A reader (Mike) who happened on my blog said he had some pics of a Rodeo Fest they did at a Cowboy Church.  He didn’t have a place to post them and asked if I would.  I was more than happy to post them.

The following pics are all from Mike.  I especially love the milking cows.  We did something similar at a fall festival a few years ago.  I’ll have to try to find some pics.  There’s also some really good ideas for future games…


rodeo fest town out of old privacy fences

tractor drive

 steering game

steering game instruction

cow milking game in action

cow milking game close up


cow milking game inside

cow milking game

cow patty toss

goat milking game

Hat toss and Tractor game

horse racing game

hat toss

rodeo fest jail

rodeo fest

Thanks for the Pics Mike.  Anyone else have any they would like to share?  I’ll be happy to host them.



So after using the game from my previous post, we decided we needed smaller boxes.  This would make it harder to guess the picture.  So we decided to go with a 8 by 8 grid.  Problem is that’s 64 boxes to remove.  if we have the kids come up one by one and remove a pic it would take forever.  So we decided to make it automatically remove the boxes. So I made a video in PremierePro that contains alpha channel.  So you have your picture as the background and the disappearing boxes as the foreground…   Anyway, the ProPresenter 5 exported bundle is below:





This is a larger file because it contains the MOV video.  Since it is MOV, I’m not sure how it will work in a Windows version of ProPresenter.  We no longer have one.  We upgrade our Kid’s Church computer to a Mac Mini…


Soon, I’ll post a YouTube video on how to download/install/run the game in ProPresenter…


Here’s a pic from the game in ProPresenter 5.


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Let me know if you have problems or good feedback.






Years ago, I had made a game using VisualBasic that we used in Kid’s church.  It was a simple game that had a picture (unknown to the kids what the picture was) and had 16 numbered boxes in front of the picture.  The idea was that a kid got to come up and pick one box to remove.  Then we removed that one box and they had to guess what the picture was.  The game worked pretty well.  But I never made a backup of the game.  Actually I never even compiled it.  I just ran it from my laptop.  Well that laptop ended up getting reformatted and I lost the game.

I’ve always thought about making a new version of the game.  But I don’t use VB at all now, and I know it would be a steep learning curve to get up to speed again.  So I just never got around to it.

A while back, we had started using some of Kid’s on the Move’s games that ran in ProPresenter.  PP5 is very powerful and overlays graphics very well..   So I decided I would try to make my first game in ProPresenter 5.  Following is a screenshot of the game being ran.  If you don’t have ProPresenter and want to purchase it click here:  ProPresenter

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So from this screenshot you can see all 16 boxes on the game board.  As you might guess, you simply click on a piece in the edit screen and hit delete. Then hit show and it will be removed from the presentation.

I plan to make a YouTube video on how to install and how to run the game.

If you want to play around with the game, you can download it from my public DropBox site:


Also if you want to customize the boxes, you can edit them in PhotoShop (I used CC6 version).


I would love to hear of any issues/successes with this game.


Here’s a link to the YouTube video where I show how to install and run the game in ProPresenter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LENd91B79s





Basic Sanding Jig

Posted: June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

I made a bunch of smaller wooden parts (offering envelope holders) a while back and was wanting an easy way to sand them.

I came up with a Sanding jig to hold my palm sander.

I made a quick video (out of pictures) on how to make it.



Thanks for watching.

A while back my wife wanted to use the Battleship game from SEEDS.  It was made by the Kids on the Move team.  Here’s a link to the game download:



I loved the look of the game.  But I’m relatively new to ProPresenter.  So we couldn’t really figure out how to use it in ProPresenter at first.  Anyway, after we figured it out, I thought I would make a quick video on how to use it.  This may be common knowledge to everyone but me.  But hopefully, you’ll learn something.


Thanks for watching.


