Know someone who plays cribbage and loves Nascar? Try making them a Nascar themed cribbage board.
I made this at TechShop www.techshop.ws
Step 1: Materials & Equipment
Vector drawing software (I used CorelDraw)
Laser cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
1/4" thick 3-1/2" x 7" poplar board
1/8" thick 3-1/2" x 7" walnut board
150 grit sandpaper
Red and blue paint
This instructable assumes some basic familiarity with CorelDraw and a laser cutter.
Step 2: Draw Basic Track Lines
I chose to replicate the Monster Mile at Dover for this cribbage board, which is a basic oval. I wanted the board to be roughly 3"x6" when finished, so start with two 3" diameter circles just touching each other. Connect the tops and bottoms together with straight lines, then delete the inner circle segments with the Virtual Segment Delete tool. This gives you the basic track. Now make three copies of the track with successively smaller scales. I ended up with reductions of 92%, 78%, and 70% which made the proportions of the straightaways look correct. However, this left the curves distorted (because this is an oval a 92% reduction will make the width shorter then the height by a larger absolute amount which isn't what we want here). So adjust the scale on just the horizontal axis, in this case that ended up being 96%, 89%, and 85%. The two middle ovals will be where the peg holes go, and the outermost and innermost ovals represent the edge of the track.
Step 3: Add a Finish Line
The finish line consists of a 4 x 10 pattern of small boxes (each 0.045" square). Create the checkered pattern by filling every other box in each column, alternating every other column whether the first box is filled. Then put a bounding rectangle around the whole finish line to give a nice solid appearance to the finish line. I used a 4 px line.
Step 4: Add a Gazillion Holes
There are a lot of holes in a cribbage board and while possible to use a drill press and a ton of patience, this is where a laser cutter really comes in handy. Draw two small (0.06" diameter) holes spaced a few inches apart. Then using the Blend tool create 118 intermediate copies (which the blend tool will evenly space between the two original circles). Next draw a 0.3"x0.7"rectangle around the finish line, which will be used as a reference to mark where the holes should start and stop around the track. Select the row of circles and choose New Path from the Path properties menu item, and then select one of the middle ovals. This will apply the row of circles to the oval automatically while maintaining an even distribution. Drag the first circle to the intersection of the reference rectangle and the oval, and do the same for the last circle. Perform this same overall process to create the holes for the second oval. Now the reference rectangle can be deleted. Finally, draw lines connecting every tenth pair of circles together (to help players count their score), and add an arrow to the track to show the direction they should follow.
Step 5: Design the Infield
The infield consists of two rows of text ("Monster Mile" and "Dover International Speedway"). Select a font you like and size them appropriately. I found some clipart for the checkered flags, and resized it to fit well. Often there are additional holes in the middle to store the pegs, so add four holes to the bottom middle. The last addition is a slightly larger oval around the entire track which will become the cut line for the outer perimeter of the board. Finally, make sure that all cut lines (the holes and the outermost oval) are set to red and hairline width so that the laser will know to cut them. Convert all other lines and text to black for engraving.
Step 6: Create the Raised Track
We will be adding a raised track portion to the cribbage board in a contrasting wood. Make a copy of the existing design, and add an internal oval cut line so that we will end up with just the track portion. I also removed the 4 holes from the infield so that I will end up with a little decorative plaque (that I'll probably finish as a large kitchen magnet later).
Step 7: Laser Cut the Pieces
Time to play with the laser. Both parts engraved well at 100% power and 40% speed. The poplar ended up requiring two passes for the little holes, with settings of 100% power and 0.7% speed. The walnut cut well at 100% power and 0.6% speed.
Step 8: Sand, Seal, Sand, Seal, Glue
Now it is time to start the sand and seal cycle. Sand each of the pieces with 150 grit sandpaper then spray with acrylic. Once dry, repeat again until you get an attractive finish. In the end I glued the top track piece to the base with superglue, but you could use any wood glue as well.
Step 9: Make Some Pegs
I decided to make the pegs out of some decorative toothpicks. Paint the tops of two red and the other two blue. Once dry, spray with the acrylic to help protect them. Cut them to length and bevel the ends with some sandpaper so that they fit in the holes. Now you are done and can start playing!