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If, like me, you were bitten by the Go bug during the AlphaGo/Lee Sedol matches then you'd want a Go board of your very own.

I did consider buying one, as they're pretty cheap, but then I decided to try and make one.

For this Instructable you'll need:

  • a chunk of plywood (or wood of your choice)
  • some silver and copper/brass coins
  • a straight edge
  • a pencil
  • a couple of ink markers (must be waterproof)
  • a kneadable eraser
  • some wood varnish
  • silver polish
  • dremel tool with pads
  • an old rag (to wipe the polish off with)
  • friends to show your new board too*

* I don't have friends to show the board too, but that's why I'm making this Instructable. :)

So, let's get started!

Step 1: I'm Getting Board

So, first you need to decide on what coins you'll use for Go stones. I chose UK 1p and 5p coins as they're pretty small. The 1p coin is the bigger of the two so the squares on the board need to be just a bit bigger than the diameter of the 1p coin.

I also decided at this point that I'd make the board double sided. One side would have a full 19x19 board on it, and the other side would have a beginners 9x9 board.

On the 19x19 side I made each square 2cm x 2cm. This made the playing area 36cm x 36cm. Remember: in Go you play on the intersections, not in the square. On the 9x9 side I made the squares 3cm x 3cm (to use up a bit more space) which makes the play area 24cm x 24cm.

The board that I cut needs to be a few centimeters larger on all sides, so I cut a board 46cm x 46cm.

I won't bore you with the 'here's me cutting a piece of wood' stuff.

With the board cut, and sanded a bit, I marked the centre of the board (with a pencil, and marked lightly) and worked from there out to make the outer edge of the play area, then marked each edge on the 2cm/3cm mark.

Step 2: Getting Inked

With the board pencilled, on both sides, I grabbed an ink pen and began marking out the lines.

It's at this point I realised that the pen I was using was, in fact, crap.

I switched pens to ones with a slightly more flexible tip, and that worked better. Because I had one fine tip, and one medium tip I used the thicker pen to draw a thicker border around both boards.

Step 3: Using a Rubber

Tee hee!
* snigger *

It's best to use a kneadable eraser for this. You can use a normal plastic eraser, but plastic erasers leave all those bits you need to blow away. Kneadable erasers are like erasing with a lump of blu-tac. It stays intact and you can rub/dab with it to remove the pencil.

Step 4: It's Varnished!

Now it's time to apply several coats of varnish to each side.

This is where you find out if you paid attention to the list where I said the pen needs to be waterproof. If it's not then your lines will smudge when you apply the varnish.

After several coats on each side your board should look all spiffy and shiny.

Step 5: Getting Stoned

Go boards normally have around 180 black and white stones. I doubt I'll have 360 coins in my little piggy bank.

No matter as I'm only a beginner and will never need that many to begin with.

My coins are a bit dull, but a dab of silver polish and a quick once over with the dremel tool will soon fix that.

Ooh! Shiny!

Step 6: GO!

With some coins polished up I can try out my new Go board.

The photos don't really do the board justice as the coins are very reflective and do look somewhat similar in the photos. In real-life it's quite easy to distinguish them from each other.

Your turn!

Love the idea.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Self-taught part-time artist who paints, draws and doodles.
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