Congratulations on your purchase of our 7 Wonders insert! This insert is designed to store the base game and all expansions through Babel. Construction is relatively easy and only requires about 35 minutes.
Our inserts are almost always cut using a NAF HDF. The HDF we use is formed using a special resin that results in a wood product that is impregnated with polyurethane. This makes the resulting wood heavier than normal HDF, but this HDF contains no added formaldehyde, unlike 99% of the HDF available in the U.S. market. HDF is constructed from tiny wood bits (essentially sawdust) mixed with a resin, and then heat pressed. This results in a very uniform wood sheet that is smooth on both sides and contains no knots or patches. Cutting HDF on the laser is like cutting butter with a warm knife. It is the ideal material to cut! However, keep in mind that all wood sheet products of this type do experience some color variation. This typically manifests as slightly darker splotches a millimeter or two in size here and there on the surface of the wood. This is normal.
Everyone has a favorite glue. Mine is Sobo Craft Glue. When building our inserts, you want a thick, tacky white glue that sets quickly and dries clear, allowing you to continue building and not hold pieces while waiting for them to bond together. You don’t have to use Sobo, but you should use a tacky glue if possible. It will make the experience almost effortless. Also, we ship our inserts with the small bits of wood still present in the finger joint cutouts and you should use the longer sticks to assist with glue cleanup as you build your insert.
Painter’s Tape (Blue)
While a tacky glue makes construction easy, some blue painter’s tape will really help with the corner joins. You can just hold the pieces together for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, but painter’s tape will do the job for you and a roll can purchased for just a few dollars in any home improvement store. Painter’s tape is ideal because the adhesive used is strong, but not too strong. Stronger adhesives can damage wood surfaces or leave adhesive behind.
A good work area will make your construction project quick and orderly. You don’t need much space – maybe a 24″x 24″ area. I like to lay some printer paper down on my work surface and I place an extra piece of paper to the side to act as a glue collection area as I use the glue sticks to clean up my joints.
You have the option of sanding the pieces of your new insert. We cut our inserts using a custom lamella arrangement to reduce laser flashback on the lower surface of the wood, and we use a nose cone that provides low-pressure air assist to reduce the amount of “browning” around the cuts, but some browning and flashback are unavoidable. If you do choose to sand the pieces, use a 320 grit sandpaper and hand sand the pieces. A very light sanding will remove any “browning.”
We don’t recommend that you paint or finish your insert as this may interfere with the placement of the dividers. They are sized to fit snugly in the lanes of your new insert. The addition of paint will likely make it very hard to place them properly. Staining will generally work great, but may require that you then sand your pieces a bit. If you decide to stain, I would recommend you stain both sides of each frame, allow to dry, lightly sand as needed, and then remove the pieces from the frames. Finishing in polyurethane is very tricky with inserts that have divider slots. The polyurethane can get into those divider slots and cause problems.
Handle with Care
You should always use care when punching your pieces out of the frames. This is especially important when punching lane rails that have many slots for dividers. The HDF is tough, but applying a large amount of force is not recommended. Use a front and back punching motion to free pieces from the frame. Our inserts are designed to be punched from the containing frames without the use of a knife to assist.
Before you start glueing things, you should layout the pieces and dry fit them so you have a good understanding of how they go together. This is Golden Rule #1. This will help you avoid mistakes such as glueing the wrong side of a piece. Once you dry fit your insert, you can lay the pieces out in their approximate positions as a reminder of what goes where. It helps! When we produce an insert, we produce the entire box from the same sheet of wood to ensure that color and finish match.
The very first thing you should do is grab the base of the insert, remove it from the frame, and ensure it fits in your box. While the laser is very precise, manufacturers do change box size sometimes. If you find your base doesn’t fit into your box, let us know by using the contact form.
Constructing the Trays
Your insert provides four (4) bit trays to store the player bits. Let’s build the trays and then set them aside to dry. The tray parts are contained on the A-01, B-01, and B-02 frames.
All tray pieces for the four trays once they have been punch out.
First, do a quick dry fit to ensure you understand how the tray goes together. You can set aside the parts for the other three (3) identical trays for now. Once you have built the first one, you will build the others.
Now that you know how the tray goes together, let’s get to building. Place some glue on the bottom tab of the divider for the tray and then place the piece and cleanup excess glue (this part is always assumed once you place a piece.)
Go ahead and insert the rest of the dividers, but don’t attach the tray ends yet.
Next, place glue on the end notches of the inner dividers and on the long side piece.
Then attach the long side piece to the tray.
Then attach the remaining long side piece.
Next place glue on the end piece and attach to the tray
and then do the same for the other side.
Now you can set your tray aside to dry and build the other three in exactly the same way.
Remove the Pieces from the Other Two Frames
Next, punch out the pieces for the main insert from the remaining frames.
Build the Insert’s Inner Wall Structure
Because of the unique design of this insert, you will be building the insert’s inner wall structure and then glueing the inner wall structure to the base. Note the placement of the small wall on the lower right. Placement is important.
First, apply glue to the end of one of the divider rails and insert it into the center wall.
Next, do the same for the other divider rail.
Now, do the same for the smaller walls on the other side of the center wall.
Notice the position of the smaller wall that has the small notch in it on the right.
Now, apply glue to the small divider wall and insert it into that lower right wall.
It’s now time to glue the inner wall structure to the insert base. Apply glue to the notches on the bottom (I like to apply glue to the underside of the walls as well). Also, note that the interior side of the divider walls do not require glue. You will want to dry fit and inspect where you will need glue, before applying the glue.
Once inserted, clean up the excess glue.
Excellent! You’re almost done.
Remember, it’s important that you remove all excess glue. Our inserts are precision cut and tolerances for tray spaces are maximized to allow for maximum storage space. If you leave gobs of glue everywhere it will cause problems for removable trays.
Next apply glue to the rear wall and the notches on the smaller walls of the insert and place the wall.
Don’t forget to clean up the excess glue.
Next, we will add the right side wall. This will allow you to tape the corners, if you wish. Each of the side walls needs one of the small dividers attached.
You must dry fit each of the walls to ensure you attach the divider to the correct side of the wall.
Once attached, apply glue to the notches on the base insert and the notches on the wall (don’t forget the ends)
and place the wall.
Next, glue and attach the small divider to the left wall.
Glue the side wall and insert base.
Attach the wall.
Finally, let’s attach the front outer wall. Apply glue to base insert notches and notches on the wall itself
and place the wall.
Placing the Insert
You may want to check that your trays slide in and out of the base insert smoothly at this point, while there is still time for small corrections. If you cleaned up the glue properly, there should be no issues.
You should let your insert dry overnight and once dry, drop it into the box and fill it up!
If the insert is obviously larger than the box, don’t force it as this will split the corners of the box. Our inserts are designed to fit snugly into various manufacturer’s boxes, but sometimes a manufacturer may change the box design. Be mindful of this possibility.
Sometimes, the printed paper that wraps around from the outside of the box and into the inside of the box will provide resistance. Gentle, but firm pressure applied to each side of the insert, in turn, will slowly slide your new insert into the box.