The Magnetic Game Board Conundrum….

If you’re like me, you’ve looked longingly at Marco’s magnetic game boards and wished you could somehow create one of your own. I’ve a busy work schedule and often don’t get much more time in than a few minutes here and there. A magnetic board would be ideal to keep the counters in position and store it away when the space was required for work.Unfortunately, those  lovely “counter Clips” now run  $129 for 50 half-inch clips. Yikes!  

So how can one create the same thing (or close to it) without the expense?  I’ve thought about this for a while. I knew the old clips were, in fact, just “c-channel” magnets used to attached labels to metal shelving.  A quick look on Amazon located such clips, and the project was under way.

First stop was Target for a magnet whiteboard. Soon the c-channel magnets (Magnetic Cardholders 3/4” x 2” and 1/2” x 2”, from Allgner Label Holder Corp.). This brought a set-back. The c-channels have changed since the 60s/70s. The “channel” is much smaller, much “tighter,” than the ones of old. The solution? Make new counters by copying unpunched counter sheets on to full sheet labels (I used Avery) and attached them to “shirt card/backings from legal pads”. This would make the counters thinner, but I did want that magnetic board.

Using a rotary paper cutter, I carefully cut out the counters, making sure the reverse (back) side matched the front. (There is a trick to this….   “loosen” the counters so the lines on the “back side” of the counter sheet are more distinct.) 

The results were pleasing; the 3/4” clips worked well with the larger counters and I had little problems with “stacking” the counters. I purchased some 1/2” counters and intend on using them for some SPI “magazine games” I’ve been meaning to play (like for the last 30 years). 

 

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Comment by John Kranz on November 7, 2017 at 8:17am

I grabbed counter magnets from this kickstarter. They are okay, but I think they could be improved still a bit. I don't think he's selling them anymore. The web site has no storefront.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lordjesse/counter-magnets-for-...

Comment by Wayne Rotella on September 14, 2017 at 4:43pm

This would be such an excellent tool for the classroom. Honestly I could see getting some students into gaming just using a tool like this but it would certainly help some of my students understand the key battles we study; Salamis, Marathon, Hastings.

Comment by Kevin Nikolai Payne on September 14, 2017 at 12:32pm

Excellent idea, thanks for sharing. I've got the makings now myself and intend to get it all together this weekend. I have the perfect space on the wall for it.

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