CNC Cribbage Board




I wanted to learn CNC so I started off with a simple project.   I was in the market for a cribbage board so instead of buying one I thought it would be fun to make my own.  

Materials List:

Maple    14"x5"x3/4"
5 minute epoxy
black epoxy resin


CNC Mill   (I have a Sherline 5400 but you could build your own . see
1.35mm End Mills  (    
7/64" Drill bit
flat wood scrapper


EMC2    (download from
LibreCad  (Opensource version of QCAD)

Step 1: Design the Board.

I used LibreCad to design the board.  You could use any CAD program as long as it can work with DXF files.

Step 2: Convert the CADfile to CNC

I divided the board into two CNC steps.  One for the lines and one for the holes.   From the CribbageBoard.DXF file save the line level to a file called lines.DXF  and the hole level to a file called holes.DXF.   Then I used an open source python script called dxf2gcode to generate the CNC files.  The generated CNC files were not perfect so I tweaked them by hand.

Step 3: Carve Out the Lines

Load up the lines.ngc file in EMC.  Install the 1.35mm end mill in your CNC machine.  Square up the piece of Maple.  Then fire off the program.

Note:   During the Line carving phase I added to "Dots"  one ay point (0,0) and the other at (9.1638,1.375).  These will be used to line up the board during the drill phase

Step 4: Fill in the Lines

Now we fill in the lines with epoxy. 

First step mix the epoxy with a "Little" bit of black resin.
Second, "frost" the face of the board with the epoxy.
Then scrap the excess off the board.
When the epoxy is dry, use a wood scrapper to finish it off.

Note: The photo shows 20 minute epoxy but it bleed into the wood.  I found out that 5 minute epoxy worked better.

Step 5: Drill the Holes

To drill the holes, place the board back in the milling machine.   Use the "Dots" to align the board.  Open the Cribbage.ngc program in EMC2 and fire it off.  

Step 6: Finish and Play

All done. 

Please let me know what you think.  This is my first instructable so be kind.



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Frozen Treats Challenge

      Frozen Treats Challenge
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    11 Discussions


    6 months ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable. I just purchased an x-carve and have a Maslow and was trying to figure out how to get the cnc to do the work drilling the holes on a cribbage board. Thanks Walt66


    10 months ago

    I recently bought a cnc router. I'm really green on the cad aspect of it still. Id like to start using my machine though. Can i download this g code file somewhere?


    1 year ago

    could not get the ngc files to open


    2 years ago

    I really appreciate the effort. I used the layered dxf file with my laser to cut the board out of New Zealand 10mm kauri including all the holes, screen etc. Because that is a bit thin I then cut just the outline and bonded both together. Thanks for your effort in doing the layout


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much for this instructable and also for making the gcode available. I'm in the final stages of building a CNC and having some meaningful code I can run is really helpful.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Step 5

    Great work I have been kicking this idea around in my head for awhile. Glad to see how to do it.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is cool! I'm going to my first CNC class this afternoon and think I've found my first project!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    Thanks Chris,

    On the first pass I put two marks that coincided with a peg hole. When I filled the lines in with epoxy it also marked the two peg holes. Then when I put the board back in the mill. I used used the manual controls in EMC to align the dill bit to the marks. I hope that answered your question.

    P.S. Thanks for being my first comment. I was checking every day to see if there was anyone that even liked it. :-)