Nine Men's Morris Board Game




Introduction: Nine Men's Morris Board Game

About: Im a model maker who makes film and game props in my spare time. If you like my work please visit my blog it has more work. email me at backwardsprops @ gmail . com (with out the spaces, stops...

i love wooden board games so when i recently saw the game nine men's morris i thought i would give making one a try.

And because the design i came up with had two sides i went for the nice old game of drafts (checkers)

The board and the pieces will be made from wood and cut and engraved on a laser cutter. 

this is the first time I've made a board for a game from scratch so i know it wont be perfect but it was mainly a test to see if i could do it.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials and Tools.


- wood. i used different types, all 3mm thick.
             >walnut, spruce, obeche and a pine ply wood. 
- Thin ply wood. i used a 1mm ply
- wood glue.
- small hinges and fastening latch, with tiny screws. 


- sand paper
- files
- laser cutter
- saw

Step 2: Planning and Cutting.

I searched on google for the layout of the Nine mens morris board and drew one up in illustrator, i also drew up a checkers game board for the other side of the box that i was planning to make.

i cut the parts out of the wood on a laser cutter.

Step 3: Gluing the Parts.

i cut the main board in triangles so the the grain would go around and turn at right angles.
The frame for the main board was made from the ply wood.

I spread the glue along where the two parts for one half meet and then i used the thin 1mm ply as a brace on the underside of the board face to keep it together and strong.

i did this with all 8 parts for the two sides.

The frame was made with two layers of 3mm plywood.
i constructed them in two L shapes the first layer is the main surface and the second layer is the brace level.

Step 4: More Glueing.

once all the glue had set i got the main frame and the two triangles and glued them together.

once both halves were set i gave the playing surface a sand to get the glue and burning off and to make it nice to play on. 

Step 5: Hinge and Clasp.

i found some tiny hinges and a clasp that were made for some sort of jewellery box, i attached them to the board.

Step 6: Etching the Playing Surface.

I took the board apart at the hinges so it would be easier to fit in the laser cutter.

once in the machine i sent a file with just the outline of the wooden parts so i could line up the laser file with the board.

i sent the file which was just a box with a cross in and pushed print on the laser with the lid open which means the cutting laser is disabled and the red pointer laser is switched on, this then runs along the path of the print file which is the box and a cross so i can align the board in the correct position.

once the part is in the right place i sent the board playing surface file and closed the lid and started cutting.

i repeated this with both sides etching the nine men's morris on one side and the drafts on the other side.

then i screwed them back together at the hinges.

Step 7: Making the Counters

I only had one type of wood to make the two different coloured counters.

so i drew up a design of lots of concentric rings and etched the large rings for the dark counter and i etched the small rings for the light counter.

on the other side of the ring i decided to etch a crown for when playing drafts and if a player gets kinged you can just turn the counter over to show which have been kinged.

Step 8: Play the Game

once you have all the parts get to playing the games.

I do plan on giving the playing surface a little wax or varnish or something but i have to look into what i need for that.

any questions please ask in the comments below.

thank you for reading my instructable. :)

UP! Contest

Participated in the
UP! Contest

Furniture Contest

Participated in the
Furniture Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Toys and Games Challenge

    Toys and Games Challenge
  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    Silly Hats Speed Challenge

5 Discussions


4 years ago

what is the point of the game? What are you supposed to do? I dont know what this is.

backwards lamb
backwards lamb

Reply 4 years ago


7 years ago on Introduction

I first played 6 men, 9 men, and 12 men Morris from Assassin's Creed 3. This is a great instructable!

Nice instructable. I remember playing nine men's morris when I was young.

I'm partial to shellac as a wood finish; it's natural, easy to apply, easy to fix if it gets scratched or something, and doesn't cover the beauty of the wood like some of the thicker finishes.

Just dissolve some shellac flakes in denatured alcohol and rub it on with a wad of cotton cloth.


7 years ago on Introduction

That's pretty cool. I wasn't familiar with the game so I had to look it up. Going to give it a try online. I like how you set up the board, so you can play the 3, 6 and 12 man variants. The way you solved the colour issue was creative. I think I would have put symbols for chess pieces on the other side though. Giving you a third game option.