My proudest woodworking project – the Cribbage Board

Note: After sending the blog post to my Woodworking Instructor Bert, the first thing he said to me, besides that I did a great job, was “You didn’t mention how you BASTARDIZED, CHANGED, ADDED, etc,. to the instructions to redesign the plans for the cribbage board to be a ‘one of the kind original’ plus my daughter should be aware of that feat, way to go”

At the beginning of my last woodworking program, middle child asked if I could make her a cribbage board, for the purpose of teaching her boyfriend how to play; all three of our children grew up playing card & board games, and as young adults, they each continue to play. Thus a cribbage board was to be my project for the term.

For the woodworking program at the senior’s centre, I was once again lucky to have Bert as my instructor. Bert is amazingly patient when it comes to assisting the seniors (and almost seniors-55+) in his class, all at different levels, working on all our own projects.  He has a wicked sense of humour – especially when it comes to measuring and using math. I basically had to relearn fractions all over again, and practice, practice, and practice more. Still fractions are not my friend.

Finding a free pattern of all the holes on a standard cribbage board was surprisingly not all that difficult with the internet at my fingertips. With numerous pages of directions, plus a printed template, I was all ready to make a board from scratch.

To make the top piece, my husband had a spare piece of walnut that I was able to use, along with some leftover pine from another project, I had enough wood to make the board. It had also been decided that the main game board would sit upon another board, which would house the cards, and the pegs.

The first thing I had to do was plane the wood so it was all the same thickness, then using the table saw I cut the walnut, and pine into four vertical pieces which were glued together to form the top of the game board, whereas the bottom was made only of pine.

Cribbage board before shaping
Cribbage board before shaping

Using the band saw I rounded off the one end of the board, sanded, then used the router to make a more presentable edge.

Cribbage board after shaping
Cribbage board after shaping.

Next it was on to the holes, all two-hundred plus of them! With the template taped to the wood, I used an awl to make an impression of where each hole would be. The small hole also gave the drill bit something to grab once the drilling began. After each hole was drilled, I once again planed the wood.

Cribbage board_face
Cribbage board after holes have been drilled.

The bottom piece took a bit of creative thinking to figure out how to make the square space for the cards to sit in.  What I actually ended up doing was cutting the piece of wood in half, then on one piece I drilled a small hole in order for me to use the scroll saw. It was then quite easy to use the scroll saw for the square. The edges of the square were also routered. Next the two pieces of wood were glued, clamped, and left to dry. Once dry, a Forstner bit was needed to drill the hole for the pegs, and  a smaller hole for one magnet (a corresponding hole was drilled for the other magnet on the top piece of the cribbage board, the magnet would snap the cribbage board together). Two holes were then drilled in the top and bottom for a small brass pipe, allowing the top of the cribbage board to swivel.

After being stained, Cribbage board with pegs and a deck of cards.
After being stained, Cribbage board with pegs and a deck of cards.

As you can see, I lined both the card holder and peg holder with felt.

The underside of the top of the cribbage board, and the bottom piece of the board.
The underside of the top of the cribbage board, and the bottom piece of the board after being stained.
Cribbage Board Edges
Cribbage Board Edges.
Side view of Cribbage Board with pegs.
Side view of Cribbage Board with pegs.
View of cribbage board swivel.
View of cribbage board swivel.

Since engraving letter on a brass plate for the cribbage board did not work out, my husband did the next best thing for me, he used his stamping tools:

The year was engraved by my husband.
The year was stamped into the wood by my husband.
My husband has made sure middle child will not forget who made the Cribbage Board for her: "For Constance Love Mom" with his stamping tools.
My husband has made sure middle child will not forget who made the Cribbage Board for her: “For Constance Love Mom” with his stamping tools.

I joined the senior’s centre!

I’m not sixty-five yet, I still have another nine years to go, but that has not stopped me from joining the local seniors centre. Our city has a 55+ program. This may be a way to start preparing us for the obvious inevitable “golden age” of sixty-five. Either way, I am having a damn good time as a young senior.

Twice a week I take yoga, one is a gentle yoga class, with an amazing instructor who tells me as long as I am practising breathing I am still doing yoga. The second yoga class is hot yoga, and I have been known to fall asleep near the end, and the nice lady beside me, lets me sleep for the last fifteen minutes or so, then wakes me up. She is a dear. I do love the hot yoga class, I tend to be a little more flexible in the heat.

The third class I am taking is woodworking. My husband is exceptionally talented when it comes to working with wood, either fixing things around the house or building a new deck around our pool. All of our children had the opportunity to take carpentry in high school, and I was always quite jealous of what they were able to learn. Now it is my turn. The first project each student has to construct is a shelf, because it gives us the opportunity to learn all the different machines in the class – a chop saw, table saw, joiner, planer, band saw, router, and belt sander.  I actually made three shelves, which are now stained and hung in my sewing room.My first shelf

Our kids gave me my own tool belt for my 56th birthday plus a level, and a few other handy tools.

My second project was a bat box not baseball bats, but a house for real bats. Bats need homes, and they eat a lot of mosquitoes. When I went to buy the wood for my bat box, I did not examine it very well, and it wasn’t until I went to use it, that we realized it was quite warped in places.  I still used the wood, but the bat box looks a bit odd in places, though I don’t think the bats will mind if of course they move in. Hopefully when the weather is nice, I can convince my son and husband to climb on top of our roof, then up the chimney to hang the it. We’ve had some nice days, but I am still waiting. I don’t think they like the idea of climbing the chimney.

Now when, not if, the bat house makes it to the chimney, I wonder who I will be able to convince to climb back up there and clean out the bat house occasionally?