Intro: Make a Replacement for a Missing Board Game Piece
I happened across a Blokus board game at a used store and couldn't resist the $1.00 price. SCORE!!! I've been wanting to purchase this game for some time now.
I brought the game home, read the instructions, learned how to play it and counted all the pieces. There was one red piece missing. UNSCORE!!! Caveat Emptor.
OCD on overdrive....no restful sleep until I fix the problem.
Step 1: Look for Suitable Materials
A friend had a salesman's sample of different colors af plastic sheet. What a lucky break.
In retrospect, I could have used the lid off an old cassette tape case and colored it with a red sharpie.
Step 2: Gather Tools and Equipment
I used a Flex Tool strapped to a Dremel Drill Press base. I also had a flat point bit that matched the grove on the Blokus pieces.
Step 3: Measure and Set the Goove Depth
If you're not familiar with Blokus, the game board has raised grid lines and the playing pieces have grooves in between each square segment. Together these keep the playing surface neat and all pieces adequately seated on the board.
After mounting the straight point bit on the rotary tool I lowered the tip of the cutting bit into the groove of one of the existing game pieces.
Step 4: Add a Fence to the Drill Press Base
I used a piece of angle for a straight edge fence. After clamping it down I used one of the pieces to measure the distance from the fence to the first groove. Once the width was set I ran one of the white samples through to see if the measurements were adequate.
Happy with the sample piece I went ahead and got the proper color to replace the missing piece. I was missing the red, 3 square angle.
I ran two grooves (one on each side of the plastic piece). After that I flipped the piece 90 degrees and ran two more grooves (each one 90 deg perpendicular (right angle) to the first two grooves.
Step 5: Re Position Straight Edge
When done with the first grooves it is time to measure the second set of groove measurements. I got a 4 square piece and moved the straight edge to accommodate it's width. Run the part through the machine and cut 2 more perpendicular grooves on each side of the plastic piece.
Step 6: Liberate Playing Piece From Its Captive State
I ran the piece through the band saw and cut out the 3 square angle that I needed. I measured it beside an existing playing piece. When I was happy with the size and shape I sanded and filed the edges and ran a blowtorch across it briefly to knock down the fuzzy stuff left behind by the cutting bit.
Step 7: Test Fit and Function
Using a triangle file I widened the grooves into "V" notches.
Now I can sleep peacefully. OCD appeased.