Trouble with a hexagonal game board.

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Forum topic by Adambalk posted 11-15-2012 08:53 PM 7547 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2046 days

11-15-2012 08:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question help geometry

Hello first post here, I hope you guys can help me out.

I am currently trying to make a “Settlers of Catan” game board. It is a hexagonal frame filled with 19 smaller hexagons.

I do not wish to use the puzzle interlocks so I simplified the shape and plan to use magnets to hold the whole thing together. I designed the simplified shape in 3D software, and then cut a tester blank out of cheap lumber. I took extra care to transfer every dimension as best as I could, set my saw to 30 degrees and started ripping. I then cross cut the sections and laid them out to see how they fit… As you can tell something went wrong. I tried this before by just free handing traced shapes on the bandsaw and it was close, but I want perfect. Somehow the “more accurate” approach I was trying was much more inaccurate. I am not sure where my mistake is so hopefully another set of eyes can help me figure this out.

Thanks in advance.

5 replies so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2082 days

#1 posted 11-15-2012 09:20 PM

that will take trial an error to get perfect. take lots of practice cuts and keep checking

-- Joel

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2997 days

#2 posted 11-15-2012 10:33 PM

Adam, I’m not sure that end grain is suitable for that application, it won’t have much strength especially in the indents. As for the angles, if they are all the same length and all the angles are 30ยบ it should all fit. Has the wood cupped?

View coolerjack's profile


20 posts in 2210 days

#3 posted 11-16-2012 11:01 PM

You have 12 mating edges so if your cut angle is out by one degree it will be multiplied twelve times, also the base of the middle cut looks to be shorter than the top two outer edges . You may be interested in this project / blog -

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4037 posts in 2262 days

#4 posted 11-17-2012 01:09 AM

I suspect your protractor is woefully inadequate for this type of precision. You can get a digital protractor for less than $20 that will be good to 1/10 degree. Your blank is all set for hand planing a few thousandths off the bevel to refine your fit, so spend some time trimming the bevel before getting a digital protractor. You can check your progress by tracing the angle you have on a piece of paper and check against that after planing. Once you get close, glue three pieces together making two halves. Then you only have two joints to tweak. If you clamp the halves together in a stack, you might be able to plane, file, or sand (against a flat surface) the mating surfaces to perfection.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2314 days

#5 posted 11-17-2012 01:22 AM

Your hexagon will fit inside a circle. Using a compass, put the point in the center of the circle and set the compass to the RADIUS of the circle. Draw the circle. Now put the point ON the circle and swing an arc (a very short one) that crosses the circle. Move the point to the intersection of the circle and arc you just did. Swing another arc. Keep doing this and you’ll eventually swing the last arc where you originally started with the point of the compass. Connect the points of intersection and you have your hexagon.

The RADIUS of a circle will section the CIRCUMFERENCE of that circle 6 times.

Using this you can template the shapes instead of trying to measure everything.

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