Introduction: Custom Wooden Monopoly Board
For school, my partner and I had to complete a woodworking project. We decided to bring a fun twist to the family fun board game we all know and love. We decided that we would give Monopoly our own theme, and that theme is our school. We would make an Illiana Monopoly. The board would include different teachers and places from throughout the school.
During the project, we used a CNC machine, a laser cutter, a planer, a belt sander, and a table saw.
In this instructable, we are going to show how we made our own custom Illiana Monopoly board.
Oak Wood, CNC Milling Machine, Laser Cutter, Planer, Belt Sander, Table Saw, Isopropyl Alcohol, Polyurethane, Paint
Step 1: Finding the Right Wood
It is important to find the correct type of wood to make the Monopoly board. We decided to use Oak wood. You just want to select a couple pieces that are similar in depth and have a similar grain pattern.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
We decided to make out Monopoly board the same size as a standard Monopoly board, 20 inches x 20 inches. However, we cut our piece of wood to a 21 inches x 21 inches so that we could have some extra wood to firmly secure our board when we CNC cut it. You just have to cut it to a square with the size that you want with about an inch of extra space.
Step 3: Smooth the Surfaces With a Planer
We used a planer to get the boards to the same height. If you don't have access to a planer, you can skip this step.
Step 4: Glue the Wood Together
Add some wood glue to the side of one of the pieces. Glue all the pieces that you have together. First, you need to use a clamp to ensure that the surfaces are flush when you glue them together. You can do this by attaching clamps on the edges so that it holds them at the same level (as shown in the first picture above). After you have the board clamped flush, you can attach clamps lengthwise to hold the board together (as shown in the second picture above). If any glue has seeped out of the cracks, take a paper towel and wipe it off. After it is clamped, you have to wait for the glue to dry before removing the clamps.
Step 5: Smooth the Surface
If your glued together board can fit through the planer you are using, you can put it through the planer again. If it doesn't fit in the planer, you will need to sand it until it is smooth. The planer we have has a max width of 13" and our board was 20" wide. Therefore, we had to use a belt sander to smooth the top surface. We went over it initially with a coarse grit. After we got rid of the any divots or irregularities with the coarser grit, we changed to a finer grit to finish it off (Shown in the second picture above). Apply a layer of painter's tape to ensure that when you paint the board only the areas where the CNC machine will have cut will be painted.
Step 6: Use Adobe Illustrator to Convert an Image to a Bitmap (.bmp) File
You can either create your own outline or you can google search "Monopoly Board Outline". After you either create or obtain an image of an outline, you can save it as a bitmap file (.bmp). This is needed because an image needs to be a .bmp file in order to be imported in Vectric.
Step 7: Create a Vectric File for the Monopoly Board Lines
First you have to convert the bitmap into vectors. Second, you need to use the create vectors feature to make two rectangles with the dimensions of 2.25" x 3.5" for the community chest and chance cards. Set the cut depth to .1". After you finish the toolpaths, preview them and make sure that they are correct.
Step 8: Use the CNC Milling Machine to Cut Out the Board Lines
Place the planned board into the CNC milling machine and secure with screws to work bed. Set the correct origin and zero. Begin cutting.
Step 9: Seal and Paint the Board
Once the board is done, the CNC machine should have cut through the painters tape leaving the cut areas exposed. While leaving the tape on, spray paint the lines using a black or other preferred type of spray-paint. Once dry apply a layer of sealant to the paint. Once the paint is dry, you can remove the layer of painter's tape.
Step 10: Create a LaserCad File for the Properties and Images
Because LaserCad is a challenging program to design in, we used V-Carve to add the property names and images. We aligned all names and numbers to the center of the tiles and arranged them horizontally. We used the V-Carve tracing tool the generate vectors for images for the Laser Cutter to engrave. All text was generated directly from V-Carve. In V-Carve we selected all of the vectors that we intended to engrave and exported those to LaserCad. From there we sized the workspace correctly and saved the file.
Step 11: Cut Out the Property Names and Images With the Laser Cutter
We moved over to the Laser Cutter, set up the origins, and let the machine work. The total engraving time was about 15 min.
Step 12: Finishing Touches
We took the board out of the Laser Cutter and moved it to a different table. We applied Isopropyl Alcohol to the board and used a rag to rub away the smoke marks. After that we cut off the extra strips of wood on the sides. We then moved it over to our workbench and sanded it until we were satisfied with the smoothness. From there we applied one final coat of wood sealant to protect it from whatever would come its way. Finally we painted the properties to match their respective colors.
Participated in the