3D Tic-Tac-Toe!

Keep cabin fever at bay with a new version of an old pastime: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe!

| January/February 1981

  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - kids playing game
    Two boys playing 3D tic-tac-toe.
  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - diagram
    Diagram shows board dimensions and the position of each peg.
  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - main game
    A 3D tic-tac-toe board might look something like this.

  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - kids playing game
  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - diagram
  • 067 3D tic-tac-toe - main game

This little game—the "board" for which can be made in one evening—is simply a much more challenging version of the tic-tac-toe almost all of us played (and quickly mastered) as children ... and the three-dimensional version makes the childhood pastime fun again, even for grown-ups!

The only tools required to construct a 3D tic-tac-toe set are a saw (a handsaw will do) and a drill (preferably electric) with a 17/64" or 9/32" drill bit. The materials list is equally modest. It includes a 26" section of a 1/4" dowel (you should be able to purchase a 36" length for under 25¢); a scrap of 1 X 4 (preferably hardwood, but softwood is OK); 28 macrame beads with 1/4" holes, which cost 10 to 20¢ apiece (get 14 each of two different colors); and finishing materials (sandpaper, glue, and stain or varnish).


Easy Construction

To make the base of the game board, saw a 3 1/2" square from the 1 X 4 stock. Next, cut nine 2 3/4" pieces of dowel (to use as the game's upright "posts") and mark the peg holes on the base.


The best way to position the holes-to-be is to draw a 2 1/2" square on the board, centered and 1/2 inch from all edges (see the accompanying diagram). The corners of this square will serve as the centers for the four corner pegs. Now, measure and mark the halfway point (1 1/4") between each two corners. These spots should be used as the centers for the four remaining perimeter peg holes. Finally, simply connect the last four points with two straight lines, and their intersection will position the middle peg.

Before you drill holes at your marked points, you should—as a precaution—begin each one with a center punch or a nail. This will prevent the bit from drifting, which would result in an off-center bore. (If you use a handheld drill, be extremely careful to keep it perpendicular to the base.) The holes should be 1/2" deep (an easy way to make sure they're all the same depth is to wrap a thin strip of masking tape around the drill to serve as a temporary gauge).


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