Saturday, February 19, 2011

Alyouminium Catan board

I kept thinking about my idea for an aluminum Catan board held together by magnets. It would be expensive and time consuming to make, but the end result would be a kickass, over-engineered, rock solid catanian continent.

I would use 1/4" aluminum plate with two 1/8" dia by 1/16" thk neodymium disc magnets per edge. If there are 12 magnets per hex and 30 hexes in the 5-6 player board, then I would need 360 magnets. You can buy 500 of these here (extras for seafarers hexes) for $40. Two pairs of magnets holding two hexes together would generate up to 0.9 Lb of force.

Each hex would be 3 inches across the flats, not 79 mm like the actual game. They would need 12 9/64" dia by 7/64" deep holes. If you set up a vice in a drill press so you could just drop in a hex without having to worry about positioning I think you get drill all the holes in a couple of hours. The magnets would be epoxied in the holes.

I haven't decided what to do for the decals. Acid etching would bee cool, but difficult. Stickers would look cheap and take away from the work already put into the materials.


  1. Maybe after hours. All I'll need is a band saw and drill press.

  2. lol you better be super handy at the band saw to manage this.... but if you do... I MAY be able to help with the etching - I have an engraver in the office which I've converted into a light load desktop mill. I'm not saying it'll work or that I can definitely use it, I'm just saying its there so I can try. Judging by the amount of detail required, it would probably take something like 45 min per hex.

  3. You could machine small aluminum pieces for the settlements / roads, and anodize them for different colors. What exactly is your plan for etching?