Friday, April 17, 2015

Magic the Gathering Game Board & Storage Box

Several years ago my friends and I really got into playing with MtG cards.

I had so much fun that I even made my own cards, picturing my friends and me.

As much fun as playing MtG was, everyone was spending entirely too much money on these cards.  People were also becoming overly competitive, getting angry at one another, becoming nasty...I threw in the glove for a few years.  Recently I found someone made some very cool Game of Thrones Magic cards.

Seeing these made me want to play again.  So I went out and bought a starter set, and some set holders.  Needing a place to put them, I quickly constructed a wood box with leftover material.

This box was assembled using pocket holes and screws.

I used an older top from a box that was never completed.  This particle board top fit my new box perfectly.

Then I sprayed the whole box with black primer.

When the primer dried, I sprayed silver paint onto a dry brush and began dusting the box.

After quite a while all sides of the box and top were dusted with silver.

Next I screwed in some small silver screws purely for aesthetics.

Then I used a silver paint marker to add some silver cracks.

When that dried I mixed up some blood red paint and began to splatter it onto the box and top.

Then I applied some clear coat.

And I'm done with my Magic box!

This box holds all the cards and boxes that came with my starter set, and still has room for more.

The top fits on without touching any of the deck boxes.

It's a gory little box, and now I feel I need a game board to go with it!  To start, I designed a 2'x2' board using google SketchUp.

This game board is nice, but I decided to make it a bit simpler.  Recently I had made some additions to my router and table saw using MDF boards.  I had material to spare, so I decided to make the game board out of MDF.  To start I cut a 2x2 foot piece with my circular saw.

Then I cut some strips of MDF with the table saw.  These strips will be the frame of the board.

Next I set up my router table and gave a decorative edge to the strips.

I cut the strips at 45 degree angles...

and glued and clamped the frame to the board.

While that dried I cut another piece of MDF which will eventually become the 'battlefield'.

This piece also was given decorative edging from the router table.

Then I centered the battlefield and glued it onto the game board.

I decided that this board will not have a graveyard (a place to put discarded cards).  But I will have a circular raised area for the rest of the card deck.  I used a coffee can lid and traced 4 circles onto some more MDF.

I cut out these circles with my jigsaw.

Then I glued the 4 pieces to make 2 taller pieces.

Next I added wood filler to parts of the game board.  Mostly to the 45 degree joints...

...and the sides where the frame and the bottom connect.

When the circles dried I sanded the edges smooth with my belt sander.

Then I beveled the edges with the table router.

Next I glued the circles to the game board.  Each circle went into the bottom right of each side.

Then I gave everything a good sanding.

Followed by some serious cleaning.  The dust from MDF is very much like powder.

When it was all clean I prepped it for priming.

I gave it many light coats of primer...

...until totally covered.  Not having primed MDF before, I didn't realize the surface would get very 'fuzzy'.

So when the primer dried I sanded it using fine sandpaper.

After the next application of primer, the surface was much smoother.

When the primer dried I sanded the whole thing with some grade 0000 steel wood.  Once I was done the surfaces were silky smooth.

Then I cleaned it up and sprayed on some glossy black paint.

Next I decided to spray on some silver webbing spray.

I think I went a little over board with the webbing...

...but it still looks really good.

But I do want to add some color to it, so I masked off an area of the battlefield.

I then painted on some brown acrylic paint.

Then I painted green acrylic in the card pool area.

After a few layers of paint, the 3 areas look good.

Next I wanted to paint the tops of the circles, so I made a template.  The outer ring is the diameter of the circle top and the inner ring is where I want to paint.

I added double sided tape to my template print out.

I then cut the masks out...

...and attached them to the tops of the circles.

Then I painted on a few layers of gold acrylic.

Once the paint had dried I began sponging on a darker brown to the battlefield.

Then I sponged on a lighter brown.  All this sponging gives the battlefield a nice look and texture.

When the paint dried I removed the masking tape.

I liked the sponged look so I repeated the process on the green areas.

Then I removed the circular mask I made for the circles.  Some of the paint came up with the mask...

...but I can fix that with a gold paint marker.

In addition to fixing the circles I used the gold paint marker to add trim all along the game board...

...and around the battlefield as well.

Now this game board looks exquisite!  Only one more step left...

...adding some glossy clear coat.

And I'm done with the game board!

I think this thing turned out super awesome!

With my box and game board done I wanted to create one more thing:  A long, small card box to hold my Magic cards.  I have one pictured below, but I've been using it for my Star Trek Attack Wing Cards.

My new card box will be made out of MDF board.  I used a stop block on my saw table sled to make sure all the cuts I make are the same size.

When I dry-fitted the pieces together it was a little wider than I wanted.

So I trimmed the bottom and shorter sides to make it the right size.

Then I glued all the pieces together.  No screws or nails for this small build.

Once the glue dried I took the box to my belt sander and began rounding the edges.

Then I added some wood filler to the bottom where there was a small gap I wanted to close.

When the filler dried I sanded the bottom smooth.  Then I sanded the rest of the box and cleaned it up.

Once clean I applied a first coat of primer.  Hopefully the fine sandpaper I used will keep the box from getting too 'fuzzy'.

It was still a little fuzzy, so I sanded once again with steel wool.

Now it's time to paint.  I liked the glossy black marble look of the game board so I repeated the process with the card box.

First, the black gloss...

...then the silver webbing.

Once the box dried I placed my cards inside.

And I am all done!

Everything came out excellently and I can't wait to play a game on my new board!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Timbo - staggeringly great work once again! I am intrigued by your webbing spray paint and will have a look to see if it is available here. Magic effect! Sorry for not having posted for a while - life has intruded on the Internet, as it does from time to time. Great to see that you are keeping busy and enjoying life. Regards to you and yours. Phil

  2. Thanks Phil! Good to hear from you.
    Here is a link to the webbing Spray website:
    Here in the state they sell it in arts & crafts stores, but I haven't found it in the big-box home improvement centers. Hopefully the website can help you track down the webbing spray. If not, does sell it.