Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Creative => Topic started by: Nihilistiskism on October 23, 2012, 09:55:48 AM

Title: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on October 23, 2012, 09:55:48 AM
Over the next month or so I'm going to be working on a project revolving around the creation of a customized wood-bordered silhouette stone/plaster board. I'll be updating this thread with semi-regularity with updates, pictures, and other information should anyone wish to follow the progress of this project and/or emulate the final results.

Placeholder GO!

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: SeanDeCoy on October 23, 2012, 11:08:18 AM
This. Sounds. Awesome.
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Shad0w on October 23, 2012, 09:57:24 PM
Nihilistiskism I made this a sticky for you.
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 01, 2012, 12:28:02 AM
Thanks, Shadow.

I've purchased a few test materials for breaking/sealing. I'll be getting my hands dirty this coming weekend with the particulars, but for now I'm in the testing phase for the various materials I think I'll be using.

I've got 2 different plasters I'm going to try out.

Plaster

Plaster is cheaper and far lighter than stone or cement. The downside is that I have a nagging suspicion that it is going to "powder" under force rather than "crack" or "break" under force, given the rigidity of the surface upon which the cracking will take place. However, another component of the plaster is that it is highly heat-sensitive upon setting. It might be possible to bake-crack a plaster set once hardened, or freeze-crack a plaster set once hardened. My gut instinct tells me that the plaster is going to be a bust, regardless, but it's so cheap and easy to test that I'd nag myself to death for skipping the opportunity to see if it could work.

I've got some cement, and will try 2 or 3 iterations of density for the cement.

Cement

As with the Plaster, my initial thought is that cement will simply be more prone to powdering than providing uniform cracks. See plaster on all counts.


What definitely cracks?

Well, Marble, Agate, and Granite are obviously famous for their shear-line cracking properties. Limestone and slate are second runners-up in this category. Marble and Granite are, well, expensive, and Agate can be difficult to acquire in flat specimens of a reasonable size. Limestone can be acquired relatively cheaply, and Slate is a kind of middle-ground on all counts. Slate might be the best option, as it comes in stone-grey (happens to be the cheapest that way, too), and isn't as heavy or expensive as marble or granite. I'll be hitting the Home Depot this weekend to see prices on flat slate tiles in hopes that I can acquire the requisite number at a good price to do some crack-testing on them.

More to come.

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: paradox22 on November 10, 2012, 11:59:47 PM
Pics Pics Pics!   :woohoo:
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 11, 2012, 03:50:51 AM
Alrighty!

So, after some small mix of guesswork combined with light testing, it proved that my suspicions re: plaster/cement were correct. Both mediums prefer to crumble rather than crack, with the plaster being susceptible to powdering entirely.

Slate's propensity for fragility turned out to be the ultimate undoing of that medium's potential for use in the project. It cannot be acquired at all to be thin enough so as to be usable.

I made the decision to incorporate actual stone tiles into the project. I was really hoping that plaster would work, because it is very light, but the stone won't make the finished piece too heavy, altogether. I'm expecting a total weight of anywhere between 10 and 15 lbs, not that I'm using stone.

I lucked upon some good, grey, stone tiles that are measured at 8'' x 8'', which is the size of a Mage Wars board tile.

The base of the piece is 1/4'' sanded birch. Pine would have been preferred, as Pine is a slightly more durable wood, but the birch is significantly lighter, and cuts more cleanly than Pine, and once sealed and lacquered it should more than do the job.

The frame of the piece is comprised of 1'' x 1 1/2'' pine boards.

The measurements are as follows:

Base of 1/4" soft, sanded Birch: 27" x 35": (later to be cut in-half across the 35" dimension, see below)

As the 1 1/2" x 1" pine boards will be sitting broad-side upon the base, and the tiles measure at 8" x 8" the base needed an extra 3" above the surface area of the tiles on both sides.

2 pine boards at dimensions of 1 1/2" x 1" cut @ 35" (later to be cut in-half, see below)

2 pine boards at dimensions of 1 1/2" x 1" cut @ 24" (2 feet)

The two longer pine boards lay the length of the birch base, while the two shorter pine boards lay at a 90 to the other two boards between them.

