Home Made Sliding Car Game
Posted by ark, ,
My sister got me addicted to the game Rush Hour on my iPhone (try the limited free version, or if you're on android here's the official one, or a free imitation). When I visited her this summer I saw she had a real physical version too. When I went to find it to buy it was $20 which was way too much for some plastic! So I decided to build my own and my daughter helped me. I thought about rolling wheels and other fancy stuff but for the first version I decided to keep it simple. In the end the wood for this version cost around $13.
 I got poplar wood because I was looking for a hard wood that would hold its edge for the sliders. You need to make 16 cars to fill the board (you only really need 15 cars since a full board is useless), I used 7' of 3x2 for the cars, 5' of 1x2 for the side of the board and 1' of 12x1 for the base.

First I cut a groove along the bottom of the 3x2 for the cars, I don't have a dado bit so I just cut it in my table saw, cut the other side and then moved the fence 2mm and then did it all over again until the whole of the middle was cut away.

I did the same for the base too, it took a long time, but came out pretty good. I chipped away the corners of the squares that were left with a chisel to allow the cars to move between them more easily.

I started cutting the cars with a orbital jigsaw but it was just too wobbly and didn't cut through even. Then I just cut close to car shapes on the table saw and that worked out pretty well.
I clamped my belt sander in my workbench and used that as a sanding station to smooth everything out on the cars.

The mitred 1x2 sides were cut with biscuit holes and fit well with the base and clamped for a few hours with some glue. I should have spent a bit more time on this, one of my joints is pretty gappy.

We painted it all with spray paints which ended up pretty expensive and I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the look, but it plays well.
I took screenshots of the board games from my phone and then used imagemagick to make some sheets of 6x6 board games. There's over 2500 levels so that's enough to keep my daughter happy for a good long time.

Here's the imagemagick commands to rotate and crop the images and then put them in a montage with 36 per sheet.

for fil in *.PNG; do echo $fil; convert $fil +distort SRT 270 -crop 640x640+160+80 fixed/$fil; done

montage fixed/*.PNG -tile 6x6 +adjoin output/multi_%d.png

Any time I get to use my power tools and still have all my fingers is a good time!

More pictures in the Gallery.