Life as an Amateur Woodworker #64: Chinese Checkers

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Blog entry by PhilBello posted 12-09-2015 12:25 AM 2142 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 63: Bedside Table Update Part 64 of Life as an Amateur Woodworker series Part 65: Solitaire »

With major projects finished for this year, it was time to turn my attention again to Christmas, I have to keep the family occupied somehow, and to keep pulling the Parqués board out every time someone comes, is like Christmas in the UK as a child, where Monopoly came out, whether you liked it or not. I spent so much time in Prison, I am surprised that I spent 30 years as a Cop, or maybe because of it!!! :)

I still like playing games with marbles, so the first alternative this year is Chinese Checkers, it took a few weeks to source marbles, I was beginning to think they didn’t have them over here, then I walked into a bargain basement shop, every thing 60c or 42p depending on where you are, here it is 2000 COP, and they had nets of 50, all the same colour, but marbles all the same, so I bought three nets.

The first objective was to find a template:

I had bought a 3/4” laminated oak board to base the game on, so I printed off the template to the size I needed, using Matthias Wandell’s Big Print this took four sheets of paper, which I then taped to the board.

Then using hammer and punch I punched the centre of each circle to mark the board. That done, I had to decide how I was going to cut the ´holes’ for the marbles, I was using my plunger router with a bull-nose cutting bit.

I had seen Jay Bastes recently making something similar, but he made a wooden template first to ensure his marbles were in the right place, because I was only making one, I didn’t want to go to that trouble, so I practised first, and found that although the bit is rounded, when spinning you see a point, I aimed the point at each punch hole, and plunged.

I don’t think I could have got it any better if I had cut a template first, and it didn’t take too long.

That done it was time to make the trim, so I delved into my every lasting pile of reclaimed mahogany, and cut 1” x 1” strips, the idea being that if a marble escaped the trim would stop it rolling off the board. Having mitred the trim, I glued and clamped it to the board, one piece at a time, waiting for the glue to dry before moving on.

Once the trim was all fitted, I filled nail holes and defects on the trim with sawdust / glue mix, and then it was all sanded to 120 grit, being a game it didn’t need any more. I gave the board numerous coats of spray lacquer for protection.

Now it was the turn of the marbles, they were all the same colour, but I needed ten of six different colours, fortunately I had the spray paint from when I made the Parqués, so I used five of those, and left the sixth the original colour.

The game was then complete!

Now for my next game… I’ll keep them occupied! :D

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

3 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4355 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 12-09-2015 12:36 AM

Very nice getting all the holes drilled correctly…looks great

View DocSavage45's profile


8882 posts in 3450 days

#2 posted 12-09-2015 06:45 AM


Nicely done! PROJECT!

We did Monopoly, Careers, Parchisi And Poker! LOL!

Were you a detective? Your good ad finding scarce things.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2574 days

#3 posted 12-09-2015 12:34 PM

Thanks Redoak49, I think it was more luck than judgement, the proof will be with my next game :D

OK Tom, I get the hint…later! Detective was one thing I never did, I couldn’t bring myself to spend all day in the Pub!! :)

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

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