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Subject: Suggestions for quick/easy way to fill ~450 hex nuts? rss

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Steve S
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So this week I've been really, really tempted to build Sovereign - An Open Source Board Game (even though I'm not sure who I'll play it with - it just looks like a neat game and I like building stuff).
The game uses 10mm hexes, and the web site mentions usings things like glass beads and so on but that 10mm hex playing pieces are ideal.



The author had hundreds of them custom made by a woodworking relative, but that just seems insane to me - seems like it would be a lot easier to just buy a bulk pack of 10mm (or 3/8") hex nuts and go over them with a can of spray paint.

But many of the pieces need symbols stamped onto the top, and military/unit pieces have text that take up pretty much the whole top of the playing piece, so the majority of them would need to have the center hole filled before painting.

I've thought about just using something like wood filler, but on 450ish small nuts that sounds like a LOT of work.
Is there something that I can use where I can maybe just leave them all lined up on a drip sheet of some sort and just go across them all, where it would be thick enough to fill the center but not go running all over the place out the bottom?

Is there something I can get that's in this small hex shape that wouldn't be as much of a pain?
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norman rule
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Maybe a caulking gun? It would only take a bit in each, so you wouldn't be doing a lot of squeezing.

The other option I can think of is to mold the pieces. You can get kits that allow you to create a mold, then cast them with resin. You obviously wouldn't do this one at a time, but if you can create one, use it as a template to cast 5-6, then use them to create a mold and pour a half dozen at a time.
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Cool User
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Use regular hex nuts and put pre-printed stickers over the holes?
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Wade Nelson
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I don't know where to buy them, but how about hex terrain pieces typically used for miniatures wargaming? If they make them that small.
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KT
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Not sure of a quick way but a word of warning about the wood filler. It won't bond to metal so when its set you will just have a loose cylinder of filler in the centre, maybe if the hole is camphered (rounded against the axis - worng spelling, sorry) it might cling a bit but it never worked good enough for me. try to find something to bond to metal, like a bead or fake jewel and then get some multi purpose cement.

just a thought, but thats not going to help the time issue.
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either lay all the nuts out in a big hex and plaster them with two-component-putty (the kind you use for body work on cars), or try to find a broomstick or something you can sand down to hexagonal shape and cut it into slices.
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David Bailey
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“I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.” ― Terry Pratchett
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I don't know if this will work, but this is what I would try first:

Tear off a strip of duct tape.

Firmly affix a number of hex nuts to the duct tape (really push down hard or weight them down with a board and brick(s) for an hour).

Put the strip of tape on something flat that you don't care about or cover a countertop with wax paper. Pour white glue into each hex and let it dry for several hours if not overnight.

Try it with 4-5 nuts and see if leakage is too much of a problem.
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Frank Branham
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New Dia die Los Muertos. Lighter, sillier, and Stickers.
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Nylon hex rod?
http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastics/=frdjj5
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Kent Reuber
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http://litkoaero.com/ makes custom wargame bases. Using their "BaseMaker" specifications, I got a quote for $10 for 100 10mm hexagonal bases made of 3mm plywood. They use other materials as well. You might write to them and see what they would recommend. By ordering 450 or so, you might get an even better deal.
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Jon Anderson
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If you use paint I think that I'd print a template with a dozen or so symbols, cut them out with an xacto, then arrange the pieces underneath.

If you were not set on the exact same symbols that the game uses I'm sure that there are pattern punches at Michaels or some similar store that would save a lot of time and provide something almost as nice and just as functional.
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norman rule
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cool username wrote:
Use regular hex nuts and put pre-printed stickers over the holes?


I would be concerned about the paper dimpling or eventually tearing.

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Ron Parker
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dbailey wrote:
Put the strip of tape on something flat that you don't care about or cover a countertop with wax paper. Pour white glue into each hex and let it dry for several hours if not overnight.


Exactly what I would have suggested, but I'd go with some sort of epoxy resin rather than white glue.
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Meaker VI
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Is there a reason that a ~10 mm circle couldn't work as a hex? When laid out, circles arrange the same way as hexes, and circular things are easier to find.

Otherwise, +1 to the hexagonal rod cut down.
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Don Weed
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Ask someone at the local Home Depot/Lowes if they carry or can order hexagonal ceramic tiles. I've found 2" hex tiles I use for Memoir '44 but smaller ones may exist. It would only take a few sheets of tile to get the number you need and could be painted the desired color before you separate them.
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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statman8 wrote:
Ask someone at the local Home Depot/Lowes if they carry or can order hexagonal ceramic tiles. I've found 2" hex tiles I use for Memoir '44 but smaller ones may exist. It would only take a few sheets of tile to get the number you need and could be painted the desired color before you separate them.


seems like 450 metal hex nuts or 450 ceramic tiles would weight way way too much. (read that sentence real real fast)
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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I'd print the pattern, use spray adhesive to attach to thick pressboard, then cut with a metal ruler & rotary cutter. I cut triangles out like that just last night for a rush job for a friend's contest submission.
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Eric Brosius
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Cheetos and Diet Coke.

