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Havre's W-foldable gaming board


Image from http://i387.photobucket.com/albums/oo319/havre2008/003-1_zps01935c23.jpg I started this thread on the PP forums, but wanted to present it to you lot too to draw on your bottomless expertise on all things buildable. And now to the warning: This will be a slooow thread.

The thing is: European cars are (or used to be, at least) small. Too small to be transporting the odd four by four feet V-folded Warmachine & Hordes table. At least my Opel Astra is. Off course the reasonable thing to do would be to give in to the missus and buy that new car (which we probably will before this board is finished) Furthermore, boards are generally allready in place where I'm going, so it's use will be limited. However, I'll still be using an unreasonable amount of time and money to build myself a W-folding board with a proper three dimentional landscape on it.

Your role in this is to play ball with me and tell me when I'm being ridicoulus and point the way forward.

There are a great deal of fine foldable boards out there. Like Alderion's board they are quite thick sturdy structures with regular hinges on each side. It is my impression that the amount of structural material could be cut back quite a bit before sacrificing stability. In other words you could say these boards are over engineered.

First of all the board need to be thinner. This could be achieved by integrating the frame better with the gaming surface using profiled moulds. I'm thinking in the direction of 21 mm high moulds, which with 4 mm plywood in the bottom gives 17 mm left to landscaping. This is a realistic minimum thickness in my view. The greatest challenge (apart from framing the table) will be to get the joints to be as invisible as possible while ensuring that the table can be closed without destroyng the gaming surface.

Using Card Table Hinges/ Flip Over Table Hinges gives you a flush surface both when expanded and retracted. The hinges are felled in on the side of the boards. After recieving Pendrake's advice a year ago six hinges are finally ordered (100 US$ included postal) from Horton Brasses, who reproduces old hardware.
Flip Over Table Hinges

You could off course use Flip Top Hinges/ Counterflap Hinges (often mistakenly referred to as Butler Hinges which only turn 90 degrees). With two floating knuckles they lay flush on the board and turns without interfering with the board corner. If placed on the two joints on each side, they would be visible during gameplay. That could be aestetically interesting on a steampunk inspired table but is not in this case.

For joining I'll be trying out Box Joining or Mitering to ensure a sturdy frame. To avoid visible moulds in the internal joints of the board while maintaining structural integrity, I'll be trying out a 45 degree sloping mould. The outher rim will be 15 mm but will be considered part of the gaming area. For the Plywood in the bottom, I'll be make a 4 mm groove in the moulds, leaving a 10 mm visible frame. This will be my first real venture into carpentry and I'm really curious of how to make the Joining work ...

Image: 20130307132913


I finally made some progress on this project, managing to hunt down a workbench from the interwebs.
Image from http://i387.photobucket.com/albums/oo319/havre2008/h001_zps7e55af0b.jpg

Now, I just have to learn some basic woodworking to get the frames profiled and some bridle joints made. Picking up a US$95 handbook should do the trick. Beeing too stubborn to use a router I finally figured out a rabbet plane was the right choiche of tool for the grooves. And luckily it came with the workbench.

Image from http://i387.photobucket.com/albums/oo319/havre2008/h002_zpsb4eeba41.jpg

Making up some missing parts for the workbench gave some sorely needed experience with woodworking tools. Firewood makes great material for making pins for the vices and some pegs.
Image from http://i387.photobucket.com/albums/oo319/havre2008/h004_zpsb66b62e3.jpg

I'll be using hardwood for the frame and some plywood for the bottom. The question is what kind of hardwood. I was considering Oak, but Birch has been suggested as it is somewhat lighter. Any ideas?




Woah, those are some nice plains Harve.
(also the workbench is great) Cool


The middle fold could be a plain, ordinary piano hinge.

Image from http://www.startwoodworking.com/sites/startwoodworking.com/files/uploads/1/2006/piano%20hinge%20variation%201.jpg


pendrake said:

The middle fold could be a plain, ordinary piano hinge.
No actually, it can't. The board need to be able to lay flush on a table and a piano hinge will protude somewhat. While counterflap hinges would work, I've gotten hold of enough Card Table Hinges like the ones you suggested some time ago. Going for US$ 24 at Horton Brasses they put me down US$ 100 including shipping so alternative sollutions might be prudent for later projects.

An issue that hasen't been tackled yet is how to keep the board folded during transportation. I would like it to have a handle and/or shoulder strap.

One way to go is to attatch two straps and have them go under the board holding it together while lifting. Problem is that the gaming side would have to face downwards as straps/handle can only be added at the far ends.
Image: 20130813080922

A second solution would be to add a locking mechanism [ed: Catch/Pull Latch/Drawbolt with minimum 50 mm clearing] on the sides of the table and one or two handles or sholder straps at each end. (I'm thinking brass and leather). Below is a Drawbolt from Franzen International, a nice drawbolt from Architecturals and a trunk lock from Harware Tree.

Drawbolt/pull latch/catch

Trunk Drawbolt

Trunk lock

Unfortunately, all these have the wrong dimensions.

The drawbolt below from Adam Hall Hardware is the closest thing I've found.

Adam Hall Hardware



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