Character Tablets

First of all, there are some absolutely gorgeous tablets out there. Kickstarter seems to always have a new product every few months that leaves me going "My god look at that beautiful X, Y, Z"... and then I see that the min. buy in is something in the realm of $140. Ouch! That simply is not affordable for the average person in my view. I studied several carefully and all tablets seemed to come with a combination of the following;

  • Space for the character sheet 

  • Space for notes

  • Rolling tray

  • Storage for dice/mini

  • Something to attach everything to

 

I knew I could build something at least as functional for a fraction of the price. My character tablet may not have dragons engraved along it, but it certainly meets the criteria in a simple, functional form.

Tablet_example.jpg

My affordable character tablet

I built mine at 11x17" after taking stock of layout needs, but you'll have to determine your own if you vary from mine. At the very least you'll see the methodology I used. They aren't cheap any way you cut it for a quality product, but elbow grease will save at least $50, if not $100.

 

Supplies

Notice: Although I try to update all of my links & prices at least once a month, Amazon sellers may change or remove the particular items or prices since the time they have been listed here. The items I have listed are the best that I have found at the time, but any item matching the general description should suffice for this project.

 

I've broken these down by size and then by part. In addition, I have added the keywords I used to find these items if you want to do your own searches or in the event that the seller has changed/removed the item listed below.

 

  • 12" x 24" - 3/16" Black Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet $18 - for the base. This was thick enough to not bend under the weight and wouldn't be ruined under a spilled drink. Go back into the order once you purchase this and add in the instructions to cut it 11x17"

    • Keywords: plexiglass sheet

Character-Tablet.png

 

 

Dry-Erase-Sheets.jpg

Chest.png

*Prices will vary by type of wood​

Rolling-Tray.png

 

 

Felt-Sheets.jpg
  • Jewelry Files $3 - To score the acrylic so the glue will take. Your cost can skyrocket on these if you get ones with regular tool handles, etc. I was fine waiting for them to come directly from China so save a bunch. You don't need anything special, just something to use for ~5 minutes of work.

    • Keywords: jewelry files

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  • E6000 230010 Craft Adhesive 3.7oz $8 - to adhere the rolling tray and storage box to the tablet. Any permanent glue that can adhere to both wood and acrylic will do

    • Keywords:  craft adhesive

 

E6000.png
Clip.png
Dry_Erase_cut.jpg
Dry_erase_strip.jpg
Dry_erase_strip.jpg
Tablet_blank.jpg
Tablet_dry_erase.jpg
Felt-Sheets.jpg
Tablet_applied.jpg
Tablet_allFeltapplied.jpg
Tablet_FeltonTray.jpg
Felt-Sheets.jpg
Tablet_FeltonTray.jpg
Tablet_allFeltapplied.jpg
Clip.png
Tablet_clip.jpg
Tablet_done.jpg
Tablet_clip.jpg
character-sheet.jpg

Decide whether you want the chest or the rolling tray to be flush with the acrylic sheet. There will be a 1/4" overhang.​​

For mine, I decided to have the chest flush as it lines up with the dry erase strip. ​​

  1. Score a 3 1/4 x 5 1/6" area for the chest starting from the upper right-hand corner

  2. Score the area for the rolling tray; the bottom brim will lay, starting from the right, 1/8" down and leftward from the chest & 1/8" upwards and leftward from the dry erase sheet

  3. Apply the glue to the scored areas

  4. Press the chest and rolling tray onto the glue and straighten as needed

Files.png
Tablet_dry_erase.jpg
Tablet_scored.jpg
Rolling-Tray.png
Tablet_glued.jpg
Chest.png
E6000.png
Tablet_scored.jpg
Tablet_glued.jpg
Tablet_applied.jpg
 
 

Assembly

  1. Cut out a 3.25x11" strip of one of the dry-erase sheets.

  2. Adhere the strip in the lower right corner.

A. Dry-erase Area

The measurements of this tablet assume you are using products of the exact dimensions listed in the linked above. Double check all measurements before committing to any gluing. In addition, decide whether you want the chest or the rolling tray to be flush with the acrylic sheet as there will be a 1/4" overhang. 

B. Gluing Tray & Chest

C. Apply Felt

  1. Cut out a section of felt the same size as the interior floor of the rolling tray. Mine happened to be 5 5/16 x 8 3/8" but double check your tray in case of inconsistencies during the manufacturing process

  2. Apply the felt inside the tray

  3. Cut an additional piece 3 1/4 x 15/16" to fill the gap between the dry erase strip and chest. This can be used to the keep some dice ready to use

D. Apply Clip

  1. Slide the clip(s) onto the left side of the tablet

  2. Slide your character sheets into the clip