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?


A flying condom wrapper hit me in the head

Last month hubby and I had the opportunity to go away without kids for two weeks, and we took it!  Granted there were only two of our three children at living home and they are 23 and 21, so having mom and dad out of the house for a couple of weeks really isn’t a big deal.

Not a lot gets done in regards to personal grooming when you are on the road for two weeks, camping most of the time. Showers were had, but trying to shave one’s legs in a campground shower stall is next to impossible, if you want to do it with hot water. Plus there were a number of days where it had rained and rained so the comfort stations were not in their best shape.

Picture of us on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia
Starting to look haggard

So after two weeks away from home, it was time for hubby and I to pretty ourselves up. I was fine with taking care of myself, hubby was able to trim his beard to perfection, but then came time to deal with the back hair. I know, eww, and he required my assistance.

Some woman may like a hairy man, and certainly I like his hairy chest but when it comes to back hair, no thank you, I do not want to sleep with a grizzly bear. Over the years we have tried different methods of hair removal. There was the waxing episode (insert laughter), it did not go over well, sure enough it removed a lot of hair but he couldn’t handle the pain (and he has the nerve to suggest I wax my nether regions, ha!). Then there was the cream removal treatment, it didn’t really work either, I had to keep slathering it on, then showering it off for him, then slathering it on again, showering, and so on. The final and most successful is plain old shaving with the electric beard trimmer, it’s quick, painless, and does the trick. Voila! He’s been beautified.

Now sex on vacation doesn’t really happen when you are driving, and stopping, and driving all day, then trying to find a place to stay, particularly since this was a spur of the moment trip, and nothing was booked. We were exhausted most nights, then we would be camping, having to cook our dinner, set up the tent, the air mattress, sleeping bags, and hubby’s nightly fight to start a fire with soggy wood (he usually won after soaking everything with camp fuel). Don’t get me wrong, I would not trade the camping for anything, I loved every minute of it, and so did my husband, but we were tired, and even if sex was on our mind, we were tired.

So, when we arrived home, we had to make up for lost time. Now, after years of bad timing you would think middle child would have learned by now, that when you knock on your parent’s bedroom door, you do not just walk in. Apparently the poor girl has not learned, and is once again scarred for life!

After slamming our door shut, she yelled she was going to check the mail. About ten minutes later I sent her a text message asking if we received any mail, she sent me this back:

I’m tainted
My brain is overloading
I’m about to throw up

The poor girl. Now a few weeks have gone by, and I must say she has gotten her revenge, not on purpose, but she has. This morning as I was driving the dogs to the dog park with the windows open, I was suddenly hit in the head by some sort of plastic wrapping, which then drops down to the floor. I look down, and what do I see but an open condom wrapper, OMFG – is the thought! I’m distracted by the dogs, until I arrive home, and as I am letting the dogs out of the car, I actually find the used condom in the back of the van. She got me. I’m grossed out. I’m happy she’s playing it safe, but in my van, ewww, Get a fucking hotel room daughter.

Hotel Frontenac
Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City