Laser Cut Cribbage Board




I love to play cribbage and I love to make stuff.  It was inevitable that sooner or later I would make a cribbage board.  I've never been very excited about my inexpensive 'grocery store' board and my kids managed to lose most of the pegs that came with it.  My first thought was to go the traditional route and make a nice board out of wood.  However, the thought of drilling all of those holes made my arm hurt just thinking about it.  It just so happens that I have access to an Epilog laser cutter at work and I knew that it wouldn't even break a sweat cutting all of those holes (397 to be exact).

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Step 1: Materials List

Here is what you will need to complete this project:

(1) 24" x 24" x 1/4" sheet of acrylic
(4) 1/4-20 x 2" Machine screws
(4) 1/4-20 nuts
(4) 1/4-20 acorn nuts
(4) 1/2" long spacers (for 1/4-20 machine screws)
(1) Altoids smalls container
(1) Deck of cards
(4) pegs (at least) for 1/8" diameter holes - I bought mine on

You will also, of course, need access to a laser cutter capable of cutting 1/4" thick acrylic.

Step 2: Design Your Cribbage Board Top Plate

Initially I tried to find a dxf file online that I could use either directly or as a base template that could be modified.  After some searching I was unsuccessful, so I drew one in AutoCAD.  It's nothing fancy, just the standard board layout, but it has all of the scoring numbers in increments of 5 as well as the 'Start', 'Finish', and 'Skunk' locations.

You can find the dxf file below.

Step 3: Card and Peg Storage

Since I was working with 1/4" thick acrylic I had to use a layered approach for the card and peg storage.  There is one bottom layer that is the same shape as the top, but only has holes for the 1/4-20 machine screws which hold the layers together.  There are then two layers above the bottom that have a cutout for the cards and an Altoids Smalls container for the pegs.

The top layer is offset by 1/2" spacers to provide enough clearance for the cards.  The pegs pass all the way through the 1/4" acrylic top plate, so the 1/2" offset also provides room for the pegs to completely seat in the holes during game play.

Step 4: Laser Cut the Parts

I will assume that if you have a laser, or access to one, you will know what to do with the dxf.  I'll provide some general guidelines for cutting these parts and hopefully that will be enough to get you going.

Since the top plate has both text and thru cuts you will need to do a combination of raster/etching (for the text) and vector cutting for the thru cuts.  I think I used a line weight of 2mm for the text, but you may want to do a test run on a piece of scrap material to make sure it looks how you want it to before cutting the real piece.

The bottom three plates only have thru cuts so you can use vector cutting exclusively. 

Refer to your laser's documentation for the proper power, frequency and speed settings.

Step 5: Assembly

Cribbage Board Layers
Before assembling the layers together be sure to give them a quick rinse with water and let them dry completely.  If you don't do this you may end up with debris between the layers and you'll have to disassemble, clean and reassemble (I learned the hard way).
  1. Insert the 1/4-20 machine screws thru the top plate.
  2. Hold on to the screws and flip the top plate so that it is face down on your work surface.
  3. Place a 1/2" spacer on each of the 1/4-20 machine screws.
  4. Place the two laser cut pieces that have cutouts for the cards and peg holder onto each screw.
  5. Place the bottom plate onto each screw.
  6. Attach a 1/4-20 nut to each screw and tighten them down to hold the layers together.
  7. Attach a 1/4-20 acorn nut to the bottom of each screw (these act as feet for the board).
Pegs and Cards

Finally, place your pegs into the Altoids Smalls case and insert the case and cards into their storage areas.

Step 6: Play Cribbage!!

Now it's time to enjoy your new cribbage board.  I hope that this instructable was easy to follow.  If anyone uses the files to make their own board please post pictures and let me know what kind of customizations you made.  When I make another one I will probably make it in a more creative shape and use colored acrylic.  This was my first attempt at it though and I happened to have scraps of 5" x 36" clear acrylic.

If this instructable turns out to be good enough to win me an Epilog laser cutter I would be incredibly excited.  First and foremost I would use it to show my kids how much fun it is to create and make projects that start with a simple idea and progress into a finished product.  My daughters are only 3 and 6 years old, but I could see us having fun making custom stickers, acrylic animals, doll furniture, gliders and who knows what else.  I'm sure I would also use it for a small side business since I always need a way to pay for all of my crazy projects.

Thanks for reading my instructable!!

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    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Could this file be used for an x-carve cnc? I don't have a laser, but I do have that.


    3 years ago

    This looks pretty great! I'm new to using the Epilog, so forgive me if this is a novice question, but would you assume I could follow these plans, but substituting 1/4" wood for the acrylic? Wood or acrylic, I think this is on the short-list for soon-to-be-made projects!!

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, you could use wood instead of acrylic. You would just need to adjust the laser settings for your particular machine. Post a picture if you end up making one out of wood. I'd like to see it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey! I'm sorry, I totally dropped the ball on posting this sooner. I had to reduce the length of the bolts (due to the thinner wood) and I added a little graphic & inscription on the bottom, but otherwise it's absolutely your design - so, thank you! It made a great gift and we use it often. (It's a picture of our dog, who gave it to my girlfriend....)

    John T MacF Mood

    3 years ago

    Great project, well executed. Going to save this URL to try it myself later. Great work!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the CAD file, you have just saved me a week of trying to figure it out for my self and rage qutting


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm a teacher who just received a laser cutter, and really like this project. However, when I click on the link, it comes up in a big webpage of code, that I can't save in a .dxf file. Any tips?? (Basically, just trying to figure out how to get it from this instructable to my laser cutter).

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Try right clicking on the link and selecting 'save link as'. Then use the drop down box to change file type to 'All files'. You should be able to then give the file a name with a .dxf extension. I was using Corel Draw to send the job to the laser cutter. With Corel Draw you can import the dxf into a new project. I'm guessing other software programs would also let you import a dxf.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, I'll get right on that.......ha ha ha. I thought about 3D printing some though.