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Subject: TUTORIAL: Chipboard Bit Boxes for Card Games rss

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Luke Matthews
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GEEKELITE’S GAME UPGRADE TUTORIALS

Graphics-Wrapped Chipboard Card Boxes
Creating Graphics Wraps for Chipboard Boxes
THIS TUTORIAL: Chipboard Bit-Boxes for Card Games
Custom Poker Chip Tokens
Poker Chip Racks for Card Game Boxes
Two-Piece Bit Boxes for Board Games

GeekElite’s Tutorials Geeklist w/File Links (WIP)

CHIPBOARD BIT BOXES FOR CUSTOM CARD BOXES

Sometimes, a card game comes with other bits. For Sale, for example, comes with cardboard money, and Battle Line comes with control pawns. You may have read through my previous box-building tutorial and asked, “But what about games with bits?” The answer to that question is: We build a bit-box, and adjust the main box so the bit box fits comfortably inside.

NOTE: The measurements in this tutorial are designed specifically with my custom card boxes in mind. With this information, you can build a custom card box that holds not just cards, but has a separate box to hold coins, pawns, tokens, or other game bits as well. That being said, this method can be used to create nice bit boxes for just about any game.

For this tutorial, I’ll be using the game No Thanks as an example. No Thanks comes with 55 red plastic chips, tokens used during gameplay that need a place to be stored. My box for No Thanks is about as simple as they come, with a place for the cards and a small bit box to store the chips, all of which fits together nicely.

Below I detail how to make these bit boxes, and how to incorporate them into the design of your card boxes. NOTE: The creation process for these bit boxes is, overall, identical to the creation of a full card box. There will be some repetition of info here, but , I’m also going to reference my original tutorial quite a bit. Think of this post as an expansion; you need the original tutorial to play.

MATERIALS NEEDED


* Metal Ruler/Straight-Edge
* Sharp X-Acto or Utility Knife
* Medium Weight Chipboard
* Alene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue
* Spray Adhesive
* Acrylic Spray Finish

When I standardized the size of my card boxes, it made a lot of the measurements easier to cope with when making new boxes (They’re always 75mm wide by 104mm tall, with varying lengths). The same goes for bit boxes. The bit boxes are always going to be 70mm wide by 90mm deep, but they’ll vary in height.

As with the card boxes, you’ll need to create a graphics wrap to decorate these bit boxes. I won’t repeat the info on paper and printing here. Feel free to get that info from the original post.

Alright, let's get to it.

INITIAL MEASUREMENT

As usual, here comes a bunch of numbers. Measure twice, cut once, and all that jazz.

Note: All of my measurements are in millimeters, because Metric is just flat easier to deal with, especially where math is involved.

Once constructed, all of my standardized card boxes have the same basic internal measurements. The internal space inside one of the boxes will always be 72mm wide by 100mm tall (that’s the inside of the box, not the inside of the riser). When we build the risers that sit inside the box to hold cards, we make them 71mm wide so they fit very snugly inside the box. This helps make sure the box lid also fits snugly around the riser, to hold it in place.

Bit boxes are going to be just a tad skinnier. Although the bit box (as you’ll see later) will help with keeping the box lid in place and will need to be somewhat snug, we want to be able to slide it in and out of the box easily, since we need to get at its contents. So, the bit boxes will always be 70mm wide. Also, for aesthetic purposes, I want the bit box to sit at virtually the same height as the cards in the box, so I make it 90mm deep. It’s that simple. Those are the two easiest measurements.

The hardest measurement to find is the overall height of the box, because you’ll need to guesstimate how much space the box needs to comfortably hold the bits you’re trying to store. That’s not the easiest process in the world, and I leave it up to you to figure out your best way of accomplishing that goal. For No Thanks, though, I’ve done that calculation for you already.

The easiest way to determine the overall height of your bit box is to build your riser first. The riser will determine the overall height of your box (since you don’t need to leave space for accessing cards, like with the card box). The other great part about building your riser first is that you can set a completed riser on your table and dump the appropriate bits into it to see if they all fit. If they don’t, you just need to build a new riser and use it to measure for your bit box rather than building a whole new box from scratch.

