Introduction: Elegant Cribbage Board

Picture of Elegant Cribbage Board

Cribbage is a fun and popular card game. With a little time, and some nice wood you can build a beautiful, functional cribbage board with built in storage for a deck of cards and pegs. It looks good enough to be put on display and will also give you hours of entertainment. I got the idea for this project from Canadian Home Workshop.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Base: walnut 1" x 6" x 16"

Game board: maple 1" x 5" x 15"

Brass rod: 1/8"diameter x 1"

Magnets: rare earth type, 1/2" diameter

Cribbage board pegs

Glue or expoxy

Varnish oil

Step 2: Make the Base

Picture of Make the Base

I used walnut for the base, but any piece of nice, dark wood will suffice.

I used a jointer, planer and table saw to dress and dimension the lumber for the base, bringing it to a final size of 7/8" x 5 1/2" x 15 1/2".

I beveled the edge with a 45º chamfer bit in a table-mounted router around the entire top edge of the base.

Step 3: Cut the Recess for the Cards and Pegs

Picture of Cut the Recess for the Cards and Pegs

The next step is to make the recess for the deck of cards. There are several ways this can be accomplished. I used a CNC rounter with a 1/4" bit to make a recess 3/4" deep by 2 3/4" wide by 3 7/8" tall. This was the perfect size for my deck of cards, but check your own measurements against the deck of cards you want to use. I centered the recess on the base and the top of the recess was 1 1/4" below the edge.

You could also make the recess by using a plunge router guided by a router template and a bearing guide. Make a simple template out of plywood, then attach it to the base with double stick tape. Slowly guide the router inside the template to make the recess.

Finally I made the round recess for the pegs. I used a 2" Forstner bit and brought it down to a depth of 1/2". The center of the hole was centered and 2 3/4" from the base.

Step 4: Make the Top

Picture of Make the Top

To make the top game board, I preparing a piece of maple to 3/4" x 4 3/8" x 14 1/4". I liked the way the light maple contrasted with the dark walnut. To drill the holes, I pulled a standard cribbage board pattern from the internet, sized it to fit my piece and cut all the holes with a CNC router and a 1/8" drill bit.

Another way to accomplish this task is to use a paper template and a drill press. Simply buy this inexpensive template, spray glue it the maple and drill the holes on a drill press. When you are finished drilling the holes, you can remove the template and glue with turpentine.

I drilled all of the holes to a depth of 1/2", except for holes in the center of the board at the 102 mark and at the center of the score holes at the bottom of the board. I drilled these holes all the way through.

Once the holes were cut, I rounded the top. First I drew a curve on the top (I used a template I made on a laser cutter, but you could simply used a compass and pencil). Then I cut close to the line with a bandsaw and sanded to the line with a stationary disc sander. Finally, I sanded the whole top to 220 grit.

Step 5: Bring the Bottom and Top Together

Picture of Bring the Bottom and Top Together

I carefully centred the top on the bottom with double stick tape. I placed a 1/8" drill bit into the through holes one at a time, then gave it a gentle tap with a mallet. The marks I made on the base showed me where I needed to drill for the center pivot and rare-earth magnets.

I separated the two parts and brought the walnut based to the drill press. At the mark in the center, I drilled a 1/8" diameter x 3/4" deep hole to receive a 1"long x 1/8" diameter brass rod.

In the other location I marked, I drilled a 1/2" diameter x 1/8" deep hole using a Forstner bit. This was to accommodate a rare earth magnet. With the Forstner bit is in the drillpress, I made a matching hole in the bottom of the maple game board. This is to accommodate the other half of the rare earth magnet.

I glued the magnets into their respective holes, ensuring they sat flush with the wood surface and were oriented so they attract each other. Finally, I put a dab of glue into the 1/8" center hole in the base and inserted the brass rod, making sure there was 1/4" of rod left protruding from the base.

Finally, I applied two coats of Tried and True varnish oil. I put the top on the bottom and the board was done and ready for a game!


boocat (author)2017-05-31

I really like this!

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