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Subject: Woodworking experts: advice? rss

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Will Beckley
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Last night I posted something similar in the Bausack threads, but that's a sleepy corner of BGG and I figured I might have more luck getting expert advice around these parts.

So I just got an old copy of Bausack and I quickly discovered that the wooden pieces lack the friction required to play the game. For the uninitiated, the game consists of building a tower out of oddly shaped wooden pieces. The game hinges on the ability of these pieces to stack in improbable configurations. I've discovered that my copy, likely due to age, is too "slick" to play properly, and I'm wondering how I can fix the pieces.

The pieces aren't slippery to the touch, mind you. But anything other than a surface that is parallel to the ground results in pieces *quickly* sliding right off of one another. Here's an example of what should be possible:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/482432/bausack

But if I placed anything on that wedge shaped piece at the bottom, even just that L shaped piece, it would slide right off. What can I do?

The set likely ages from the late eighties or early nineties. The finish is about what I remember from Jenga pieces... Not raw wood, but I don't know exactly how they're finished. Some pieces are red or green, and so have been painted, stained, or dyed, but I don't know which.

Anyhow, I don't know what could have changed these pieces over time (they are stored in a linen bag), but they are too frictionless to play. Can I fix this?

I know nothing of woodworking, so I'm reaching out here. Ideas that I have, many of which are almost certainly idiotic to the point of criminality, include baking in the oven at a low temp for a short duration, microwaving them, thoroughly cleaning them with something to remove oils/grease that may have accumulated, or trying to wax the pieces with some kind of finishing wax. All of these but the last one involve no skill and would be easy, but might also be incredibly stupid.

Anyone out there know wood (and maybe even Bausack) and have any ideas I could try, or warnings about which of these to definitely not try?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

Will
 
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Michael Bonet
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You could try cleaning them to see if the slide comes from any caked on grease from years of use, or you could try texturing them with something like sand--perhaps repaint the pieces and add sand to the paint to give the pieces more friction or add sand (or something similar) to a clear coat if you don't want to change their colors.
 
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K H
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Too much friction ruins the game as much as not enough friction, so be careful. Just a rag damp with household cleaner and gentle rubbing may be all it needs to degloss the finish. Failing that, I would think that 220 grit sandpaper (or 150 grit if 220 is too smooth) would rough up the surface about the right amount, but it would likely ruin whatever finish is on the pieces. A light dusting of spray-on clear matte finish might do the trick and save the looks of the old finish.
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The neutral evil villain known as
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You might try a spray on shellac. stand out from the pieces and give them a quick mist. it may give it just enough tooth. if it's too much a light sanding would knock it back down. I know things like sanding sealer will make the grain stand up, which also may do the trick.

I would practice on other pieces first tho.
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Jan Tuijp
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Whatever you do, don't wax. That would enhance the problem IMHO.

 
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Enrique G.
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There is a spray used by magicians called "roughing spray/fluid".
When sprayed on to certain items whistle it makes them stick togheter and easily separate again, without leaving any marks.
I'm just guessing, but it could work.
Check with your local magic shop see what they say regarding your intended use.
 
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Lucas Smith
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elmaginifico wrote:
There is a spray used by magicians called "roughing spray/fluid".
When sprayed on to certain items whistle it makes them stick togheter and easily separate again, without leaving any marks.
I'm just guessing, but it could work.
Check with your local magic shop see what they say regarding your intended use.

Good idea, I could imagine that it might maybe go too far though. "glueing" your tower together doesn´t seem to be the aim of the game.
Just a minor note, actually, I have no idea! (both of the spray and of the game)
 
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