Introduction: Wooden Quoridor Boardgame
We are a boardgame-playing house and I have a lot of randomly sized pieces of wood. I decided to use one of these pieces and some scrap wood to make a Quoridor game. Here's how I did it.
Note that all the material sizes below can be varied and are not set in stone. I appreciate that, like myself, many people may have random-sized pieces of wood at their disposal. I suggest having a look at the materials and adapting sizes if you need to (more information in the instructions).
- Square piece of wood 270.5 x 270.5 x 40.5 mm
- Pieces of scrap wood cut into thin strips
- Scrap wood for making x 2 player pieces
- Set square
- Table saw
- Pocket plane
- Furniture oil
- Leather scraps
Step 1: The Playing Board
I used this cedar block to make the board, the dimensions of which were 270.5 x 270.5 mm. The thickness was 40.5 mm. These dimensions are kind of arbitrary. You can make a much thinner board and/or one that is bigger. This was what I had on hand. Just keep in mind that you will need a 9 x 9 grid to play the game.
Step 2: Cutting the Rows
I then took the board to the table saw to cut the grid. I don't have a dado stack, so I simply cut 8 lines each way (thus creating a 9 x 9 grid) using my regular table saw blade, anticipating some hand sanding later to widen the grooves somewhat. Take the measurements of your square board and divide it by 8. I marked where I needed to cut the grooves using a set square along the outer edges of the board; in this way, I could easily line up my blade to the middle of each indicated line.
Side-note: cedar being cedar, I got some tear-out during this step on one of the cubes, which is what that furry patch is, i.e., the beginning of me trying to fix that.
Step 3: Sanding, Sanding, Sanding
Once the grooves were cut, I used my pocket plane and with gentle swipes and the blade barely peeking out the bottom, ran it across the top of the board to ensure there were no tricksy uneven bits. You don't need to use a plane, it's just my preference. I then began sanding the top and sides of the board (for grits used, see image). To smooth out the areas between the squares I used a thin, straight piece of scrap wood. Make sure you do this carefully and keep things straight to avoid uneven squares.
I didn't sand the bottom, which was already flat, because I planned on adding felt later. If you don't want to do this, also sand the bottom of the board, perhaps to a 150 to avoid it from being too smooth and moving too easily when bumped.
Step 4: Cutting the Walls
To cut the walls, I used light (macrocarpa) and dark (sapele) wood scraps that I cut to 50 mm x 27 mm. You can cut these minutely thinner than the kerf size of your blade or, alternatively, cut them kerf size and sand them down to fit in the kerf-sized slots of your board.
Most Quoridor boards appear to have walls that are only one color. However, being a boardgame player myself, I thought it best to make it clear whose walls are whose before a fight breaks out. I again used a set square to mark out the wall sizes (50 mm x 27 mm) and cut them using my table saw sled, but a band saw will also work. Onto the best part!
Step 5: The Best Part!
I never get tired of the oiling stage of any project. That moment when the oil hits the wood and the colour really pops. For this project, I used an oil blend designed for furniture. Mineral oil, raw linseed oil (my other go-to oil), Tung, or Danish oil will work equally well. I also oiled the wall pieces. For both the board and walls, I applied two coats, leaving each coat overnight to soak into the wood.
Step 6: Playing Pieces and Final Touches
I then cut to playing pieces from a scrap piece of purple heart. I wanted to keep the geometric shapes of the rest of the game so instead of making pieces on the lathe, I cut them on the table saw and differentiated between them by cutting an extra groove in one piece. I made these cuts on the table saw using my table saw sled and a stop block to ensure the grooves lined up perfectly. Player one, player two. I then oiled these pieces as well.
Once you have completed this step, you have a finished and playable game. Rules for the game can be found at the following link: Quoridor game rules
As I mentioned at the start, I planned on putting felt on the bottom of the board. Before doing so, I put a chamfer around the bottom edge of the board using a plunge router, then cut the felt to size and glued it on using mod podge and let the glue cure for 24 hrs. I also used a scrap piece of brown leather to make a small pouch to hold the game pieces. This was the first time I had ever made anything out of leather, but it was pretty straightforward. I found some videos on YouTube that helped in this regard. How you store your pieces is, of course, entirely up to you. Now go make a cuppa and put up some walls!
This is an entry in the
Toys & Games Contest