Connect Four DIY

Posted: April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Below is how I built my Connect Four Game. If you aren’t interested in building, here are some already done for you from Amazon:

ECR4Kids Jumbo 4-To-Score Oversized Game

Giant 4 Connect in a Row

GoSports Giant 4 in a Row Game with Carrying Case – 3 foot Width – Made from Wood

Giant UP 4 IT (4ft tall 4 in a Row Game)

We decided for Easter this year we wanted to do a big game. My wife really wanted the Connect Four Basketball that we saw on the cruise. It just seemed a little out of hand (price wise). Just buying 42 basketballs of any quality would be pretty expensive. So we decided to just do a normal life size Connect Four.

I saw a couple of cool options online:


and of course a few more that I can’t seem to find now.

So the first thing you need to do is decide how big your “checkers” will be. This will decide the height/width of the game. One of the ones I saw, the guy used 6″ checkers. My wife wanted it bigger. Looking impressive (especially to kids) in person. So I started thinking about how big I could make it. I was dreading making 42 perfectly round checkers. That didn’t sound like fun. I saw one post where the guy used cork hot pads as the checkers. I really liked this idea. Not heavy. Precut. Just paint and go. I found the perfect candidate at IKEA.

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You can also order the cork circles from Amazon if you don’t have an Ikea close: Cork Circles

There were a little over 7″ each. Best of all, they were $2.99 for a pack of 3. So 14 packs later, we’ve got 42 checkers.

So I kinda new my sizing now. I bought a 4′ by 8′ sheet of 1/2 MDF from home depot. I bought some 1″ by 1/2″ MFD type boards. I was using them as the spacers between the checkers. The spacers go up and down the length of the connect four board. Whatever size you use, need to be just a hair thicker than the checkers. But you don’t want them thick enough to allow two checkers to get on top of each other. So at this point, you can start laying out the boards as a test:

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The biggest thing is to make sure there is enough room for the checker to slide up and down, but not enough room for it to go far to the left or right.

I usually do best if I can draw out what I’m thinking. Here’s my “doodle” with my spacing on it.


Once you have decided on your layout, start glueing down your spacers to your board:

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Somebody told me once, “You can never have too many clamps”. I’m now starting to understand what they mean.

Here’s some links to some of the clamps used: Irwin Clamp

Irwin Clamp Set

Wolfcraft Clamp

Once you get all the spacers glued down, you can start thinking about cutting the holes. I ended up buying a 6″ hole saw to do the cutting.


The thought of making 42 cuts any other way, would probably make me lose my mind (and maybe my salvation). The hole say was about $50, but it was money well spent.

Here’s the hole saw I used: Bosch Hole Saw

I also would suggest using a corded drill: Dewalt Corded Drill

Trying to cut this many holes with a cordless drill will prove to be a pain. But you’ll enjoy the cordless drill and impactdriver for the rest of the project: Dewalt 20V Cordless Drill/Driver Combo Set

The cuts are centered mid ways between the spacers. The bottom one is exactly 1/2 the size of the checker from the bottom. Then the next ones are exactly the size of the checker from the previous. On a connect four board, there are 6 holes up and down and 7 across.

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I was having issues getting the center bit centered on the holes so far. Then I had a thought (something probably everyone else already knew). Start the holes with a regular drill bit, then I can just drop the hole saw in the starter hole and let ‘er rip. That worked much better:

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Holes all cut now:


At this point, I decided to spray paint the yellow spacers yellow. I wasn’t sure if they would show in the final product, but I didn’t want them to be white if everything else was yellow. So in the final product they do show (but only if viewing from the far left/right).

I needed to clean up the cuts on the board I had initially wanted to use a round-over bit on my router, but decided to just use sand paper. Cleaned it up nicely.

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I now need to prime/paint the front board:


Now I needed to look at putting the back on. I could have (probably should have) just bought another 1/2″ MDF 4’X8′ MDF sheet for the back. But since I had a few leftover pieces (and the fact that I’m very cheap), I decided to make due.

