Making a Wooden Tic-Tac-Toe Game

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About: I'm a hobbyist maker who is trying to pass on something of the excitement and passion for making things in the hopes of inspiring others

My 12 year old daughter decided we were going to make something together this morning so we settled on a wooden tic tac toe game.

We wanted it to be simple and to use wood mainly from the scrap pile, the other main objective was for us to have a great Daddy / Daughter time which we definitely achieved.

If you make something similar, I hope you have as much fun as we did!!!!!!

Step 1: Step 1: Create a Template for the "crosses"

To make the template for the crossed, We decided that 2 inch pieces would be about right to be big enough to hold and use easily.

We drew a series of 2 inch boxes on sheet of A4 paper and then drew the cross inside the 1st box. The cross was half an inch wide

Initially we tried drawing it diagonally but it was too complicated and we worked out we could just turn the finished crosses though 45 degrees to have them diagonal.

Once we drew the 1st cross we folder the paper to cut out the 5 we needed in one go so they would all be the same.

Step 2: Step 2: Find the Wood

To make sure we were using what we had, we grabbed some wood from the firewood pile, we wanted light wood for the crosses and dark wood for the noughts.

We found some Birch firewood for the crosses and for the noughts I cut a piece from some Sapele I had left over.

The Birch was cut into a strip about half an inch thick

The Sapele was just over 2inch square as it was going on the lathe to turn the noughts.

Step 3: Step 3: Cut Out the Crosses

I glued the cross templates on to the birch and then cut it out on the bandsaw but you could use a jig saw if you don't have access to a bandsaw.

You need 5 crosses

Step 4: Step 4: Make the Noughts

To make the noughts, we:-

  1. turned the wood round on the lathe. I made it 2 inches diameter to match the size of the crosses. It was simply turned between centres
  2. Drilled a hole through the centre using a forsner bit that was just over 1 inch diameter ( 30mm)
  3. Cut slices on the band saw ( we used the Birch strip to get the right thickness)

If you don't have access to a lathe, you could use a hole saw to cut the outside diameter

If you don't have a band saw, you could just put the block in the vice and cut slices with a hand saw.

You need 5 noughts

Step 5: Step 5: Sanding and Finishing the Noughts and the Crosses

I had sanded the outside of the noughts on the lathe and then did the bulk of the sanding on the belt sander but hand sanding would have been just as effective if a little slower.

We didn't sand to a particularly great finish this time as my daughter was mainly interested in being quick but if I was doing this again I would take a bit longer and work through the grits.

After sanding we applied a coat of Danish oil ( food and toy safe)

Step 6: Step 6: the Board

To make the board, I cut a piece of 6mm thick ( 1/4 inch) MDF into a 7.5 inch square to allow some space around the pieces.

Once cut we sanded the edges and sprayed the wood white and drew the lines using a black sharpie

Step 7: Step 7: Finished!!!!

This was a great project for my daughter and I to do together, it had enough substance but didn't take too long and gave us a great opportunity to work, play and learn together.

Once complete, we enjoyed playing for a while, we had to play fast to give plenty of opportunity for mistakes so it wasn't always a draw.

Even Ben (the dog) had a go - though I think it would have liked to have a good chew of the pieces.

We know there are more refined ways of making a game like this but we wanted something where the majority of the work could be done by a 12 year old, we had a great time making this and hope it gives someone a bit of inspiration about what can be done with an hour or two and some scrap wood.

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