What?

Oh, sorry. Misunderstood the question.
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Steve S
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Meaker VI wrote:
Is there a reason that a ~10 mm circle couldn't work as a hex?


Actually just finding a 10mm dowel rod and slicing it down was one of the first alternatives that came to mind, just thought the hexes looked nicer when arranged on the board, especially for city-building pieces and that sort of thing.
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K H
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Epoxy sounds like a nightmare if you overfill and don't trim at exactly the right time while it is setting. Obviously not something easily done in bulk. Hot glue might be better.

I haven't tried it yet, but the following might work.

Pre-print your labels on card stock. Cover one face of the nut with its label, place face down on a metal tray, and then fill the hole with hot glue. Allow a little extra glue to form a slight dome over the hole to compensate for shrinking. Warning: the metal gets hot too. Wait 30 minutes for the glue to cool and completely harden. Use a sharp knife to slice away excess protruding glue. Cover the remaining face with its label and apply heat (with a clothes iron wrapped in aluminum foil maybe?) to adhere the glue.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Shadoglare wrote:
- seems like it would be a lot easier to just buy a bulk pack of 10mm (or 3/8") hex nuts and go over them with a can of spray paint.

But many of the pieces need symbols stamped onto the top, and military/unit pieces have text that take up pretty much the whole top of the playing piece, so the majority of them would need to have the center hole filled before painting.

I've thought about just using something like wood filler, but on 450ish small nuts that sounds like a LOT of work.
Is there something that I can use where I can maybe just leave them all lined up on a drip sheet of some sort and just go across them all, where it would be thick enough to fill the center but not go running all over the place out the bottom?


in short: what can you use to fill a hex nut?

Why not a (short) hex bolt?


If you can find wider & flatter nuts and bolts, you'll be set ...
... not sure how much that will cost ya, tho.



But aside from hex nuts ...


I'd actually suggest using clay. And it's actually easier if you went for discs ... but the (caning) process is relatively the same:

Roll out a long cylinder (cane) of clay with a diameter equal to the width of the disc / hex you want. (For hexes, you'll want to flatten the sides of the cane)

Cut the cylinder (cane) up to form discs. (I sometimes put the cane in the fridge first to "harden" it up ... makes less deformations in the shape when I cut)

Bake as prescribed by the clay. (I usually drop the clay into an ice bath after baking ... not sure of the exact reason, but I think it forces the clay to "crystallize" into something harder than if you just air-cooled it).



edit:

There are instructional videos on "Clay Caning" on youtube; you should be able to find some interesting stuff.

Artists would usually "embed" a design onto those "discs" by folding/layering the clay in certain ways. So if you're really creative, you can make some interesting designs in those discs.
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Aron Clark
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Gale Force 9 has a custom MDF bases about 1/4" thick, available in pint and quart quantities, but as of yesterday it looks like their web order process is offline. Not sure if they can do hexes as small as 10mm, but they are a great option for custom tokens / bases / what not.
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Steve S
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Thanks for all the ideas, guys.

After considering the options, and finding that stuff like nuts being more expensive than I thought they would be in these numbers, I may actually just end up just going with printing the pieces out and mounting them on some sort of paperboard product to start. Not what I had envisioned, but no matter what I do if I want hexes it seems like a lot of work for a game that frankly probably won't get played. whistle
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Don't give up yet! Have you thought of sculpey? It's a clay compound you can get at the crafts store and I think it will do what you need quickly and then some!

You work it like clay and then you bake it in the oven at 130C or 275F for 15 minutes and it hardens.

It will fill in the holes in no time! Plus, if you wanted to make cool indentations of symbols, you easily could press any image stamp you have into the surface.

Shameless plug: New use I found for sculpey, modding out miniatures!
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Steve S
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TheCruncher wrote:
Don't give up yet! Have you thought of sculpey? It's a clay compound you can get at the crafts store and I think it will do what you need quickly and then some!


I don't think it would make filling nuts any easier (and they'd still be as expensive, in fact more)...

But the thought just struck me that I wonder how tough it would be to mass-cut hex pieces out of the clay. Maybe make a hex shape out of some heavy-guage wire and use it to repeatedly "cookie-cut" the pieces, which could then be painted or whatever. And it looks like as long as you're not worried about the initial color, you can get "tubs" of this type of sculpting clay for pretty cheap. Hmm....
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Rod Peters
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Maybe you can get wooden 'hex' dowel and just slice it up. I know you can buy hexagonal steel stock so maybe they make it in wood as well?

Rod.
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