When I was brainstorming with amandaghassaei on things that could be laser cut or 3D printed, I thought it would be fun to do checkers. I mean, they are just circles, so how hard can it be? Then I remembered checkers are double sided. I thought I would have to give up on this idea until I found out how accurate the laser cutters are. And so my adventures with checkers began :)
After making these I realized I didn't have a checker board! So I made on. Check it out here!
I made this at Techshop in SF!
Step 1: Design and Prepare for Cutting
- Decide on your size (I found most checkers are 1 1/4 inch in diameter so that is what I went with)
- Decide on two designs (front and back) that can be alternated (one will be mostly bold engraving while the other will be just engraved lines to differentiate).
- If you want all the checkers the same make sure you have different stains for each team.
- Once you have your design, make one document with all of the regular side of the checkers. Line them up as shown in Photo 2.
- Make a new document and line up your kings as shown in Photo 3.
- Now you are ready to laser cut your checkers!
Step 2: Cutting
- You need a board that will fit no matter what way you put it in the laser cutter (like a square).
- Cover both sides of your board with tape. Since you are etching on both sides, you want both sides to be protected from burn marks
- If one of your sides designs (regular or king) doesn't reach the edge, do that one first and do not cut them out yet.
- Flip your board so the top edge is now along the left side and vice versa.
- Now etch the design that does reach the edge.
- Now cut them out. Cut them out last no matter what or you will obviously not be able to flip the board easily to etch the other side.
Step 3: Stain
Now you need to make sure you pull all of your tape. Don't forget to remove any and all before doing any staining. I actually forgot to remove three little pieces and now I have to fix that one .
Use your stain or your Polycrylic and protect all your checker pieces from all the action they will be getting in the future.
I put the Polycrylic on both flat sides and all around the checkers, but I only put one coat on each surface.
Step 4: Play
Have fun playing checkers!