Build a Carrom Board

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Introduction: Build a Carrom Board

About: When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. - Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Carrom board is a game played in Indian subcontinent, which is similar to pool (instead of balls, there are carroms and instead of stick, there is a striker that you flick by hand). More information in the youtube video below.

I had scrap wood (from hardwood project) and decided to build one. It is a simple enough game for kids and if you are looking to have some quality fun family time, give it a shot.

The design is not build to official specifications and I will point that out throughout the instructions where I deviated from the official specs to best of my knowledge.

Step 1: Supplies You Need

  1. Hardwood (2.5"x0.75"x34" - 4 pieces)
  2. 0.25" plywood (34"x34" - 1 piece)
  3. Wood Glue
  4. Clamps
  5. Sharpie for artwork
  6. shop tools (drill, table saw, hole saw, straight edge etc.)
  7. Stain & Polyurethane clear coat

I had leftover Brazilian cherry hardwood floor pieces (3.75" x 0.75") and used those for this project. Only item I had to buy was the 0.25" plywood (~$10 from homedepot; I had them cut to size).

Step 2: Outer Frame

  • Cut the four hardwood pieces to exact length 34". Used miter saw for this step.
  • Trim wood from both sides (tongue and groove) so the width is 2.5". Hardwood pieces typically have grooves underneath. Make sure the groove does not align with the inner edge ( in otherwords, the inner edge thought be full 3/4" thickness).
  • remove material from ends as shown in the images for the lap joints (2.5"x0.375"). I used table saw with sled to make those cuts. Spend some extra time to make sure the cut depth on your table saw is exact (During cuts, I noticed my saw blade would go down slightly due to vibrations, so I had to keep an eye and readjust as necessary to get the correct cut depth). My dewalt does not take a the dado blade, so I did multiple blade passes on with a hardstop on the sled to get the precise width of the lap joint.
  • Apply the glue and join all four pieces to make the frame. I used ratchet strap on the perimeter first and then clamped all four corners. Let it cure for minimum 12 hours (ideally 24 hours).

Step 3: Prepare the Plywood and Apply Stain

  1. Cut the plywood to 34"x34" square. I had homedepot cut that to size.
  2. Drill 1.75" holes for the corner pockets. playing area is 29"x29" and these holes should be inside of that square and tangent to the square edges.I used hole saw for this operation. To prevent plywood fiber splintering, drill from the playing side and start slowly. Putting a sacrificial plywood piece on top and then drilling the hole may reduce splintering.
  3. Sand one side of the plywood with 220 grid sand paper.
  4. Sand frame with coarse sand paper and work upto 220 grit paper. I did not spend too much time on this sanding hardwood with hand is painfully slow :(.
  5. Apply stain to the plywood (I only did to one side), and the frame. 3 coats looked good in my case.

Step 4: Board Artwork

After stain is dried, it is time to create the artwork. I drew with pencil first and followed by black and colored sharpies. This may not be per the official specs.

  1. Draw a 29" x 29" square (playing area), equally spaced from the edges.
  2. Draw another square 4" inwards from the first square (21"x21").
  3. Draw a third square 1" inward from the second square (19"x19").
  4. Mark the center of the squares.
  5. Draw diagonal lines from one end of the first square to the other end.
  6. Draw small circles (red color in the images) at the 4 corners of smallest square (19"x19"). I used inside circle of the CD as a template.
  7. Draw two 1" circles tangent to the small circle and to the two lines. I was looking for something to create that circle and found old zip drives that had 1" hole and used that for template. Draw 6 more 1" circles on other three corners.
  8. Draw 1" circle in the middle.
  9. I created a simple geometric artwork in the center, feel free to copy that or draw something pleasing that fit your taste.
  10. Similarly, I created compass needle type artwork at the four corners towards the holes.
  11. Trace the pencil marks with sharpie as shown in the pictures and erase the remaining pencil marks with a good quality eraser. Clean the eraser residue (I used paper towel likely soaked in water to clean that and let it dry).

Step 5: Clear Coat & Gluing

  • Apply clear coat on the plywood to get better finish on the playing surface. I did 3 coats of polyurethane with 220 grit sanding in between the coats. I did not do any clear coat on the frame pieces because the finish on those was already decent.
  • Let the pieces dry for minimum 4 hours before proceeding with the next step.
  • Apply the glue on the plywood (be careful to not apply too much glue that could squish out in the playing area. I kept the glue ~1" away from the interior playing surface. If the glue does squish out in the playing area, make sure to clean it right away with wet paper towel.
  • Align the outer frame on the plywood board and clamp it to get a good bond. I used weights in some areas where I was not able to clamp.
  • Let it dry 24 hours and the board is ready.

Step 6: Coins & Play

  • After the board is ready, you will need coins and a striker to play the game. Search ebay for "Carrom Coins" and "Carrom Striker", and purchase those. For $10-$20, you should be able to get a decent quality coins and strikers (some coin set includes striker).

Watch the video in the first post and have a good family time.

