The Quoridor Game "Don't fence me in"

  • Advertise with us
Project by vipond33 posted 10-17-2011 09:05 AM 11494 views 96 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Quoridor, a fiendish game, for just when you’re sure you’re winning, you’ve lost.

This is simple game to learn and play, right down to a six year old keener, while sometimes frustratingly complex for even a pair of serious adult gamers. The games themselves can be fast and furious or dead slow; winning, however, is quite likely!

There are very simple rules; each turn you move your piece or place a fence restricting your opponent’s progress, and even then sometimes, your very own. Get to the other side first and win.

This version, a direct copy of Gigamic’s, the French manufacturer, was made from a single wide chunk of mahogany, the ends nipped off and then dadoed. True flat bottoms were smoothed with a router plane. The angled side planes come courtesy of a raised panel cutter on the shaper.
It was looking good at that stage but all was not well though. After cutting the grooves the board went berserk. It warped terribly. 1/2” in 16”!!? The slots you see on the bottom edge are where I tried to correct it.

After sawing these grooves I PVA’ed a piece of heavy gauge plastic laminate to the bottom and left it in the hard press for two days. Well, no dice, only modest improvement. But at least it’s concave and steady on the corners. The finish is Tried and True with varnish, Goddard’s wax.

The box holding the pieces was made from a slim salvaged piece of far eastern skid wood with a soft live edge, cut & mitered for a four corner match, then resawn down kinda thin and odd matched for the reversible lid. Incidentally, I find that modern glues are simply amazing, for the joint on such a light thickness felt unbreakable even after a very hard flexing.

The fences are qtrd white oak and the players are the usual suspects, profiled with a 10×250 2mm metal blade. Dark leather lines the bottom of the box. Amber shellac finishes it off with Goddard’s wax again. Titebond III.

15 1/2” x 17” x 1 1/8”
About 22 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

A bunch o links:

Gigamic’s amusing animated explication.
A fast sample game done in stop motion, with a jazz soundtrack.
Just the facts ma’am.
Simple rules with diagrams.
Free online game playing ranging from dead easy to real tough. Online human too.
For people that enjoy strategy.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

11 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 10-17-2011 10:09 AM

Wowee. Looks very good. I’d have seen some inlay and banding here and there though.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

837 posts in 4917 days

#2 posted 10-17-2011 10:40 AM

Wow, Beautiful. How do you play? Dahh , follow the links?

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3582 days

#3 posted 10-17-2011 02:38 PM

Forgot the banana shot.
@Sodabowski – Inlay, banding? Good idea and still possible. Might keep your eye away from the defect. Should have put the mini groove down the edge too, emphasizing the cross grain joint since I can’t hide it.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4966 days

#4 posted 10-17-2011 03:19 PM

Man you have an eye for design.

Have to think about what else to do to combat the dreaded banana. Maybe use a two layer build up and only dado through the top layer. The raised panel edge treatment is one I will have to remember.

That is really nice though. Love the Far Eastern skid wood – rare as it might be.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Ken90712's profile


18001 posts in 4273 days

#5 posted 10-17-2011 05:25 PM

Great job and interesting game!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3907 days

#6 posted 10-17-2011 10:20 PM

Haven’t heard of that game Gene, sounds very interesting. I do like the design & work gone into the board & pieces, time taken – patient skill = great job :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20871 posts in 4760 days

#7 posted 10-18-2011 02:55 AM

Never heard of it before either. Nice work. Thanks for the idea ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4028 days

#8 posted 10-19-2011 04:59 AM

Gene, it came out great.

Have neither heard of it before . Thanks for the links.

At least the pieces are easier to turn than chessmen :)

Thanks also for the warning the banana

I think is a great gift for holydays indeed.

-- Back home. Fernando

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4245 days

#9 posted 10-25-2011 06:25 AM

Neat looking game. Nice design with the panel bit too. I think if I made one(learning from yours, otherwise I’d have had the same problem), I’d keep it oversize, cut the slots, let it sit a week, then plane it flat. Thanks for sharing, and it really does look good.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3511 days

#10 posted 11-19-2011 07:04 AM

Okay I want to build one! I went to and read the reviews and the biggest complaint was the store bought version is too small 10” sq. I want mine to be about 14” sq.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View woodworkqvwt's profile


430 posts in 589 days

#11 posted 10-04-2019 09:35 AM

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics