Introduction: Giant Four Across or Connect Four Game

Picture of Giant Four Across or Connect Four Game

I made this game so that I could take it to our community park and for all the kids in the neighborhood to play with. (well, those not playing a game that is similar to Jenga ;-) ) It is very popular. The large size can even draw in sulky teenagers

It is not to difficult to make, now, that I have made all the mistakes, you don’t have to.


If you like this PLEASE vote for me. I really would like to win a camera so I can stop borrowing one to post instructables.

This instructable  respectfully submitted to the Instructables Sponsorship Program by Eukaliptos.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools






(2) 36” X 48” X 3/8” of plywood


(2) 8 ’X 2” X 3” pine


1 small knob optional


I piece of wood 1 ½” X ¼” X 48”


Scrap of wood 5” X 11”X  ¾”


! piece of wood ¾” X 1” X 48”


1 piece 36” X 1” X 1 ¾”


1 piece 36” X 1” X 1 ¾”


1 piece 34 7/8” X 1” X 1 ¾”


(6) 34 7/8” X 1” X ¾” boards


(1) 1” X 12” X 12’ boards (or a couple of 6” boards)




(2) 2” X 12” X 8”  (can be glued together)


Miscellaneous screws & glue










Table saw




Band saw




Hole saw




Scroll saw or wonder saw






Step 2: Make the Game Pieces

Picture of Make the Game Pieces




I started with the game pieces so that I could use them in the building process to make sure everything fit correctly.


The first step is to cut the 1”X12” X 12’ boards (or whatever boards you are using). 5 ½” squares. I use a table saw with a sled and set up a jig so that all the boards would come out the same size. This would be easier with a chop saw, but, I don’t have one.




Okay now that all the pieces are cut, we are going to stop and make a jig to mark these pieces and cut these on a bandsaw.








Take a 5 ½” X11” X ¾” board and mark a line 2 ¾” in from the short end and of the board and a line 2 ¾ from the long end (as in photo) (I used a 5” board in the photo, but a 5 ½ would be easier.




Drill a hole through the cross hairs. Hammer a nail into the hole from the bottom of the board. It should stick out about ¼”. (I used a screw on mine, and had to remove it and hammer in a concrete nail, the wood was binding on the screw)




Now glue to scraps of wood to one squared corner of your board.




You now have a marking jig.




Let’s get marking! Take each cut piece and place it on the jig fitting it into the squared corner, now take your mallet and give it a couple of good whacks. Lift the piece of the jig and do another. It should take less than 5 minutes to finish all of them. That was easy! Now knock the side off of your jig.




Time to make the band saw jig. I used a ¾” X ½” X 16”, because it fit the dado on my band saw table. Measure the dado on your saw and then cut a piece of wood to fit. The piece should be able to slide smoothly in the dado with no slop.




Place the dado piece in the dado on your band saw. Put some glue on a five inch section in the center of the top of the piece.




Now place the jig piece with the nail in it, on your band saw. Line it up so that the line is flush with the front of the blade and the glue is under the piece. Once you know where the pieces will fit together you can carefully lift it off the band saw and clamp it together.




After your jig has dried, place one of the squares on the jig and slide it into the band saw. If you check out this video you can see this type of jig in action.




I cut all four corners off of each piece before I cut the circle. I will make another project with all the triangles, as soon as I figure one out.




Cutting out all the circles took less than 45 minutes.






Next step round over the edges of the round pieces with a router.




Paint half the pieces one color and half another color. I used paint left over from other projects. (Note, the red and green from my flowers).




Step 3: Mark the Boards

Picture of Mark the Boards

The first thing we have to do is mark the plywood pieces. I have all of the locations marked in the photos. So this step will be much faster for you. Only mark one board and mark on the ugliest side of the board, if there is a difference in appearance betweenthe two sides.

I marked a frame around the  36” X 48” board 1 1/8” from the edge of the board. This is where the other boards will overlap the plywood.

Each of the measurements is on the photos, simply copy them and you are done.

Step 4: Cut the Holes

Picture of Cut the Holes



The first step is to mark each of the drill locations with an awl or some other pointy tool.


Next apply a strong two double sided tape to the edges of the two best of the boards. Press the boards together firmly.