----------------

Because I want the finished piece to fold inward upon itself, once everything has been measured, the longer pine boards will be cut in-half, as will the birch base along the 35" dimension. Two 1 1/2" brass hinges will be employed to hold the unit together prior to gluing/mortaring of the stone tiles. Once cut, the frame will be wood-glued to the base, and clamped  overnight, prior to stapling at the corners/edges, and finally, some 1/2" wood screws, 2 at each corner joint, then finally, hinged together.


GLUING THE TILES

Once the entire base is prepared (cutting, gluing, screws/staples, hinges), I will begin the process of laying a fastening facilitator to the interior base of the piece. For this purpose I have chosen to implement some self-adhesive cement board tape. The concept here is that the board tape is a mesh medium that will act as an intermediary between the tiles and the birch base. Once laid, the tiles will be placed on top of the mesh, and here's where the fun begins:

A grid will be prepared to lay uniformly between each of the tiles and the frame. The grid will be comprised of scrap wood left over from the original cutting from the larger birch board which is now comprising the base/frame of the piece. This grid will ensure that when the tiles are cracked the framework (the separations between the zones) will not be compromised. Essentially, each individual "zone" (tile) will be cordoned off from the others, as well as the frame, by a very thin strip of wood.

The tiles will be cracked using a point-chisel and ball-peen hammer. Once the cracks are to my satisfaction, a solution comprised of 50% elmer's all-purpose glue and 50% water will be "poured" over each tile. The dilution of the water will allow the solution to permeate between each individual crack and crevice in the tiles. Now this is why the cement board tape was applied: When the solution is poured, the cement board tape will be raising each tile just a fraction of a millimeter from the birch base. The liquid solution will well BELOW the tiles, through the mesh of the board tape, and, when hardened, the tiles will be attached to the base through the tape onto the birch base. The solution will be applied only so that it is approximately half as deep as the height of the tiles, so approximately 1/8" to 1/4" deep. This will sit for a few days, at least. I may heat-treat the whole piece in the sun provided I get a particularly sunny day. Otherwise, I am prepared to leave it alone for 4-5 days untouched.

Once the glue solution is dried to satisfaction, I will apply a white unsanded grout that has been mixed with black ink to provide the desired color. The frame separating the zones will be removed, and this grout spread across the entire interior of the frame, over the tile work, to provide the color and hard-surface cover for the cracked tiles, as well as providing the interior holding agent between the tiles.

That is the bulk of the project. Other details to follow. Here are some pictures:

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 11, 2012, 03:51:35 AM
Full board:
[attachment=50]20121111_031214.jpg[/attachment]

Close of stone:
[attachment=51]20121111_031221.jpg[/attachment]
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 11, 2012, 03:52:41 AM
Another view of full board:
[attachment=52]20121111_031229.jpg[/attachment]

Hinges:
[attachment=53]20121111_031241.jpg[/attachment]
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 11, 2012, 03:54:04 AM
Cement Board Tape:

[attachment=54]20121111_031306.jpg[/attachment]

One tile removed to show birch base:

[attachment=55]20121111_031321.jpg[/attachment]
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Shad0w on November 12, 2012, 07:12:51 AM
Looking good so far.
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 13, 2012, 09:44:14 AM
Thank you. I think I may try and locate some slightly more decorative hinges for the final piece. Gotta go back to the supply store for some clasps, anyway, and every time I look at the project I think "those hinges I picked out are pretty awful looking."

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: SeanDeCoy on November 13, 2012, 09:55:36 AM
This looks a LOT like the prototype boards that we used to use! We used tiles on a pool table :-)
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 13, 2012, 10:10:33 AM
Quote from: "SeanDeCoy" post=3565
This looks a LOT like the prototype boards that we used to use! We used tiles on a pool table :-)


Except mine is 10x better because:

a) it's done by me
and...
b) because the word "prototype" will have no place in the finished product.  ;)

...and because it's done by me. That can't be said too many times, as each occurrence of repetition is an entire microcosm of enough awesome to both break the internet and make the goddam Batman crap skittles in amazement simultaneously.