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And I cut off the excess board on the side. This was actually used as part of the back:


At this point, I wanted to check and make sure everything worked on the game. I tried a set of checkers in each lane of the board. just to make sure everything worked:

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I forgot to mention. Before I put on the back boards, I painted the inside of them yellow. I had considered putting holes in the back board also, but I knew the way we would use it, it would only need to be visible from the front. Now I painted the front of the game:

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Now I needed to start working on the legs (base) of the game. I used some spare boards that I had laying around. I used 2″X4″ board for the sides, and a piece of 2″ by 6″ for the base. I added casters on the bottom. I added a piece of plywood to make it look more like the connect for game. I cut circles in the plywood:

This is where I started laying out the plywood. Note the 2″X4″ going up and the 2″X6″ on the base:


I then added a circle using a stir stick (free) from Home Depot. I put multiple holes in it. I put a screw in one end and then ran a pencil in the other:


After cutting out with a jig saw, I put the base together:


Jig Saw

A little blue paint:



Now that the base/legs are ready, I needed to attach them to the game:

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A nice collection of squares will help at every level of this project:

Carpenter Square

Combination Square

Speed Square

So I needed to figure out how to hold the checkers in place when I wanted, but be able to let them out when the game is done.

I ended up making a simple board that would move left and right. This would allow the checkers to be held in place during gameplay by a small piece of wood. Then when moved to the right or left, they would let the checkers out. I really don’t have a good way to do this other than just experiment around and see what works for you. I also thought about the possibility of using a solid board and hinges. I would just have to come up with a way to secure the board in place…

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At this point, I ended up getting my son to help me sit it up for the first time. Note I also added casters to the bottom. This thing is heavy. Even using 1/2″ MDF. It still has a lot of weight.


Now we are starting to look like a real connect four game. Problem number 1: My wife saw it and said it was too tall. After a brief frustration moment, I put the game back down and decided to take 1′ off of the side boards. This would make it low enough that kids could put in the checkers while standing on a stepstool.

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Here’s a picture of some of the checkers drying after being spray painted. I had problems getting them to dry. We had quite a bit of rain lately… I’m just glad I started when I did.


Red Spray Paint

Black Spray Paint

I wanted to put some type of sign/logo on the game. I found this one online that I like…


So I wanted to make something a little different. For one, I can’t draw letters good at all. I wanted them to be 3D-ish. So I wanted them cut out. But I didn’t want to cut them out. I found some at Hobby Lobby. Not exactly the size I wanted, but close enough. I cut out the rest of the wood. Here’s the logo during construction:

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Some Similar letters from Amazon: Wooden Letters

And here’s a picture of the final game with the logo applied (and drying).


Tomorrow is Easter. I’ll post some pics without the clamps and during gameplay. I know the teenagers tried it out today during service rehearsal and I hear they loved it…

Here’s a couple of pictures of the game on Easter morning:

Here it is in the front of the room. Ready for play:


Here’s the game with a few checkers dropped in:


I will say we ran into one issue. One of the checkers broke. I think the teen that was helping put them in, put them in a little harder than just dropping. But anyway, only 1 out of 42 broke. I’ll take it…

Now the next big problem. Where do we store this beast.

UPDATE: 04/10/2016. This is a really popular blog post. I get a lot of questions asking for specifics or people saying they are going to build one. I got some pictures from . He had a couple of pics from the game he made. He made it a little bit smaller. Said he used 5″ checkers. He also had a great idea. He made the back a lego wall… Awseome!!!

I put the pics he sent on the following post:


Last week my family and I went on a Carnival Cruise.  It was our first cruise.  We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we really enjoyed it.

One of the cool parts was the Hasbro The Game Show.  There were 3 instances of the show during the week.  We saw games like Connect 4 Basketball, Operation Skee ball, Simon Flash, Sorry Sliders, Yahtzee Bowling and others. 

The games looked really fun.  So of course the entire time I’m watching, I’m thinking through how I can build versions of these games for our Kid’s Church. 

Here’s a few of my pictures.  Of course you can find much better pictures by just doing a Google search.

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I wanted to start building one of them as soon as I got home, but I had a notice from my HOA that my fence is in need of repair.  So I guess my freetime will now be devoted to fence building.  Once finished, Connect 4 Basketball and Yahtzee Bowling await.