Building a Crokinole Board

*This is a guest post by my Level 1 friend Jeremy Van Maanen (Twitter: @jeremyvanman). All text is written from his perspective. Any Editor’s notes are in italics.

One of my hobbies that I enjoy as much as board games is woodworking and a couple of years ago I started seeing some games that could also become woodworking projects. The one that was most interesting to me was Crokinole. Crokinole is a dexterity game of flicking discs to remove your opponents discs from the board and/or score by getting in the center hole or as close as possible. Crokinole has its roots in Canada and even has world championships. I finally decided to build a board at GenCon 13 after playing a game of Crokinole at the Mayday Games booth. If you check out the links below, you’ll see that nothing I did is completely original but it was a good project anyway.

I started by gathering information and plans on what others had done and made my own plans that suited what I wanted in a board and the tools I owned. Here are some resources I used to create my plan:

I decided to create a board with an octagonal base instead of circular because I thought the rail would be easier to make. I also decided to use ½” maple plywood for the board and the base because I already had some in my wood pile and solid maple for the rails because I also had that on hand. I bought a new sheet of maple plywood as well because I didn’t have a big enough piece to get a 26” diameter circle. The other decision I made was to cut enough pieces for two boards. This decision was mainly driven by the fact that I could get two 26” boards out of a half sheet (4’x4’) of plywood and since I was going through the work anyway, I thought it made sense. This write-up will be about my first board and at the end I’ll list what I plan to do differently on my second board.

Below are the parts, tools, and rough dimensions of my components. I say rough dimensions because it’s always better to measure the components against each other instead of independently cutting pieces to a certain dimension (I’ll give examples of what I mean below).

PARTS:

  • Half-sheet of ½” maple plywood
  • 15 board feet of hard maple
  • Clear vinyl tube – ¼” inner diameter, 3/8” outer diameter
  • Wood pegs – I found mine labled as toy wooden axles.
  • Wood glue
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint
  • Car wax (carnauba wax)
  • Other scraps of wood for jigs, support, cauls, etc.

TOOLS:

  • Table saw
  • Jig saw
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • 1 3/8” Forsner drill bit
  • Drill bit that matches the diameter of the wooden pegs
  • Orbital sander
  • Sand paper
  • Beam compass – or a piece of wood with a nail in one end
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Paint brush / foam brush
  • Rags for wiping excess glue

With the plan in place I got started by rough cutting the circle for the board. I created a beam compass by taking a scrap of wood, putting a nail in one end and drilled a hole 13 inches away from the nail. I borrowed a jig saw from Ed to rough cut the circles.

*What follows is a picture gallery walking us through Jeremy’s building process.

Costs: Around $70? It can vary based on how many of the supplies and tools you have and the deal you can get on your wood, but I’d estimate $30 for the plywood and another $40 for the maple. Add more money for the other supplies you don’t already own.

Time: This is hard to quantify. I started the project at the end of the summer and it sat for several months between steps. I’d guess I put around 30 hours into this board – though that includes planning and figuring things out. I would guess my next board would go much faster since I already have the pieces cut and a good idea of how to construct it. If you don’t enjoy woodworking I would not suggest this project – or I’d suggest a simplified version of it. I enjoyed the time I put into it so I ended up putting in extra time to make it the way I wanted it.

What would I do differently next time? I’d paint the base before attaching the rails. I’d also like to try adding graphics or art to the board.

*Jeremy had originally planned an awesome map of Middle Earth for his board. That would have been amazing!

I had a great time making my board and I really enjoy the game as well. If Crokinole looks cool to you and you like woodworking – or want to get into woodworking – I recommend giving this project a try. There are a number of ways you could make this simpler or more complex to suit your ability and resources. You could make a board simply by taking a flat square piece of wood, adding the lines, pegs, center hole, and finish. On the other end of the spectrum you could try making a round base and rail and adding graphics to the board (which I plan to try next). Either way, it’s a good way to build some woodworking skill and end up with a great game.

***

Thanks, Jeremy, for supplying the article and the images. You did a great job building the test board and I’m looking forward to seeing your next improved version!

Posted on March 14, 2014, in Lessons Learned, The Boards and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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