Tablero Board

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Project by lostsheep posted 10-05-2015 10:00 AM 993 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Well, this is my first project I’m posting. I’m not an accomplished wood worker, or even a hobyist. More of a “wood butcher”. I have never had any shop classes involving wood, so I’m self taught. (Thank God for Youtube, and you guys!!).
The story:
I vend kettle corn for a small business here in Oregon. I attended a 3 day pirate festival last Labor Day weekend, and was introduced to a drinking game called “Tablero”. It involves a board similar to a checker board only with 7 squares in rank and file instead of 8. I won’t go into the rules (such as they are, remember these are pirates, and cheating is expected) other than to say the object of the game is to run your opponent out of beer. THe Tablero boards I saw were really a motley fare, most were on plywood, painted by hand with some renderings of Krakens and Mermaids. Others were actually made of cloth. The board is often doused with beer or wine as the glasses are refilled, so a good finish is required. I started with a 7” oak plank I had as a remnant from another forgotten project. It was only 48” long, so I needed to dowel it to make a size that I could work with. I edge drilled the holes on my HF drill press, and glued it up. It came out pretty dern square, for a landlubber. One edge didn’t quite fit up perfectly, but hey, it’s a pirate game. The sea warps everything, right?
I muddled around for a while trying to figure out how I wanted to do this thing, either make squares and stain or paint them, or what. I finally came out with grooving the board so the excess beer would run out the sides. Simple, and easy. I took my time, and triple-checked my measurements before cutting, and I even beveled the outer edges. I know, basic shop 101 for most of you. A real headscratcher for a rookie like me.

I ended up with a nice grid, that needed every othr square stained dark. Easy. Cover the entire top with tape, run a knife thru the grooves, pull the tape off the right squares and stain away.

I gotta tell ya. That was the worst part. The finish. Waiting between coats was agony. I only did two of a mahogany stain/urethane, but 8 hours between coats was torture. Then, I had to pull the rest of the tape and clear urethane the whole board with three coats. That’s 40 hours of dry time. interspersed with a paltry ten minutes of light sanding in between. Right about here was when I discovered that doweling jig I had bought, too. AAaaaarrrgggg!!
Anyway, it came out fair. I actually have some pirates that are interested in buying them. Other than the scrap oak and the finish and labor, I’ve got a whole three bucks tied up in the project. That was for the shot glasses I got at Dollar Tree.
It was a fun project, though.
And I still have most all my fingers…..

1 comment so far

View ClaudeF's profile


1383 posts in 2951 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 10:31 PM

Great idea and looks well done!



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