Nails "Small Projects" for the edges and Gorilla Glue for larger areas

Something to clean off dust - either a vaccuum cleaner with small attachments, or compressed air.

Vector source files (attached - see the next step) and a laser cutter.
<p>Are the patterned tiles available for download?</p>
<p>Hi Xavier. Here's the link:</p><p>http://shop.boardcrafting.com</p>
<p>The author sells them on his website, which you can find in this instructable or in the comments. </p>
<p>Be aware that the leather backing plan is not the correct size. I found out the hard way. </p>
<p>Hi Sam.</p><p>The leather is sized such that it will not go to the edge of the wood, but it is indeed the intended size. It was chosen based on the bed of the Epilog laser cutters, 18 inches is their maximum Y dimension.</p><p>Sounds like you've got a bigger machine to work with though. Sweet. Hope you're happy with the end result!</p>
<p>I opened up the file for the leather backing included with the instructable in inkscape, clicked on the shape, and changed the dimensions to 20.783x19 in. This looks to be the correct size to get the gap correct for the game pieces, but I suspect it will not be able to fold inward, which isn't that big of a deal for me. </p>
These are great, but are the blank SVG files no longer available?
<p>I'm not sure what you mean by &quot;blank&quot;? The SVG files are attached to the Instructable under &quot;Step 2&quot;. If you're looking for the SVG files with my artwork on them, I sell those at <a href="http://shop.boardcrafting.com" rel="nofollow"> http://shop.boardcrafting.com</a></p><p>Hope that helps!</p>
This board is absolutely amazing! Have you any plans to sell these?
Hi Vertigo. Thanks! Yes, I sell completed boards and other board game related items at my website. http://shop.boardcrafting.com
This is one of my favorite ones I've seen yet! Hoping to build my own this summer. Thanks for the inspiration! <br />
Very pretty board! Awesome work. :D
Thanks!

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Bio: Board game accessories are my jam. http://boardcrafting.com
More by sjbrown:Dominion Caddy / Card Rack Multi-angle Laser Cut Phone Stand Custom Catan Frame and Tiles 
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