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Subject: Cloth Boards: How I Do It rss

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Paul Nowak
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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The final materials for making the boards for Table Gype arrived today, and I thought it might be worthwhile to document the (brief) process.

While generally putting images on cloth is called "screenprinting" much of apparel printing is done via heat press with plastisol transfers.

First, I ordered the elements from a vendor who screen prints the inks onto transfer paper:


I do have laser transfer paper, but in this case I needed the the main board image to be over 12" square. This particular printer prints 12.75 x 19" sheets. This is less expensive as well, but require I get 48 sheets to make it cost effective. FYI, the printed sheets are the second most expensive game component in Table Gype after the 32 colored dice.

If I laser print the image, I can pretty much do any resolution image I want, including photos.




The board is placed on the heat press, which is warmed to the right press setting. Most things I press require 350 - 375 F, but this is 100% polyester, so I'm pressing it at the "low" temp of 300 F for a very brief time. This particular press can imprint up to a 16" x 20" area. So no, you can't use a home iron to press plastisol.

I cut out the elements and arrange them on the board, then press and peel the paper off.



The final board:


My own cost for doing this is slightly less than what a mounted board can cost from some suppliers; of course the number of colors, size, and material make a big difference.

If I were to make a board like this for someone else, I would probably have to charge about $10 a board.

Thanks to this thread for the inspiration.
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Nick Hayes
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Great information; thanks for posting this.

Why did you choose to use polyester for your board over any other material?
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Paul Nowak
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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Black Canyon wrote:
Great information; thanks for posting this.

Why did you choose to use polyester for your board over any other material?


I found a source who could get them to me cheap, and they come with pre-finished edges. The size was perfect (17x17 in) and there are over 20 colors to choose from. Plus, they're wrinkle resistant and lay flat nicely.

These are actually restaurant napkins. Works well since in the book Uncle Chestnut uses chalk to make the game board on just such an piece of cloth.

(that story is not yet written, BTW, so don't look for it in the current Uncle Chestnut book )
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