Nine Men Morris

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Project by drbyte posted 04-02-2012 04:55 PM 4325 views 13 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Nine Men Morris game board (otherwise known as miter-joint nightmare from hell). I made the board with cutoffs from other projects. it has a red oak center square. Walnut is used for the inner two squares dividing lines and ipe for the outer square guidelines. Poplar then wormy chestnut then cherry surround the center square. The men holders are bubinga on the left (white markers) and mahogany on the right (red markers). Finish is spray lacquer. There is a piece of ‘charcoal speaker cabinet carpet’ on the bottom. I added the holes in the center square as a ‘stockade’, a place to put captured men so they cannot be returned to play until game is over. I have not seen this but it is handy. You can find rules to this game at: as well as many others. It is a very ancient game, probably the fore runner of tic-tac-toe and maybe even checkers and chess. I cut then sanded each miter-joint to fit individually, but for the next one might laminate six layers then cut only four times!! I left the walnut and ipe a little proud of the surface thinking I’d plane them down flush with a block plane. Mistake! Trying to plane ipe is like trying to plane concrete! Finally got surface all planed/sanded/scraped down flush but it took a lot of time and manual labor! Pegs are .25” birch dowels .75” long with little plastic .25” bolt end protectors pushed on for the two armies and to make them easy to get hold of (especially for the kids). Main square is 10.5”. All scrap pieces making the squares were .625 thick and with walnut/ipe dividers came to 1” wide. The pieces were glued together on a .25” birch plywood substrate except for the cherry which is .75” thick to cover the edges. The peg holders are approx 1” x 1” x 9.5” long. Thanks for looking and your comments are always anxiously awaited!!

-- Dennis, WV

10 comments so far

View MShort's profile


1797 posts in 3900 days

#1 posted 04-02-2012 05:50 PM

Looks like an interesting game. Your playing board looks GREAT.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View drbyte's profile


831 posts in 4544 days

#2 posted 04-02-2012 05:58 PM

Thanks Mike!

-- Dennis, WV

View diggerdelaney's profile


516 posts in 4232 days

#3 posted 04-02-2012 06:40 PM

Good job I like games like this. They are great to play even for the young ones. I have also made one of these they are great to make

-- Derek, Kent, UK,

View a1Jim's profile


117713 posts in 4059 days

#4 posted 04-02-2012 06:56 PM

Looks great I find these lessor know games very interesting and you sure used a great combination of woods and did a super build.

View drbyte's profile


831 posts in 4544 days

#5 posted 04-02-2012 07:22 PM

Thanks for the kudos Jim!

-- Dennis, WV

View lizardhead's profile


653 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 04-03-2012 12:57 AM

This is a great game- I play all the time

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View clieb91's profile


3663 posts in 4417 days

#7 posted 04-03-2012 01:17 AM

Neat looking version.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View drbyte's profile


831 posts in 4544 days

#8 posted 04-03-2012 01:59 PM

Thanks to all you great LJ’s out there for looking and commenting! Really appreciated!

-- Dennis, WV

View Holt's profile


280 posts in 3111 days

#9 posted 04-03-2012 03:51 PM

Are the holes inside the inner box just for decoration? The wiki link doesn’t show them in the game play…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View drbyte's profile


831 posts in 4544 days

#10 posted 04-03-2012 08:05 PM

The holes in the center square are for captured pieces so they cannot re-enter the playing field until the end of the round. It’s just a ‘holding cell’ or ‘stockade’ of sorts.

-- Dennis, WV

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