Introduction: Dominion Caddy / Card Rack
When playing the board game Dominion, the table can easily get disorganized, as players are pulling cards from 16 or more different decks of cards.
I've designed a simple, laser-cut "caddy" that keeps most of the decks organized in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, gives the Action decks a slight angle to make them easier to draw from, and makes it obvious when a deck has been exhausted (one of the game-end conditions).
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need some 6mm plywood to cut the caddy from. Make sure you have enough to do some test cuts.
Optionally, you could also get some backing material. With backing, you can lift up the caddy and keep all the Action decks in place. Also, if your gaming table has a delicate finish, and you're worried about the wooden caddy scratching it you may want the backing.
Backing can be felt (pictured), leather, pellon, or even simply construction paper.
You will also need some glue to attach the backing to the wood. I have had success with cyanoacrylate glue. (often called "super glue")
Step 2: Dial in Your Laser Cutter Settings
With the 60W lasers I've used at TechShop, cutting through 6mm plywood can be tricky. It's pushing the edge of the maximum thickness that can be successfully cut. I recommend doing a few test cuts and playing around with the speed / power settings until it's cutting just right.
Step 3: Prepare the Files
Download the file here named: instructable_dominion_download.zip.
Or, if you'd like something other than the blank design, I sell more decorative designs here.
If you don't already have it, download and install Inkscape.
The zip file contains a multi-layer SVG file you can open in Inkscape.
In the Layers Dialog (Shift-Ctrl-L), make visible only the layer named "cut". Then, from the File menu, select Save As, in the filetype dropdown, select PDF. Now you have a PDF file you can use in your laser cutter printing software. (At TechShop, it will work with either CorelDraw or Illustrator)
Optional: If you are making a backing, you'll need to make a second PDF file:
In the Layers Dialog (Shift-Ctrl-L), make visible only the layer named "border felt". Then, from the File menu, select Save As, in the filetype dropdown, select PDF. Give this file a different name that the one you made for the "cut" layer.
Step 4: Fire the Lasers!
Cutting out the caddy and optional backing should be pretty straightforward.
After pulling the caddy from the laser cutter, inspect it for burrs or other imperfections. Use a knife or some sandpaper to correct those. A black sharpie can be used to make the colors match for any section that needed to be sanded or cut with the knife.
Step 5: Optional: Glue on the Backing
This is also pretty straightforward, except for one hint:
To keep the backing aligned, I clamp down some binder clips on one side, glue up the loose side, then carefully move the clips to the glued side and apply glue to the newly-loose side. Then I put a heavy book on top of the whole thing.
Safety tip: be careful with cyanoacrylate glue and porous materials like felt. When it dries, it can give off a lot of heat. Best to do a little test application first.
Step 6: Play Dominion!
That's it! Show off that beauty at your next board game night.
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