Those who know me know that I love a good bit of “gamer bling” and, for a long time, I’ve admired the wooden GM screen that can be bought on the likes of CritIt (UK) and Dog Might Games (US). Unfortunately, I can’t afford to buy one so I decided to try my hand at making my own (after all, I did get a B in Woodwork back at school some <mumble> <mumble> years ago!) And here it is:
Making Your Own Wooden GM Screen
Putting this wooden GM screen together was actually pretty easy. And a lot cheaper than professional version – albeit without their polish. Here are the list of things you need if you want to make your own. I’ve included links to Amazon for the main items that I actually used myself. You might be able to find local suppliers though.
- 4x A4 plywood sheets
- Brass hinges and screws
- Magnets (20 pieces, self-adhesive neodymium magnets (10mm by 1mm)—magnetized in pairs)
- Wood stain (I used Antique Pine but you can pick any shade you prefer)
The “Design” Stage
My first step was wipe down the plywood sheets to get rid of the dust. I then printed out the icons I wanted on the outside onto plain paper. Using some tracing paper (or baking parchment if you don’t have any), I then traced these onto the plywood sheets. Quickly going over the pencil lines with an ink pen (0.8mm drawing pen in my case) made the edges easier to see. I then coloured them in with a standard black Sharpie. The only thing to watch for is that the Sharpie leaked along the grain of the wood but nothing too serious. If you have the tools and skill though, you could always burn the designs in.
With the basics out of the way, it was time to get messy with the wood stain. I went with a couple of coats on each side over a couple of days but it all depends on the colour you want to end up with.
The “Technical” Stage
Once that was all dry, I attached the hinges. I put my hinges a couple of inches from the edge of each sheet. I also used a bank card as a spacer between the sheets so make sure it wasn’t too tight to open and close. Finally, I attached the magnets. I went with one in each corner of each sheet but it all depends on how you want to use your screen. If you buy the same ones I did, you need to make sure you marry up the north and south polarity. This way you can use the magnets to help keep the screen closed during transport. The magnets I bought were self adhesive on one side and that was enough to secure most. There was one I had to use a spot of superglue on though.
The Finishing Touch
Finally, I used some magnetic push pins to attach sheets to the GM side of the screen. The plus side to the ones I bought is that they are also north/south polarity paired and fit perfectly over the magnets on the screen.
Has anyone else tried making their own GM Screen (wooden or otherwise). Let me know in the comments and show off your creations.