267 – 4-In-A-Row Game

Video - September 2, 2016

Welcome to the Honda Ridgeline Saturday Project series produced in partnership with Honda. Each project is designed to be approachable using basic tools and materials. And to show you how versatile the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline can be, we’ll build each project right in the bed of the truck!

This 4-In-A-Row Game is fun for the whole family and can be made with basic materials and tools. If you’re not familiar with this classic game, the goal is to achieve four discs in a row while blocking your competitor from doing the same. The fact that it’s oversized makes it that much more fun.

The design was inspired by a tutorial I found on Home Depot’s website.

Download the Plans

Materials

  • 1- 4’x8’ sheet of 1/2″ plywood
  • 1 – 4’x8′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood
  • 4 – 1 1/2″, 3/8″ diameter bolts with nuts and washers

1. Cut the Parts

cut-down-panelsUsing a circular saw and a chop saw, cut out all of the parts listed in the cut list. This is one project where you should be able to get away with cutting all of this stuff ahead of time, something I normally don’t recommend doing.

2. Main Panel Holes and Disks

main-panels-with holesClamp the two main panels together and use the diagram in the PDF to lay out the hole locations. Construct a shop-made trammel arm with a router and a straight bit and use it to cut the 42 holes. Adjust the trammel arm as needed to make the game discs as well in the 1/2″ plywood. As an alternative, you could use hole saws to make the panels (4″ hole saw) and the discs (5″ hole saw).

3. Assemble Main Panel and Release

assemble-main-panelThe various panel dividers are sandwiched between the two main panels. You can use glue alone, glue and screws, or glue and brad nails to make the final connections.

4. Assemble Release Mechanism

release-mechanismUsing the details in the PDF as a guide, attach the various components of the release mechanism. Remember, some parts are fixed and some are intended to move, so be careful where you add your glue and where you drive your screws/nails. When attaching the small cross-pieces to the release rail, you might be tempted to use a clamp to hold the long rail pieces in place. But be careful not to clamp too tight since the rails needs to slide back and forth. I didn’t show it in the video, but you might consider putting a few pieces of paper or business cards under the long strips when you apply the clamps. This will give the release rail some breathing room.

5. Assemble Legs and Base

leg-and-baseThe legs are attached directly to the main game panel with screws. The legs then interface with the base pieces using 1 1/2″ long, 3/8″ diameter bolts. The reason I went with bolts here is to allow the game to disassemble for easier storage. Also, you might decide to raise the height of the game as your children get taller, and the detachable legs should make that a little easier.

mateo-playing-gameThis game was an immediate hit my son Mateo and I’m sure the kids in your family will enjoy it too. If you’re going to store it outside, make sure you apply a good outdoor finish. And to keep the disks from binding, be sure to sand them down on both faces and the edges, especially if you plan to apply a thick film finish. Have fun making your 4-In-A-Row Game and be sure to send in your pictures after you make it.

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