backgammon board 1st try

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Project by James Frederick posted 10-05-2010 08:48 PM 9021 views 23 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks to Gary K for the inspiration to do this project; I appreciate his work and willingness to share his knowledge with the rest of us. I have always wanted to build one of these for as long as I have been wood working. Gary was my push to make one for a gift, and most probably more gifts.

It is Tiger maple and Walnut, with walnut veneer on the outer case. I can’t get over my love of the look of tiger maple, and the way it contrasted with the walnut was awesome.

The case measures closed 16 X 12X 1 3/4, open 24 X 16 X 1 3/8. I have to apply the last coats of finish to it, but I have already started planning the next one and applying the lessons learned from the first one.

I found the choice of hinges I made needs to be rethought, as the proved to be difficult to install in a pleasing manner due to the hinges action, and the mortises were difficult in the 1/2 inch maple.

My best tip is to order your game pieces first as the 1 1/4 round 1/4 inch thick pieces I ordered were closer to 1 3/8ths and 5/16 thick. I waited to install a dice holder until I received the pieces, and even had an internal debate with myself about waiting or planning on the size listed by the vendor…..... Wait until you have them in hand, and for kickers the thickness varies from brown to white.

I also included a picture of my project model Sophia. I also uploaded better photos, the blackberry just doesn’t cut it.

-- Change begins somewhere, let it begin with me.

26 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3898 days

#1 posted 10-05-2010 08:57 PM


-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5278 days

#2 posted 10-05-2010 09:07 PM

That is one beautiful game board!

Gary K? Forget that hack. Oh, sorry Gary…didn’t see you lurking there. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4101 days

#3 posted 10-05-2010 09:13 PM

Nice !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View degoose's profile


7281 posts in 4415 days

#4 posted 10-05-2010 09:22 PM


-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View freidasdad's profile


144 posts in 4047 days

#5 posted 10-05-2010 09:50 PM

That is a beautiful piece…...I’ve wanted to do one for awhile also…..guess I’ll have to get motivated after seeing your 1st try….
by the way…I’m in Houston Tx…if you’re ever coming this way give me a jingle….I’ll treat you to a coffee…or beer or something….

-- My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am---author unknown

View anon's profile


417 posts in 3957 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 09:58 PM

wonderful :)

View SteveE's profile


56 posts in 4569 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 10:13 PM

Damn fine job.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3927 days

#8 posted 10-05-2010 10:16 PM

That’s a wonderful looking backgammon board. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 4830 days

#9 posted 10-06-2010 06:27 AM

Realy nice, great work, looks beautiful.

-- Tom D

View MGoBlue7's profile


56 posts in 3863 days

#10 posted 10-06-2010 02:47 PM

I absolutely love this! I have been thinking about making one for a long time, you might have inspired me!

Did you give any thought to making the dice too? You could cut a cube of that beautiful curly maple and put the spots on the faces on the drill press. If you want to get really fancy, you might even be able to stain the spots dark and then come back and sand the excess stain off the face of the die so that only the spot is stained dark. Maybe a big waste of time when you can buy them for $1 at your local junk shop, but it would certainly be a nice touch!

One question for you as well. How did you cut the wedges that made up the playing area? Table saw with a taper jig?

View mafe's profile


13114 posts in 4149 days

#11 posted 10-06-2010 03:50 PM

Beautiful backgammon.
I love to play backgammon, and have several wooden games I bought on travels in greese and Turkey, but yours are so much more beautiful.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4637 days

#12 posted 10-06-2010 04:12 PM

Outrageously beautiful a fantastic job.


View James Frederick's profile

James Frederick

264 posts in 4780 days

#13 posted 10-06-2010 06:19 PM

The best payoff is that my youngest daughter wants to learn how to play backgammon with her old dad, priceless. Growing my Father, brother and I used to play everynight for a quarter. It is the simple things you miss when the ones you love are no longer with us. Looks like i can pass on another family tadition.

As for the Jig I modified Gary K’s version and used a miter slot instead of my fence for consistency, once you get the jig set up it really goes well. I do advise purchasing all the items you will be using on the project before you begin, it will make a difference.

I did not have a drill press mine was stolen a while back and a daughter in college wins the money call.

I will upload a picture of my jig shortly.

Thanks again


-- Change begins somewhere, let it begin with me.

View MGoBlue7's profile


56 posts in 3863 days

#14 posted 10-06-2010 07:04 PM

Very nice sled Jim. Thanks for posting!

View waters's profile


369 posts in 4406 days

#15 posted 10-06-2010 09:22 PM

awesome board James! It turned out fantastic!

-- Dale, Oregon

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