I’d been working on a way to pimp out a favorite abstract game, Ponte del Diavolo, on and off for a year or two but a friend of mine was coming back into town in the summer of 2015 so I rushed to finish it up.

original game photo from geoman on boardgamegeek

My goal was to increase the board size to a 12×12 board (which could always drop back down to the regular 10×10 size), have interlocking tiles, and be portable. I found an old travel scrabble set at a thrift store and thought it would be perfect.

I used a dremel to grind down the scrabble logo on the top of the case, and the tile divides I wouldn’t need on the inner board. I then printed some art and titling to fill-in the ugly grind marks.

The Scrabble set doesn’t come with nearly enough tiles so I bought another set on eBay and sanded off the scrabble lettering from each tile. I threw half of them in a bag of minwax stain to get them all in the color I wanted. Finally, I sprayed them down with a poly spray to seal them and went looking for bridge ideas.

I found the perfect size and style bridge on Shapeways by user Freedlun.

I picked up a sample and did some tests, then ordered the rest that I needed. I didn’t want to keep the bare white so I painted them up simply and sealed them.

I didn’t want everything to just rattle around in the storage tray side so I made little custom cardstock trays to hold everything. It was all finished in time and my friend and I had a blast playing through the game again. It was a tight game and he squeaked out a win after a very poor opening.