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 14, 2012, 07:08:43 AM
I'll be setting the frame and possibly getting as far as the elmers/water pour over the cracked tiles, today. I'll post updates this evening with results. Cross some fingers for me.

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: paradox22 on November 14, 2012, 09:25:07 AM
Fingers crossed.   ;)
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 14, 2012, 01:58:59 PM
Going well enough. I only have 4 clamps that are suitable for pressing the 1 1/2'' pine frame to the base, and, in the interest of only having to do it once, I'm gluing/securing each section of the frame to the base one at a time. This will also help me ensure that everything is lining up appropriately during the framing process, and if any small modifications need to be made to either the base or frame I'll know it now, and will be able to make those corrections as I go.

I forgot to mention:

When I took the 27'' x 35'' piece of lumber to Lowes they miscut the wood, leaving me with two pieces, neither of which would be suitable for the project. Lowes didn't have any decent unwarped birch in 4x4 sheets, so I got a 4x4 sheet of 1/4'' Oak, and had it cut into two pieces that were slightly (in the neighborhood of 1/4'' too large all around. I'll have to sand away that 1/4'' when the frame is secured.

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on November 15, 2012, 04:57:23 PM
Finished with the gluing process. The board folds very nicely and smoothly. There's a bit of extra base on the sides in certain locations that I will sand down so that everything is flush. It's coming together.

You'll see that what I couldn't before describe very well (the hinges) are now properly done, hidden in the frame so that only the small tubular "bump" is present/visible when the board is open. I have to allow the wood glue to fully set for 24 hours or so before I can staple/screw the frame solidly into place. Once stapled/screwed, the frame will be fully prepared, and I can begin the work of laying the tiles etc.

More pictures!

[attachment=56]20121115_165039.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=57]20121115_165033.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=58]20121115_165021.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=59]20121115_165004.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=60]20121115_164958.jpg[/attachment]
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Azirithdorr on January 30, 2013, 09:52:27 PM
This is a great project! I've been working on a custom board too and I'm glad to see that we seem to be thinking fairly alike as to what would be good for them.

Mine is a little different from yours, but the heart is the same: a tile and wood board. I'm using tiles like you, but cut them to 10" instead of the standard 8" to give the board a roomier feeling. I'm also going to experiment and make the overall board a 5x5 orientation rather then the standard 3x4. I'm hoping that the larger format will be sufficient for 3-4 player games.

I lucked out and got 12" tiles in a pleasing pattern/colour for $0.99/each at our local Rona. The oak 1x2x1/2" x 6' trimming wasn't nearly as affordable, but I'm hoping it'll be worth it ( it was around $9/piece here in Canada at Home Depot ). I picked black accents ( hinges, carrying handle, and clasp ) for my colour scheme.

Awesome work so far on your board!  I'm really looking forward to seeing more of it  :cheer:
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: BR3AKR on February 06, 2013, 04:42:26 PM
This is great! Hope we get to see a finished product :).
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: ARFF1Tampa on June 24, 2013, 01:17:39 PM
Looking good. This game screams out to make a custom board. I was thinking of having individual painted stone surface (modeling) not actual stones. Moss and water effects, dungeon props, ect. Even miniatures representing the Mages with bases with slots for the action markers. Or even remake the action markers and status cubes. There are so many ways a modeler can improve the look and pieces of this game.
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on September 01, 2013, 04:29:36 PM
Hey, everyone. Been nearly a year since I logged in, here. Life + frustrations with the game have pushed me away from giving a damn, but I've recently adopted a more casual attitude about gaming, so I'm back, more or less. I still have a lot of frustrations with the game, and how it's run, but I'll be finishing my board within a month or so, give or take, depending on how quickly I can get my new workshop set up.

Look for updates.

-nihil
Title: Re: Custom wood/stone board:
Post by: Nihilistiskism on September 10, 2013, 04:48:12 PM
Doesn't really qualify as a proper update, but I've finished setting up my workspace. I won't get a chance to work on the board until this weekend, but there it is.

-nihil