Go7 produces a wide variety of storage solutions to help store your games and game bits, however, most require some white glue and construction. Don’t worry, most of our kits are very easy to put together. These instructions can be used to build any of our bit boxes. Once you’re done, you will have a sweet new home for your game bits!
Our bit boxes are almost always cut using a NAF HDF (our BB-008 that ships with the Agricola chest is cut from Baltic Birch). 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, like 99% of the HDF available in the U.S. market. HDF, unlike natural plywoods, is constructed from tiny wood bits 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 bit boxes, you want a thick, tacky white glue that sets quickly allowing you to continue building (and not hold pieces) and that dries clear. 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 bit boxes with the small bits of wood still present in the finger joint cutouts.
This is so that you will have some handy glue sticks to clean up your joints as you work. You should save the larger bits of wood and use them to clean up the blobs of glue that will appear as you join the wood together.
A good work area will make your construction project quick and orderly. You don’t need much space – maybe an 18″x 18″ area. I like to lay some printer paper down as 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 bit box. We cut our bit boxes using a custom lamella arrangement to reduce laser flashback on the lower surface of the wood and we use a cone that provides lower 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 laser marks.
You can also optionally paint your new bit box. Keep in mind that painting in and around the rail surfaces will create more friction and may cause your lid to no longer fit into the rails area. Proceed with caution. If you are going to paint your bit box, some additional sanding of the underside of the rails can provide additional clearance for the newly painted surfaces.
Handle Small Pieces with Care
The two side rails and the handle that attaches to the lid are the weakest links of your bit box. Once they are glued into place, you should be fine, but handle these pieces with care during construction.
Before you start gluing things, you should lay out 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 gluing the wrong side of a piece. Once you dry fit your bit box, you can lay the pieces out in their approximate positions as a reminder of what goes where. It helps! When we produce a bit box, we produce the entire box from the same sheet of wood to ensure that coloration and finish match.
One thing to keep in mind is that HDF (and all wood products) are produced to a specific thickness with a specified amount of variance. For example, 3mm HDF is usually no thinner than 3mm, but will sometimes be 3.1mm thick. This variance can require you to apply some force to place interior walls. Don’t use a hammer! A small rubber mallet would be O.K., but simply fitting the piece and then turning it over and tapping it with some force with your hand will generally seat the piece in question. We measure the thickness of each pallet of HDF we receive to ensure the thickness is within tolerance. Generally, the pieces will just drop into the inner joints, but sometimes you may find some force is needed. The spine of a substantial book could also be used. Just remember, apply very light force and increase the force, as needed.
Build from the Inside Out
This is Golden Rule #2 and it applies to all of our products. You should always place inner walls and pieces first and build out towards the walls of the bit box.
The one exception to this rule are removable dividers. They look like this:
Removable dividers should be placed last and gluing them is optional. I glue mine, but if you feel like the extra flexibility of being able to expand you bit boxes options in the future is important, you can simply slide them into place. Friction will give them with almost as much stability as glue.
Oh, you probably should attach the rail to the bit box lid before doing anything else. Once you have built your box, you will want to slide the top into place to ensure the rails are free of glue and to make sure the box fits properly.
Once you have glued the inner partitions to the base, you should start by attaching a wall that connects to one of those inner partitions using a small finger joint. This will provide support for the walls as you continue to add them. Once you have one wall up, attach the next wall to the previously placed wall, and so on, until you have all four walls attached.
Note: The two short side walls have a unique cut out on top to attach the rails that hold the top in place. The design is *not* reversible, so pay attention that you place the walls in the same configuration. If you don’t pay attention to this, you may find that you need to wipe the glue off the “wrong” side of a side wall. Wipe with a dry paper towel and then buff the surface with a damp paper towel. Finally, wipe the moistened wall with a dry paper towel and your mistake should be erased. 🙂
The Top Rails
Our bit box design uses friction along four surfaces to hold the box closed. Two of these surfaces are the rails that attach to the tops of the side walls. I like to use the included extra glue sticks to apply dabs of glue to the surface of the rails to keep the amount of wasted glue to a minimum. This helps to keep the rail slots clear of glue, when building.
It is important that you use the included glue sticks to clear any excess glue from the rail area as dried glue will impede your ability to slide the bit box top closed. Just drag the glue stick slowly and carefully along the rail area and wipe the excess glue onto a sheet of paper.
The Final Test
Once your rails are in place and have had a minute to dry, go ahead and carefully slide your top into place. Then carefully remove it. Next, run your fingers along the sides that slide into the rail areas and remove any glue. Do this again and then just slide your top on, press the sides and bottom and ensure that your top slides fine, and let the box dry for a day. If you cleaned up all the excess glue, the top should slide off effortlessly and your finished bit box is ready for those tokens and game bits!