Hi, I'd be grateful for advice as to what kind of wood I would need (and
where to get it) for making tiles for a game. They have got to be about
3.5 mm thick and would be similar to shop-bought tiles I have got, e.g.
in the shape of half a 35mm square cut along the diagonal. The ones I
have got are very strong, I've had them decades and never broken one - you
would really need to 'give it some' if you wanted to snap one! :) I am not
sure what kind of wood they are, whatever it is it's quite lightweight.
Thanks in advance,
Are you sure they are wood and not resin cast to shape in wooden mould which
would give the surface a wood effect finish. Something like this stuff:
which is used for modelling and craft works. It is light weight and can be
coloured to any shade or effect you need.
Can't say for sure, but I think probably not. The tiles are painted and
a few have chew marks, sufficient to show that they are made of wood but
from what I can see it looks lighter-coloured than lignum vitae. I
suppose I could take 100 or so tiles and weigh them to estimate the
density if this would help someone identify the type of wood...
They are from a puzzle/game containing pieces in two shapes, namely a
45-45-90 triangle, and a rhombus with two of its angles 45 degrees. The
side of the rhombus is equal in length to the shorter sides of the
triangle. I mention this because maybe other people reading this might have
the same thing in the attic :)
Some of them are unpainted. If a photo will help identify what wood they
are made of, please click here:
If I can find out what wood it is, I'll be halfway there, because it
would be great to make them out of the same material. They are very
If you take any wood (except maybe elm) and use it in small 1/8" thick
slices, then it's going to be weak if you try and bend it across the
grain. The answer is good quality plywood, which is hard to find in
this thickness, but does exist.
If you want a small quantity, go to a modelshop. If you want to make
a thousand, try a good plywood merchant.
If I was making them from solid timber, then I'd want something with
negligible grain, so I'd probably use lime (aka basswood).
I I just wanted thin wood NOW, then I'd go to a veneer shop. 1/8" is
the thickest common veneer, and it's not stocked in many timbers, but
you'll probably find ash easily enough.
Lime sounds good. I haven't got the equipment to adjust the thickness.
Would it be possible, if I got some in 1/8" sheets/strips, just to saw out
the shapes I want, and then finish them, or is there more to it? (excuse my
ignorance, but if I don't ask...)
No idea. But the wooden racks for the tiles were made of ramin, which
would be another good choice. Ramin is not often seen as timber, but
it's very common in any DIY shop - it's what most of those small
mouldings are made of.
>Lime sounds good. I haven't got the equipment to adjust the
You'll find small quantities of (somewhat expensive) lime in any
thickness you want at a modelshop, but they'll probably label it under
the American name of "basswood". Obeche might work too, and you'd
find that similarly.
You can then cut it out with either a fine gent's saw (just a little
back saw), or a coping / fret saw if you need to do curves or awkward
internal corners. If you're planning to make a million, electric
fretsaws aren't that expensive. For big cuts to rip along the grain,
you might even use a Stanley knife and a straightedge, then snap it.
To finish it, I'd use blonde shellac, applied with an artist's
paintbrush (a 10mm filbert, with synthetic bristles for watercolours -
Golden Taklon is the best bristle fibre). Thin the first coat 50:50
with meths. You'll also need some sort of drying rack. www.shellac.net
has lots of info on using shellac.
The ubiquitous on-line toolshop is www.axminster.co.uk
they'll have the lot.
Many thanks for all this help, Andy.
I've taken a photo of the tiles I've already got - some of the unpainted
ones - it's at
Does this look like ramin? Lime?
I want to make loads (thousands probably), so would want to avoid buying
small amounts in a DIY shop or model shop if possible! :)
tough to see from that picture because it's a bit blurry, but the1 on the
right looks like it could be maple. I think boxwood might also work for what
you have in mind ... but you'll have to find a kind person with a
to get it to 3.5mm for you. and then cut it out with a fret saw or band saw
( a band saw would be better if it is straight edges you want, but use a
fine tooth blade)
Have a look down here and you might find something you like or that reminds
you of the wood;
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