A few things, which I am aware are not to official specifications.

  1. Thickness of the frame is less than official size (19mm). in my case, the frame was 0.75" thick, so it is fairly close.
  2. Thickness of the plywood is less than 8mm (1/4" in my case).
  3. Official board has internal rounds at the four corners.
  4. And others I am not aware of.

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22 Comments

0
JulieP196
JulieP196

4 months ago

Beautiful board. I'm getting mine back out and after cleaning, am still not getting the proper "slide.". I'm thinking a coat of polyurethane. What do you think?

0
bmw220
bmw220

Reply 4 months ago

Hi Julie,
1) PU coat is a good idea. But you still have to use some sort of powder for the best experience.

2) here is a quick amazon search Https://www.amazon.com/carrom-board-powder/s?k=car.... Most commonly used powder is boric acid powder. You can get it locally from walmart or walgreens.

3) There is a special powder that come in very tiny bead shape, and makes the board super slippery. I think that is called magic or disco powder.

0
ChishtiMian
ChishtiMian

Question 8 months ago on Step 1

Hello very nice idea and instructions i make one with your instructions but i think i use wood for border is not for this because when i hit striker for rebound or even little slow striker not properly rebounding can you please give me any idea how i can make batter this thanks

0
ChishtiMian
ChishtiMian

Reply 8 months ago

Ok thanks for your reply and help i use little more sanding and the. I use little bit more wood finishing with soft foaming and also you said boric or magic powder i use now its better thanks

0
waheedsmalik
waheedsmalik

Question 9 months ago

Two questions.
1. Looks like you did not round the inside corners of the frame, behind the pocket holes. Is that important? If so, how would you suggest I make it?
2. You did not use any nails. Do you think the glue might come part in winter. I have experienced that in another project. Would you recommend nailing the frame onto the board?
3. Boards sold in the stores often have a wooden strip brackets running behind the board frame, i.e. a mesh of squares to secure the play board from underneath. Do you think that might be essential or does the board remain level without warping?

0
bmw220
bmw220

Answer 9 months ago

Hello,
1) I didn't but official carrom board does have the corners rounded. There was some discussion in previous question on how to best make those. Check that out.
2) So far glue has been holding well, but having additional nails won't hurt.
3) I haven't seen any warping yet, but we usually keep this either on the ground or on a wide table, so well supported. Increasing this thickness of plywood would mitigate that issue if you are concerned, or putting strip ribs in the back like you saw on commercial boards will work.

0
cecilia.jansz1
cecilia.jansz1

9 months ago

Can hardy glaze board be used instead of ply as it is very smooth and does not need sanding nor staining?

0
bmw220
bmw220

Reply 9 months ago

I am not familiar with hardy glaze, but I don't see why it won't work if it is smooth. Smoother is better (Staining and sanding is to make the surface as slippery as possible).

0
forshah
forshah

Question 1 year ago on Step 6

Can you tell me the type of plywood you used and also the stain?

0
amanmech05
amanmech05

Answer 1 year ago

12.5 waterproof plywood I am using but today I making surface not clear so what can I do how to mix the sanding sealer and it a clear and tinner answer quickly place

0
bmw220
bmw220

Reply 1 year ago

Hello,
I used 1/4" thick plyboard for the main playing surface, but thicker would work just fine ( will be heavy to move around). With clear coat and sanding, the intent is to make the surface smooth. Be creative. Sand the surface, put oil/ varnish/ stain/ clear coat whatever you have available to make the surface smooth and looking good.

0
amanmech05
amanmech05

Question 1 year ago on Step 1

Which type of plywood are used in in carrom board I am used in 0.75 thickness that is suitable or not suitable I am using frame they teak wood there are diamonds are 3*2.5*35 inch

0
robwrightphilly
robwrightphilly

Question 1 year ago

Very nice (yet simple) carrom board! I'm thinking of making one based on your instructions. Now that it is 2 years later (hopefully you are still seeing these messages), are there any steps in the process you would recommend someone do differently? How well does the board work? Have you used it much?

0
bmw220
bmw220

Answer 1 year ago

I would round the edges better with a trim router. On this one, I used the file to break the edges, but trim router would do a better job and you will get nicer finish. Routing corners will be better as well. We haven't hurt ourselves with those sharp corners, but I could see that happening with kids.

We use on and off (there 1-2 times every six months when kids are bored.). Board works great. There are powder lubricant you can buy which will make it easier to play (shuffle board lube or boron powder).

Good Luck!

0
robwrightphilly
robwrightphilly

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks for answering! I don't own a router (which I agree would be handy), but I was thinking of rounding the outside corners with a jigsaw. Also thinking of a way to make rounded inserts for the inside corners and glue them in place.

0
zaheerh
zaheerh

2 years ago

Beautiful board!

0
BossyRangs
BossyRangs

3 years ago

Looks like a fun game! I added it to my favorites.

0
Graeme_P
Graeme_P

3 years ago

Very nice! My wife's family had a car on set when she was growing up, so this is now on my to-do list!