There are a few standard measurements and rules of thumb in play here:

1. There are four pieces to the riser. Although they vary in height, they’ll always be the same length. In the main card box tutorial, you build your riser first and use it to determine the dimensions of your box. Although you’re doing that for the height of the bit box, the width and depth of your bit box are already predetermined. Since the bit box’s external dimensions are always 70mm x 90mm, we first subtract 3mm from each of those dimensions (the thickness of chipboard is about 1.5mm, multiplied by two walls), which gets us 67mm x 87mm. Then, we subtract another millimeter from each dimension to make room for the graphics wraps. The final external dimensions of the bit box riser will always be 66mm x 86mm.

2. Which means we cut two end pieces at the full length of 66mm, then two side pieces that account for the thickness of the chipboard on the ends (3mm), so the side pieces will be 83mm long.

3. Rule of thumb: Your riser height should always be an odd number. I’ll explain why later. For the No Thanks bit box, the riser is 21mm tall.

So, the measurements of the pieces we’ll cut for the No Thanks riser are:

66mm x 21mm (ends, x2)
83mm x 21 mm (sides, x2)




4. Now that you know the heigh t of your riser, you can determine the height of the side walls for the bit box. Take the height of your riser (in this case, 21mm), add 1mm (22mm), and divide by two (11mm). The extra millimeter is just there for tolerances, so the box will always close properly even if it’s just a little off. This is the reason we always make the riser height an odd number; so the box walls will always be a whole number rather than having to deal with ½ millimeters. This is how you determine the overall size of your box by building the riser first. Hopefully that makes sense.

5. Again with the standard measurements: You’re going to cut four total end pieces that will be the exact width of your box lid/bottom (70mm), and four total side pieces the length of the box sides (90mm) minus 3mm to account for the thickness of the end walls. The final measurement there is 87mm. We’re cutting four of each because we’re building both a lid and a bottom that are identical in size.

This means the measurements of the side wall pieces for the No Thanks box are:

70mm x 11mm (ends, x4)
87mm x 11mm (sides, x4)




You’ll note that most of these measurements are standard, because they’re designed to fit inside a standardized box size. Literally the only measurement that changes on these bit boxes is the overall height, dependent upon what has to fit inside them. My bit boxes for No Thanks, Capital Lux, and Battle Line are all the same width and depth, but all different heights:



ASSEMBLING THE INTERNAL RISER

This process is identical to building the riser for the full card box, just on a smaller scale, so I’ve basically just copypasta’d the process from the original tutorial:

You should have four panels of equal height (21mm). Two of them are the ends at 66mm, and two of them are sides at 83mm.

Take one of the END (66mm) panels, and apply two beads of glue to either end of the face, as close to the edge as possible…



...then stick one of the SIDE (83mm) panels to each end where you applied the glue, like this:



…and this:



Then, take the last END (66mm) panel, again apply glue to the face at each end…



…then drop it onto the exposed edges of the sides:



Your finished riser should look like this:



Once the glue dries, you can drop the contents inside to test the size.



If your contents don’t fit below the top of the riser, adjust your height measurements and build a new one. ALWAYS do this before you start cutting the walls of your bit box.

ASSEMBLING THE BOTTOM AND LID

Assuming all of your contents fit in the riser properly, you now have a guide for the height of your box walls. I’ll repeat the process here: find the height of your riser (hopefully an odd number), add 1mm, and divide by two. In this case our riser is 21mm. 21mm + 1mm = 22mm. 22mm/2 = 11 mm. So, our side walls will be 11mm tall.