Then use a 4” hole saw in a drill to cut out each of the circles. By the way if you have some other method to cut the circles, go for it. This was the hardest part of the project. I am sorry, I did not take photos of drilling the holes with the hole saw. It was a slow and frustrating job for me, my drill died in the middle of the project. Then I started burning the holes as I drilled them. Be careful, if this happens put on a mask or resolve the problem. I ended up with some serious smoke inhalation problems and I was down for a day. Yes, I know it was my own stupidity, because I did not wear a fume mask. Learn from my mistake.


I did not want to use a fly cutter to cut these freehand with a drill, it doesn’t feel safe.


After the holes are cut, soften the edges of the holes with sand paper.


This is the best time to paint the boards. I only painted one side of each board at this point and regretted it later. (As seen in the photos) If you have a paint sprayer that would probably be the easiest way to paint this. You can even put the boards up against a wall to paint polka dots on a wall while painting the plywood.


It is looking good, I am not sure about your wall though. ;-)




Step 5: Cut the Side Boards

Picture of Cut the Side Boards

Use two 2” X 3” X 34”

Cut a dado into each board on the 3” side. The dado is 1 ¾” wide by 1 1/8” deep and centered on the board. I used a dado blade on a table saw to cut this, but it can also be done with a router.

After, cutting the dado, round over all of the edges EXCEPT for the dado edges. I used a ¾”round over bit in the router. Smooth out any rough spots with sand paper. Then paint the each pieces. Do not paint inside the dado.( The photo is of a cut off, the actual pieces don' have nasty looking chip out.)

Step 6: Cut the Top Board

Picture of Cut the Top Board

Use two 2” X 3” X 50” boards

Cut a dado into the board on the 3” side. The dado is 1 ¾” wide by 1 1/8” deep and centered on the board. (Sounds familiar.)

Flip the board over and cut a dado 1 3/16” wide that cuts through the board. STOP the dado 2 inches from each end. Clean up the ends of your dado cuts with a scroll saw or a wonder saw.

Round over the inside of the to dado with a 3/8” round over bit in the router. Then change to a ¾” bit and round over all of the other edges EXCEPT the edges of the dado on the bottom of the board.

Smooth out any rough spots with sand paper. Then paint the each pieces. Do not paint inside the bottom dado.


Step 7: Cut the Bottom Board

Picture of Cut the Bottom Board

Use a 2” X 3” X 50” board

Cut a dado into the board on the 3” side. The dado is 1 ¾” wide by 1 1/8” deep and centered on the board.

Flip the board over and cut a dado 1 5/8” wide that cuts through the board. STOP the dado 2 inches from each end. Clean up the ends of your dado cuts with a scroll saw or a wonder saw.

Use a ¾” bit and round over all of the other edges EXCEPT the edges of the dados.

Smooth out any rough spots with sand paper. Then paint the each pieces. Do not paint inside the bottom dado.

You may notice that I cut an extra dado in my board. I was going to hinge the bottom to release the pieces. I had to add an extra inch of height to hold the pieces in place. but, it would not fit to swing out of the dado.  Then I tried making turnbuckles out of wood scraps this ended up being cumbersome and difficult to replace. So now I have a useless dado on the bottom of my game. You won’t have one.

Step 8: Make the Base

Picture of Make the Base

I made a quick temporary base for these photos. I am going to add wheels to mine, so that I can move it back and forth to the park. I think it would also be cool to hinge this to a wall in a playroom or game room or whatever.

(2) 2” X 12” X 8”  (can be glued together)

I traced cut off from the side pieces in the center of the top of the boards. I then just roughed out a simple shape. You can use any design you want, but try to make sure that you have enough spread to balance the weight of the game. Also, be sure to have at least 7” to release the game pieces.

I rounded over the edges with a ¾” bit. And painted it to match the frame.


Step 9: Make the Sliding Door

Picture of Make the Sliding Door

1 piece of wood 1 ½” X ¼” X 48”

1 piece 48” X 1” X ¾”

1 small knob

Glue the 1X ¾ piece to the center of the of the other piece glue the ¾ side down, so the piece is sticking up 1” from the base piece.

After the glue dries paint one end. Then pre drill a hole and screw in the knob. That was quick.


