Picture of CNC Cribbage Board
I wanted to learn CNC so I started off with a simple project.   I was in the market for a cribbage board so instead of buying one I thought it would be fun to make my own.  

Materials List:

Maple    14"x5"x3/4"
5 minute epoxy
black epoxy resin


CNC Mill   (I have a Sherline 5400 but you could build your own . see www.buildyourcnc.com)
1.35mm End Mills  (www.store.yahoo.com/drillcity)    
7/64" Drill bit
flat wood scrapper


EMC2    (download from www.LinxCNC.org)
LibreCad  (Opensource version of QCAD)
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Design the board.

Picture of Design the board.
LibreCAD - [-home-mgrenier-qcad-Cribboard-Cribbageboard.DXF]_005.png
LibreCAD - [-home-mgrenier-qcad-Cribboard-Cribbageboard.DXF]_006.png
I used LibreCad to design the board.  You could use any CAD program as long as it can work with DXF files.

Step 2: Convert the CADfile to CNC

Picture of Convert the CADfile to CNC
I divided the board into two CNC steps.  One for the lines and one for the holes.   From the CribbageBoard.DXF file save the line level to a file called lines.DXF  and the hole level to a file called holes.DXF.   Then I used an open source python script called dxf2gcode to generate the CNC files.  The generated CNC files were not perfect so I tweaked them by hand.

Step 3: Carve out the Lines

Picture of Carve out the Lines
Load up the lines.ngc file in EMC.  Install the 1.35mm end mill in your CNC machine.  Square up the piece of Maple.  Then fire off the program.

Note:   During the Line carving phase I added to "Dots"  one ay point (0,0) and the other at (9.1638,1.375).  These will be used to line up the board during the drill phase

Step 4: Fill in the Lines

Picture of Fill in the Lines
Now we fill in the lines with epoxy. 

First step mix the epoxy with a "Little" bit of black resin.
Second, "frost" the face of the board with the epoxy.
Then scrap the excess off the board.
When the epoxy is dry, use a wood scrapper to finish it off.

Note: The photo shows 20 minute epoxy but it bleed into the wood.  I found out that 5 minute epoxy worked better.

Step 5: Drill the holes

Picture of Drill the holes
To drill the holes, place the board back in the milling machine.   Use the "Dots" to align the board.  Open the Cribbage.ngc program in EMC2 and fire it off.  
twofeetdown3 months ago

Thanks so much for this instructable and also for making the gcode available. I'm in the final stages of building a CNC and having some meaningful code I can run is really helpful.

mgrenier (author)  twofeetdown3 months ago

You are very welcome. I'm glad that you liked it.

CaptainZ2 years ago
Great work I have been kicking this idea around in my head for awhile. Glad to see how to do it.
MikeCicc3 years ago
This is cool! I'm going to my first CNC class this afternoon and think I've found my first project!
mgrenier (author)  MikeCicc3 years ago
Thanks for the positive comments Mike.
chris_chris3 years ago
Awesome Instructable, but how do you use the dots to align the board?
mgrenier (author)  chris_chris3 years ago
Thanks Chris,

On the first pass I put two marks that coincided with a peg hole. When I filled the lines in with epoxy it also marked the two peg holes. Then when I put the board back in the mill. I used used the manual controls in EMC to align the dill bit to the marks. I hope that answered your question.

P.S. Thanks for being my first comment. I was checking every day to see if there was anyone that even liked it. :-)