Cut the four side walls for each half (for a total of 8 pieces) according to your appropriate measurements. If you've done your measurements right, you should have a base piece, two ends whose width is equal to the ends of the base, and two sides whose length is 3mm shorter than the sides of the base, like this:



Assembling the bottom and lid are similar to assembling the riser, except now you have a base to work with, which actually makes the process a little easier. Start by laying down a bead of glue at the edges of all four sides of your base piece, like this:



Then, apply a bead of glue to the face of your END piece at either edge, just like you did for the riser…



…then glue that piece to the end of the base:



Follow that attaching one of the sides...



...then the other.



These will be glued to both the base and the end. That should go without saying, but you'd be surprised, so I'm calling it out here.

For the last end-piece, apply a bead of glue to the face at each end again…



…position the edge of that piece along the final edge of the base, then tilt it into place:



Your finished half should look like this:



Note: Gluing these parts together requires precision, but it doesn't need to be perfect from the get-go. One of the beauties of Alene's Tacky Glue is that it holds pretty well while you reposition pieces. Also, don't worry about extra glue squeezing out. All of the external joins will be hidden by the graphics wrap, and the glue dries flat and transparent anyway.

Repeat this process for the other half of the box to create identical bottom and lid:



Now, you can also test to make sure your internal riser fits in the bottom properly...



...perfect fit.

That's it for actual box assembly. You should now have these three parts:



WRAP THE TOP OF THE RISER

You'll need to apply a strip of linen paper to cover the top of the internal riser, just like a standard box. unlike a standard box, the measurements of that piece of linen paper will vary with each bit box. It’s okay for the paper to cover most of the height of the riser. For the No Thanks riser, we’ll cut a 40mm wide strip of linen paper long enough to wrap around the entire circumference of the riser.



This strip will be wide enough to drop below the edge of our outer box on the outside, and wrap fairly deep into the inside of the box. We want the extra material here, because if it doesn’t wrap very far there’s more chance that the stress on the paper will cause it to peel loose inside the box. The more surface area with glue we have wrapped into the inside of the riser, the more secure it will be.

Apply a generous portion of spray adhesive to the backside of the strip.



...position it parallel to the edge of the riser, close to the bottom…



...then wrap it around the entire riser, keeping it tight.



Next, use your XActo knife to cut the corners...



...so they look like this:



Last, fold the excess paper over the lip.



You’ll want to do this relatively quickly, so the spray adhesive doesn’t have time to dry out before you fold the paper over. Also wrap it as tightly as possible, and use a piece of chipboard, a bone folder, the back edge of your XActo blade, or your thumbnail to cram the paper into the corners as tightly as you can.

Test to make sure your riser still fits after applying the wrap.



CREATING THE GRAPHICS WRAP

I’m not going to repeat the process of creating a graphics wrap here, as it is identical to doing it for a standard card box, just smaller. Refer to the original tutorial for more information on this step of the process.

APPLYING THE GRAPHICS WRAP

This process is identical to that of a full card box, but it’s worth repeating here so you can see the pictures of what it looks like.

Start by applying spray adhesive to the back-side of the wrap. Then, position the box in the center using the lines on the back.



Once the box is in place, fold up the sides, starting with the sides with the "wings".



Fold the wings around the sides of the box…



…then fold up the ends to overlap them.



Remember to do all of this as tightly as possible. Fold and adhere these flaps from the bottom up, so you never end up with any "bubbles" under the graphics wrap.

Last, cut the corners…



… and fold the sides over the top edge exactly like you did with the riser.




You're done applying the graphics wrap to the box bottom. Repeat the exact same process for the box top. Once you’re done, you’ll have these three parts:



Once these graphics wraps are in place, we apply the acrylic sealant. I like to use Krylon Colormaster Clear Gloss sealant, as it creates a very nice, professional looking finish. Apply the acrylic in 3-4 light coats, which can be applied about 15 minutes apart. DO NOT try to shortcut this process by applying a heavy, wet coat to the boxes. If too much of the acrylic sealant soaks through the paper, it can undermine the adhesion of the spray adhesive.

Wait for the sealant to fully dry (usually takes about 1-2 hours), then move to the last step: Inserting the internal riser.

Apply a generous bead of glue to the bottom edge of the riser...



