A 5x5 Divided Gameboard
is a turn-based strategy game played with Icehouse pyramids on a five by
five grid. The game was designed by
and she had a game board prototype made out of plastic so that she
could play her game. The plastic board is very cool, and has raised
dividers between the squares to keep everything perfectly arranged.
I wanted one of these boards to play Volcano and to test a game
I was designing that also used a 5x5 grid. Since Kristin wasn't
producing the plastic boards yet, I decided to make my own out of
I started with:
- Two strips (~24 inches long) of 1/8" x 1/8" craft wood.
This wood is usually available in Balsa and Basswood,
and sometimes in Mahogany. Try the best art supply store
in your area. I would recommend buying three or four strips,
to give yourself room for error
- A 48" long, 1/4" thick, 8" (actually 7.25") wide plank
of Red Oak. I got this at the hardware supermarket
- A bottle of wood glue
- Some fine (400 or 320) sandpaper
- A can of spray polyurethane, semi-gloss
- 25 3-point Icehouse pyramids
- First, prepare the wood.
- Cut a square out of one end of the 1/4" plank. Don't
worry too much about the measurements, you'll be trimming
this later. In fact don't trim this to size.
- Cut the following lengths of 1/8" x 1/8" strip:
Lightly sand everything, including the ends of the
Begin by gluing a long strip along one edge of the square.
Make sure the strip is pushed all the way over into one corner
of the square. This corner is your starting corner.
- 8 pieces 1 and 1/32 inches long
- 16 pieces 2 and 3/16 inches long
- 4 pieces 6 inches long (you'll trim these later)
When you're gluing strips, make sure to use little enough glue
so that none squirts out when you press the strip in place. I
like using wood glue because it's non-toxic, so I can smear a
thin layer of glue on a strip with my finger.
(This is strip "1" in the diagram below.)
Glue a second strip along the other edge that intersects
with your starting corner.
(This is strip "2" in the diagram.)
Make sure that this strip is butted
up against the first strip. This completes your starting angle.
Put a 3-pointer in the starting corner.
(This is piece "a")
Glue a 1-inch strip down along one edge of the 3-pointer.
Put a 3-pointer on the other side of this strip.
Glue a 2-inch strip along the side of these 3-pointers.
Continue building outward from the corner, one piece and one
strip at a time. The final pattern looks like this:
Please believe me that you want to build this
out from one corner with 3-pointers in place. The second diagram
shows the order of pieces and strips. For those of us who need
explicit instructions, the full order is:
1, 2, a, 3, b, 4, c, 5, d, 6, e, 7, f, 8, g, 9, h, 10, i, 11,
j, 12, k, 13, l, 14, m, 15, n, 16, o, 17, p, 18, q, 19, r, 20,
s, 21, t, 22, u, 23, v, 24, w, 25, x, 26, y, 27, 28.
When all 25 3-pointers are in place, cut the initial edge
strips to length, and glue down the closing edge strips.
Trim off the extra wood. I used a band saw, and made sure
that the base square wound up exactly flush with the edge strips.
Sand everything you can reach.
Spray a couple thin coats of polyurethane on the assembly,
and allow to dry completely.
Sand the finish smooth.
Spray another couple of thin coats.
Allow to dry