Step 10: Put the Board Together

Picture of Put the Board Together

1 piece 36” X 1” X 1 ¾”

1 piece 34 7/8” X 1” X 1 ¾”

(6) 34 7/8” X 1” X ¾” boards

 First establish where the pieces go. The two wide pieces go the ends the shorter board is placed 1 1/8” from the bottom. Then place each of the other boards on the ¾ side, so they are 1” high. Then place game pieces in between the slats. I just did it by eye. If you want to measure, have at it. When you have them all in position,  place a thin bead of silicone on each piece and spread it out with a stick or your finger whatever. Then turn the piece over and press down affix the slats. Let them dry for a while. Then apply the silicone to the other side. Now place the other piece of plywood on top. ( be sure you have the bottom lined up with the bottom of the first piece. Put some clamps on the side edges and some weight in the center of the board.

Step 11:

Picture of


Tap the top piece on with a mallet so that it is centered.


Tap the side pieces on with a mallet so that barely touch the top piece.


Put two 3/8” spacer in the ends of the bottom board then tap it in with the mallet. Now remove the spacers. And put the sliding door in the slot.


Pre-drill and countersink the holes for screws in each board. You only need one or two screws in each board. Touch up the screws with paint.



Step 12: All Together Now

Picture of All Together Now

I did not attach my base pieces. The game balances in the base. I would recommend attaching the base with  a lag bolt on each one, be sure to pre-drill so the wood doesn’t split.

Now, start playing . The first person to get four in a row is the winner.


JanT36 (author)2016-03-21

Hi...........the instructions are great. All I need now is the instructions on how to play.


artlife (author)JanT362016-03-21

It is very easy.

It is a two player or two teams game. Each player/team takes turns dropping one piece into the gameboard.

The goal is to get four in a row, it can up and down, across or vertically.

Players block their opponents by dropping their own color in the opponent's path. The first to get four it a straight line wins.

myeshadjones (author)2013-07-19

I wish I had the tools required for the job! Interested in selling one to a gal in California?

artlife (author)myeshadjones2013-08-12

Where are you in California? maybe we can build one together. I am in CA, for the next couple of months.

poofrabbit (author)2013-08-10

This is fantastic!!!

artlife (author)poofrabbit2013-08-12

Thank you very much.

anasdad (author)2013-07-12

Great job!

artlife (author)anasdad2013-07-12

Thank you.

eyewalk (author)2013-07-11

You Are a Genius! Please make more giant games!!!!

artlife (author)eyewalk2013-07-11

Thank you. I am going to make more games. But space is getting a bit tight here. I am planning some public projects (that way I don't have to store them ;-))

Eh Lie Us! (author)artlife2013-07-12

I'm with eyewalk, make them and give them to the community. It's a win-win! I'm thinking a big checkerboard, a big Chinese checkerboard, oh, oh, a big chutes and ladders. The ideas...!

artlife (author)Eh Lie Us!2013-07-12

I am going to make some checker tables for kids and senior and use the round cut out to make checkers.

I did a giant chutes and ladders a few years back, I am sorry I don't have photos.

I really want to make a near life size chess set. But I don't have the resources for that yet.

daffster13 (author)2013-07-12

Absolute genius, thanks for sharing. I was wondering what to build for my son, who has a 5th birthday coming up, and he loves classic games like this.

artlife (author)daffster132013-07-12

Thank You. Wow, this would be a great gift, you have a very lucky child.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-07-09

Love love love it, totally :). Thank you so much for sharing.

artlife (author)Tarun Upadhyaya2013-07-09

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

HollyMann (author)2013-07-08

Wow! I initially thought - wow this is too big - until I read that you plan on bringing it to the park for the kids to play with!!! That is incredible!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! :) Wonderful work here - good luck with the contest. You shouldn't need to borrow a camera to take your pics of your awesome instructables!

artlife (author)HollyMann2013-07-08

I think this would be a great family size. If you have the space,
The houses in this neighborhood are all 400 square feet or smaller. Not much room for games, if a family could afford them, which most can not.

YoItzSpike (author)2013-07-08

that's a great idea but I'd use frizbees as pieces

artlife (author)YoItzSpike2013-07-08

Thanks. Frizbees would be less work. But, I can only find full size Frizbees here and THAT would be a huge game.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-07-08

I beat my mom in this game all the time! I need one of these :)

artlife (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-07-08

It is not nice to win against your Mom! At least that is what I wanted my kids to think. ;-) This is a game they usually won.

HollyMann (author)artlife2013-07-08

;) Yeah I used to beat my brother in law all the time too - really made me like th game! LOL

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