Introduction: NachoMahma Peg Game

If you have travelled on the interstate, you may have run across a restaurant chain that has that old country store theme.  One such franchise is Cracker Barrel1, bringing country goodness to us city folk in need of a rest stop.  Outhouses are in, who knew.  Anyway, this is a replica of the game they have on the table to help pass the time while you wait for your food. So, put away those portable video games and challenge weary travellers to this.  

It is a simple game but many a master's thesis has analyzed the strategy and mathematics behind it.  But you do not need to have a doctorate to have fun playing it.

There are 15 holes that are initially filled with 14 objects or pegs.  You move the pieces by jumping one over the next piece in line.  You can only jump to an open spot.  You cannot jump off the board.  You remove the piece that is jumped over. The object of the game is to leave the fewest pieces on the board as possible.

 JUMP EACH WRITING STICK AND REMOVE IT
LEAVE ONLY ONE - YOU'RE AN Fn GENIUS
LEAVE TWO AND YOUR PURTY SMART, EVEN FOR A YANKEE
LEAVE THREE AND YOU'RE JUST PLAIN STOOPID,
 YOU MUST BE A CITY SLICKER
LEAVE FOUR OR MOR'N YOUR'E JUST PLAIN
"EGGHEAD-NO-RA-MOOSE"


This NachoMahma Instructables version is here for you to hack using your hillbilly sensibility.  The office supply contest version is shown.  


1 Not an endorsement but recommendation, if you ever have the urge for chicken and dumplings.  And whatever happened to their "pine-tar" potatoes?

Step 1: Raid Your Stash

This is a simple woodworking project.  Great to have the kids build or put together.

You need some basic tools:

Pencil

Measuring tape or ruler.

Drill with 1/2 inch drill bit

Framer's square, speed square or architect's triangle and T-square

Glue, I prefer carpenter's glue which has a higher tack/stickness

Sandpaper

Saw

Every woodworker I know has a stash of cutoffs, scraps left over from previous projects.
Find a piece of wood 1x6 stock, 20 inches long or two 10 inch long pieces.
You could also cut out from plywood, or laminate or build up from smaller pieces.

Power tools make things easier but you could also work with a brace with auger or spade bit, and whatever hand saw you have available.

Heck, I reckon you can even whittle this from a fallen log or stump.

Step 2: Triangulate

This is how to lay out the playing field.

The piece of wood is called a 1x6 stock.  1inch thick by 6 inches wide.  But due to the milling to smooth out the wood, it ends up being an actual 3/4" x 5 1/2".

We need to make a grid of 15 holes in a triangular pattern where the holes line up neatly.

Start out with a fresh square edge.  That means the end is perpendicular to the length edgewise.  I was too lazy to cut a new square end.  If you don't have a square edge, the rest of the markings will be off as you run the triangle against that end.

Here is a trick for dividing anything in equal parts with parallel edges.   I know I want to have 5 evenly spaced lines.  So I pick whole inches that is easy to work with.  Put the start of the ruler on the bottom edge of the wood.  Pivot till the 6 inch mark hits the top edge.  Mark the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 inch points.  Geeks can prove this works with geometric theorems on intersecting parallel lines.

Line up your triangle on the edge to draw the parallel lines that intersect those markings.

Starting from the end, start marking 10 vertical lines for your grid, one inch apart.  Yeah, you could do 7/8" if you were anal about getting a true isoceles triange out of the design.  I'm not sure if this just works out to the golden proportion but  it works close enough to look appealingly widescreen.

Find the middle point and darken in the marks for the holes to be drilled.

1 hole, 2 holes on the next line, 3 holes on the next, etc.

Each set of holes are offset on the grid.

Step 3: Drill Some Holes

So you don't have a laser cutter at your disposal.  Don't worry, neither do I. But I do have a power drill though.

Use a drill with a 1/2 inch bit.  You can actually use a smaller diameter bit. I wanted it to fit all or my writing instruments, to include a thick marker barrel.

Ideally this would be done using a drill press and forstner bits.  They drill out flat bottomed holes.  This wood is not the highest quality fine grain pine so using my portable drill/driver yields some pretty ugly holes.

Clean up the drilled holes with a countersink bit or sandpaper rolled up to fit in the holes.  A circular thin round wood file or rasp would also do.

Step 4: Layer Up

Cut off the piece with the drilled holes.

Clean it up with a sanding block or power sander to remove the pencil markings.

Coat the bottom of the drilled piece with glue.

Glue it to the remaining piece of wood.  Align the edges to for a smooth fit.

Weigh it down to hold until the glue sets.

Looking back after I finished,  I think having a double layer thickness of the drilled holes part would better hold the writing instruments with deeper holes.

You could also choose different kinds of woods to laminate to make this really classy.


Step 5: Finishing Steps

Cut off the hunk of laminated pieces.

Sand all around to remove any burrs and pencil markings.

I have this cool rounding tool.  It has two little scraper blades like a plane.  You can run it along an edge to round or bevel it.  I rounded all the edges and sanded.

I added some labels to the peg game.

Use the graphic attached.

The text can be used in any word processor or text in your favorite graphics program. 8 point font size to get it small.


NACHOMAHMA'S MOONSHINE STILL 
     OLD COUNTRY STORE



"JUMP ALL BUT ONE GAMES"
from the CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE

JUMP EACH WRITING STICK AND REMOVE IT
LEAVE ONLY ONE - YOU'RE AN Fn GENIUS
LEAVE TWO AND YOUR PURTY SMART, EVEN FOR A YANKEE
LEAVE THREE AND YOU'RE JUST PLAIN STOOPID,
 YOU MUST BE A CITY SLICKER
LEAVE FOUR OR MOR'N YOUR'E JUST PLAIN
"EGGHEAD-NO-RA-MOOSE"


I hope you realize that is not the actual text that comes on those games.

You can create you own decorations.  If you don't print it out on sticker paper, just glue or use sticky tape to affix the labels.

It should turn out like Nacho, raw, rustic, worn around the edges, frustrating, can be annoying like the Dickens, sometimes like talking to a piece of wood, lays there like a log, and fun to have around.

There you go, make a NachoMahma peg game and enjoy!

Comments

author
porcupinemamma (author)2010-12-09

Wow! My grandson would sure like a costume like your little girl is wearing! He's eighteen months old, and he and Bob the Builder (aka "Bah du Buh") are buddies. :0)

author
nickodemus (author)2010-10-05

I can see this tormenting secretaries everywhere...

author
caitlinsdad (author)nickodemus2010-10-05

Nacho or the peg game? < snicker >

They do make zillions of these as a stocking stuffers for cubicle dwellers and executives. 

author
NachoMahma (author)2010-10-03

. I'm (in)famous!!

author
caitlinsdad (author)NachoMahma2010-10-03

I'm trying to see if Mr. Nacho Goes to Washington.

author
kelseymh (author)caitlinsdad2010-10-03

Impossible. There are no decent Nachos east of the Rockies.

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