...then slide it into the completed box bottom.



ALMOST DONE

WAIT FOR THE GLUE TO DRY. You don't want to glue your bits into the box (that’s what she said).

Then, dump your bits into the box…



…and slide the lid in place!



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


FITTING IT INTO A CARD BOX

Here’s where the creation of a bit box actually affects the building of the main card box. When building a card box that just holds cards, you determine the size of your card stack, build the internal riser to match, and then build your box based on the dimensions of your riser. When you have a bit box to accommodate, there’s an extra step to the process.

Rather than building the box just based on the riser, you’re going to have to build it based on the size of the riser PLUS the size of your bit box. This changes the order in which you build the full box.[b] Generally, you’re going to build you bit box [b]FIRST, then build your card box to match it. Your new process looks like this:

1. Build your bit box according to the instructions above.
2. Build your card box’s internal riser based on the measurements of your card stack.
3. Take measurements of both the riser and bit box together, and use those to construct the bottom and lid to your card box.

The measurement process is pretty easy. Once you’ve built both bit box and the riser for your card box, you figure out the depth of each (in this case, for the bit box, “depth” refers to the overall height of the bit box, since it will be tipped up on end inside the main card box). For No Thanks, the riser is 22mm deep and the bit box is about 26mm deep/tall.



We then add about 1mm to the depth of the riser to account for the paper wrap we’ll put around it during box construction, making that measurement 23mm. The total depth of those two objects, then is 49mm. As usual, we want to add about 1mm extra to make space, so your total internal length for your No Thanks card box will be 50mm. Use that number to determine the sizes for your final box, then build that box using the main card box tutorial, with one caveat:

When you insert the riser into the card box, make sure you glue it as far into one end of the box as possible, like this:



Leaving space to insert your bit box, like this:



AND YOU’RE DONE




That’s really all of it. Now, you should have the knowledge not only to create a great card box, but also to build bit boxes for those games that have a few extra tokens or pawns you want to include in the box.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Hopefully this has been informational! I've used this technique to create boxes for several games that have a few extra bits. It’s very functional, and I love the way the finished boxes look in the end.

I’ve added box and bit box wrap artwork to my Tutorials GeekList for the boxes I’ve built so far using this method: Battle Line, Capital Lux, Citadels, The Grizzed, No Thanks, and Targi.

Of course, if you have any questions at all, feel free to drop them in the comments below and I'll try to answer them as best I can. I'll head off the typical first question by saying that I don't have the time to create boxes for others. Sorry. That's why I'm putting this tutorial out there.

Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
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Ed Lovell
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Awesome job! This is a great tutorial. I have so many games I now need to do this for...
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Dave J
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Looks great! I bought a pack of chipboard on Amazon and it has the worst smell. Smells up an entire room! Have you ever run into this?
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Luke Matthews
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typo360 wrote:
Looks great! I bought a pack of chipboard on Amazon and it has the worst smell. Smells up an entire room! Have you ever run into this?

Wow, never. The chipboard I get just smells like paper, pretty much. Did you buy the same brand I link to or something different?
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Lazy Mountain

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Looks so good, great tutorial!
I'm excited to build a couple boxes... Actually looking forward to inserts that won't fit sleeves if it gets me to the crafting something fun.
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Dave J
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GeekElite wrote:
typo360 wrote:
Looks great! I bought a pack of chipboard on Amazon and it has the worst smell. Smells up an entire room! Have you ever run into this?

Wow, never. The chipboard I get just smells like paper, pretty much. Did you buy the same brand I link to or something different?


Yup. Same brand but the 8.5x11. Maybe I got a moldy batch or something. I'll give it another go.
 
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Luke Matthews
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By popular demand, I've finally finished and posted a tutorial on creating graphics wraps for my chipboard boxes. Here's the link.
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Hector Cornejo
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My God.

Im thinking this is going to be the solution to Firefly that Ive been wanting to figure out.

And Alhambra.....

and, and, and...

Omg I have to go buy mats.
 
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