State Cribbage Boards

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Project by jtriggs posted 12-18-2009 06:48 AM 11927 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found the nicest piece of wood a couple years ago in, of all places, my local lumberyard. I was looking for some thick walnut to make a cribbage board for myself and out of the bottom of the pile came this 12 foot x 12 inch x 1 5/8 inch beauty covered in birds eye formations by the thousands. My jaw dropped and I pulled out my billfold and paid for it. I got a good price as it had been there for years and years and also I don’t think they knew what they had. We finally settled on cherry as the wood species. Worked like cherry, burned like cherry but finished so nice.

Many years ago I made a cribbage board for my farmer, father in the shape of Iowa with ears of corn as the pegs. He has passed on but the cribbage board comes out every visit home to Iowa. I started laying out Iowa, Minnesota and later a few Wisconsin boards on CorelDraw at home and perfected the layout of the holes so it goes pretty fast. I ended up making about 10 or 11 cribbage boards out that cherry. I kept the last Minnesota board for me since I have lived here for many years now. I have had the itch to make more but couldn’t find a another bargain like that first piece.

My luck changed this summer as my wive’s BIL took a huge branch off a walnut tree in his yard. We found a local sawyer to cut it into 2 inch thick slabs. I brought it home to dry in my garage so I have to wait 2 years before it is ready. I went to an auction in Iowa this fall and ended up buying a small stack of walnut that was thick and I got enough to make 4 more cribbage boards and several things on my lathe when I get around to it.

Anyway, that is the long story about my little boards. I hand make the pegs with piano wire and a chunk of maple scrap. I chuck the wired into the drill press and turn the wood round, shape it and sand it there. I then hand paint them and dip them in poly to protect the peg for years and years of use. So far I’ve done plain colored pegs, the corn pegs and Green Bay, Chicago Bear and Viking colored ones for people.

Thanks for looking.

-- Jon --Always remember, never live your life by a motto.

7 comments so far

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4223 days

#1 posted 12-18-2009 03:45 PM

Jon, Beautiful wood and I really like what you have done so well with it. I think that cribbage is rapidly becoming a lost game. I was taught the game a a child and still do addition and subtraction in my head as a result. My father said that it was the best 2 handed game since each game was unique and not just re-runs like rummy. What a great way to preserve that beautiful piece of birds eye.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4068 days

#2 posted 12-18-2009 03:50 PM

A neat idea. You did a great job on the whole project. That birdseye is unbelieveable. I love it.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View sras's profile


5199 posts in 3639 days

#3 posted 12-18-2009 04:25 PM

So many nice things here! The wood, board shapes and pegs designs are all great. Nice story too.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View wchips's profile


314 posts in 3598 days

#4 posted 12-20-2009 05:50 AM

nice cribbage board I bet it was difficult to get all the holes rite I just finished one on the bed of a toy flatbed truck. I had a template for the holes but it still was not a easey task. Have a nice day Lee

-- wchips

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3863 days

#5 posted 12-21-2009 09:02 AM

Very nicely done. I really like the pegs too. You might include some CheeseHead pegs for the Wisconsin ones too. :)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 12-16-2011 06:04 PM

Nice board. Looking to make one for my Grandfather (Wisconsin) and would like to know how you did your holes.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10737 posts in 4562 days

#7 posted 12-16-2011 07:59 PM

Really COOL work!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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