I have a thing for large scale versions of popular games. I decided I wanted to make a giant Connect Four board to bring to camping trips and sports tournaments. Hopefully this instructable will inspire you to make a jumbo something!
Step 1: The "sketches" and Materials
I'll admit that the AutoCAD drawings and Sketchup mock up were done after the fact, but they incorporate some of the fixes I made after the jumbo connec four (JC4) was built)
Feel free to ask questions in the comments if anything isn't clear.
The materials I can remember are as follows:
- 2 - 4'x8' sheets of 1/2" plywood
- any kind is fine, but it'll come out nicer if one side is paint ready
- 1 - 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood
- not critical for this to be pretty. It can be rough as it'll be the inside dividers and will not be seen
- 1 - 4'x8' sheet of 5/8" plywood
- This should be as smooth as possible as it'll be used to make the playing discs
- 2- 3-4' piano hinges
- 2x4s for the legs
- This was a late addition so I don't have exact lengths
- wood dowel for legs
- also a late addition, I think 1/2"
- bungee cords or rope
- used to hold the bottom stop in place
Step 2: Time to Do Work.
The first step is to mark and cut all the holes in the 2 sheets of 1/2" plywood.
I used a jig saw with a homemade circle jig. It worked well enough, but if you have a router with a circle jig, I think you'll have a much better time. Remember, you need to do this to 2 sheets of 1/2" plywood.
After that, you'll need to rip your 3/4" plywood into 1 1/2" wide strips. 4 feet long. You'll need 6 of these. You will also need 2 strips at 12 3/4" wide by 4 feet, for the ends.
When screwing the divider strips to the full sheet, it is important to keep the screws to the outside of the divider strip (see good screwing picture). This is most crucial for the 2nd divider strip and the 5th divider strip. These will be cut in half later to facilitate folding.
Once you have everything cut, lay out one face board (the one with all the holes in it) Make sure the face board is laying Good side down. Lay the end boards and divider strips onto the face board and screw down. once everything is screwed to one face board, flip over and sandwich the end boards and divider strips between the 2 face boards. screw the second face board to everything else ensure that you follow the good screwing procedure.
Time to make it fold-able!
Now that everything is sandwiched together, it's time to cut it in 3. Using a circular saw or jigsaw and a straight edge (see video), you'll cut the entire assembly through the middle of the 2nd and 5th divider strips. Once it's all cut fasten one of the piano hinges to the front along the cut you just made on the 2nd divider strip. Fasten the other piano hinge to back along the cut you just made on the 5th divider strip. This means that each side will fold into the middle. See picture.
Step 3: The Bottom Stop
So, let me first just say that this is not how the actual one is built. I just came up with this and I think it works out nicely.
You'll need to cut out 2 strips of plywood, any width you have left, at 2"x(full board length). These will sandwich the stops for each slot. Centre the stops so that thy line up with the slots on the board. When the bottom stop is in place, it will also help keep the board from folding on itself.
During gameplay, in order to keep the bottom stop in place, wrap bungee cords or rope from top to bottom. Release after the game is over and the pieces will fall out the bottom for the next game.
There are a number of ways to do the bottom stop, hopefully someone tries this method out and lets me know if its any good.
Step 4: The Legs, Discs and Conclusion
I'll admit again that this isn't what is on my set up but I don't like how my legs came out. I used hockey sticks and they are pretty wobbly. Anyways, These are pretty simple. Boards 1 and 2 on the picture are 2x4s permanently attached to the board and are located here as well as the opposite side. They have just enough room between them for another 2x4 to slide between them. They have 2 holes through both of them and the upright 2x4 will have matching holes. When you slide the upright 2x4 through, put dowels through the holes to keep the upright one in place. Do the same at the base to keep the horizontal 2x4s in place to act as feet.
Make sure these won't interfere with the unit folding up. You must ensure that they are on the proper sides and not inside the folding parts.
To make the discs, cut your 5/8" plywood into 7 3/8" Diameter circles. Paint them 2 opposing colours and you're good to go.
Hopefully this tutorial inspires someone to build one of these. I've had it for about 4 years and people will often come up, take pictures and tell me they're going to build one, but I've yet to see another like it.
Please vote for me in the Full Spectrum Laser, Hand Tools Only, Gaming, Big/Small, and Flat Pack Contests. Thanks in advance!!