Making a game board with all the squares recessed?


My son is making an ancient Egyptian game for social studies. The game board is 3x10, with squares recessed below the surface. http://www.ancient-egypt.org/glossary/senet.html
Any "right" way to make the grid better then just gluing up a bunch of little pieces?
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The mutton bars on newer construction windows comes to mind.Half lap joints at the intersections all fit together to make a "skeletal" panel.Glue it all up and you may be able to lift it out to clean the board underneath.
Tom in KY, with a WAG?
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Well, since HE is supposed to be making it, I think it would depend on his skill level with tools, and how much of this will actually be HIS construction.
You could easily make a half lap grid that Tom is talking about by simply offsetting a group of square cut rods determined by the size of the inset squares.
You could cut the laps in the grid with a router table, a table saw with dado blade, or even a router and suitable straight edge. Glue the pieces together with a dot of glue in each joint, square it up with a framing square, and let it sit.
If you were wise enough to cut all the pieces a little long, you can now take it over to the table saw and size it perfectly.
If he is a young lad, his teachers and classmates may find it hard to believe he has those abilities, but hey.... how long have Dads been building the little pinewood derby cars "along" with their sons?
Robert
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I did a chessboard once with bark for the dark squares, so I had to do something like this to cover the edges and make up for different thicknesses.
1) Cut the T shape into the frame pieces from wider boards with the last step being to cut the T loose from the board if you'd like to still have fingers at the end of the project.
2) I think it's easier to cut long pieces for one direction and short pieces to fit between rather than trying to half lap long pieces in both directions. Since you can glue it all in it's not worth the effort IMO.
3) If I had it to do over again I would have made the T's longer and cut grooves in the sub base for them to insert into for alignment purposes. However my bark squares were cut freehand on the band saw so they weren't exactly square, you won't have this problem.
-Leuf
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The half laps wouldn't be bad to cut on a radial arm saw with a dado blade. You could even use a block clamped to the fence to keep your cuts all the same. The block only as wide as the dado and set up off of the table so that it fits in the last dado cut. That way you could cut dado's in long peices and then size them up as you go from there. A box joint jig for a table saw also comes to mind. If you built a custom plate to fit on your table saw's mitergauge, then you could cut the half laps on your table saw and they would all come out the same length and your squares all symetrical. As Robert said, then square it all up and let the glue cure then size it up on TS.
Tom in KY, man, this ain't no big thing, you would have figured it out!
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Toller wrote:

You have not said how old the boy is ?
I would buy (or machine) some timber for the frame pieces and assemble the long runs end to end with the cross pieces simply cut and butt joint. Glue it to the underlying board.
Well within the capability of even a very young person with a little exacto saw and mitre box.
Otherwise I might be tempted to make a template for one recess and route them in solid stock.
Another option if they do not need to be square is to use a hole saw and drill through a thin sheet.
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