Quarto Game (times five)

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Project by RSmike posted 12-13-2012 10:07 PM 5712 views 15 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was inspired by Steve (Woodworking for Mere Mortals) to build a Quarto game. Check out his video on how to make one like it and how to play it. It’s checkers on steroids with a little bit of thinking like chess.

It seemed silly not to make five….(Chirstmas presents done!)

Case is made of birch. Walnut inlay (my first attempt at an inlay). Oak and birch playing pieces. Spray (can) lacquer finish. (first time with lacquer). Box has water based poly on it.

I used a black/ebony water based Minwax stain on the playing pieces. I soaked the little buggers in the stain to get them to be really dark. I picked up the oak dowels at the local big box store. I had to soak those pieces a second time to get the darkness to match. It was a little more work than I thought. The end result was worth the effort. I would note that water based stain does raise the grain…..sigh…..I had to sand everything an extra time.

My bride made up a ‘how to play’ card for each set.

After sanding 80 playing pieces there is just a small amount of my sanity in each set.

Build it. They will play it.
(or take the easy way out and buy it from Amazon)


Update… Per requests…
The dimensions and more:
The box is 9” square. The overall height of the box is 2-3/4” tall. The top is actually 3/4” thick with a 1/4” relief so it drops down inside the sides of the box. The underside of the top is rounded over to give a reveal / shadow line.

The inlays are 1-1/4” diameter with 1/4” spacing between the circles. The pieces are 1” diameter/square. The pieces are 2” tall and 1-1/4” tall.. The height is important. I initially tried 1 and 2 and even 3 inch pieces but they just didn’t look right. And seemed a little tippy… 2 inches just looks right for the tall. I sort of ended up at 1-1/4” for the short by trial and error. I would perhaps consider making the shorts a little taller;perhaps 1-1/2”.

The hole in the top was cut using a countersink bit. It’s more of a cone than a hole. I thought about putting a plug of opposite color but I thought that would add more confusion. Imagine light pieces with dark plugs and dark pieces with light plugs….the plug would be the characteristic.

The veneer inlay is about 1/16” thick. They were punched using an industrial hydraulic press. I was able to punch out a zillion circles in just a couple minutes. Otherwise I’m not sure how to do it. I was planning to make a jig and use a router to cut the thin veneer….then the punch option presented itself. It was almost easy and fun.

The holes for the inlays were cut using an undersized forstner bit. I applied a thin layer of yellow glue to the veneer and the hole and pressed each one in. The inlay sat just below the top which I sanded flush.

If i had to do it again I would think about a sliding lid or hinges to help keep the pieces from falling out of the box….probably sliding.

You could do something like round stickers and paint the top…then remove the stickers. Or check out mere mortals for a drill only method.

-- Mike

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25736 posts in 4077 days

#1 posted 12-14-2012 02:49 AM

Neat game and pieces!!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tjcorey's profile


31 posts in 2971 days

#2 posted 12-14-2012 06:08 AM

I like the box for storing the pieces. Very nice.

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4549 days

#3 posted 12-14-2012 06:44 AM

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3802 days

#4 posted 12-14-2012 08:48 AM

Wow – you deserve a prize for your patience! They’re great.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Woodenwizard's profile


1367 posts in 4015 days

#5 posted 12-15-2012 04:46 AM

Geat Project. My daughter has put this at the top of my to do list. Maybe I can get it done by her birthday in Janurary.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Woodenwizard's profile


1367 posts in 4015 days

#6 posted 12-15-2012 07:49 PM

Thanks for the update. It has given me some ideas.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

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