Monday, January 18, 2016

Cribbage Board Build

close up of cribbage board top and four pegs
I’ve wanted to do something for the last 10 years with scraps of mahogany I’d salvaged from our house.   It was wainscoting from the dining room, though didn’t appear to be original from the house, so I didn’t feel too bad about not returning it to the dining room once the room was redone.   So, instead, it’s been sitting in my basement.  I’ve used small scraps over the years, but haven’t made a substantial dent in it.  You’ll see a little of the disassembly in the video.  Even after all of these years, those rails and stiles were very tight and I ended up using a circular saw to separate some of them because I couldn’t get the bond to break.
So, when I’d decided I wanted to make a couple cribbage boards as Christmas gifts, the magohany seemed like a good option.   I coupled it with some scraps of oak left over from redoing the stairs in the old house and used some old nails I’ve recovered from flooring removed from the house as well.   I painted the tips of the nails to differentiate the players, and gave them three colored sets and one natural. 
This was my first try at finger joints.  After getting the basics from YouTube, I’d decided I didn’t want to make a complex jig (one for adjustability and reuse), I needed only to get the job at hand done.   So, I built a small finger joint jig.  My first pass at the joints left them too tight to assemble and the second a little loose, but nothing which glue couldn’t fix. 
I’d thought about using a wood burner to draw the lines and other markings on the boards.   My past experience (as a kid) using  a wood burner  weren’t great.  I remember it being hard to achieve a consistent line thickness as well as a straight line.  I decided that keeping a clean board without the lines and without the risk was the best way to go.  (I did get a new wood burning tool for Christmas, so plan on replacing those old memories with some new skills.)
All and all, I’m pleased with the project.  It took far more time than I’d anticipated (when doesn’t it), but that’s fine as they were gifts.   I am glad to know a bit of our home is in their homes.

two cribbage board boxes closed with pegs in the board
Cribbage Board closed

inside view of cribbage board box showing two decks of cards and space for the pegs.
Cribbage Board open

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