Backgammon Board - Custom made

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Project by GaryK posted 06-07-2008 02:30 AM 86651 views 94 times favorited 70 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve had one of these on my list of things to make for a long time now. It ended up being easier and harder than I thought it would be.

I thought the hard part would be to make the board field wedge pieces. But I made a little jig that made it very easy.

This one is set for 11 degrees. I just had to make a 5 1/2 degree cut on one end of each board first. Then I just flipped it over after each cut.

The rotate it 90 degrees for cutting the wedges to length.

The wedges are made from Brazilian Boxwood and Wenge. The middle of the field is quilted maple with a bloodwood border on each side. The case is made from curly maple with a Indonesian Madrone Burl veneer covering it. The splines are also Wenge.

The protect the corners I used brass, and a pair of brass handles to carry it. You can’t see it in the pictures but there are two brass latches to keep it closed.

The dice are made from solid Gabon Ebony with the dots drilled and filled with white paint. The pieces are also boxwood and wenge. I had extra milled up so I used it.

The size is 19 1/2” x 23” and 2 1/2 thick.

To line the pockets I used crushed velvet.

I used the following techinque:

The hard part was the engineering that went into it. Everything had to be in proportion. The diameter of the pieces had to be a little smaller then the width at the bottoms of the wedges. It also effected the length of the wedges which had to be about 5 times diameter of the pieces.

The diameter of the pieces also determines the thickness of the case. and the piece thickness determined the length of the pocket they are stored in.

Basically you start backwards and determine the size of your playing pieces before anything.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

70 comments so far

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5539 days

#1 posted 06-07-2008 02:42 AM

wow…gary…very cool…but I have figured it out…your really not “gary”...there is no way that you could produce such high quality work at such a rapid rate…

you must be santa claus…and you have a team of elves to help…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View PaBull's profile


970 posts in 5127 days

#2 posted 06-07-2008 02:42 AM

I enjoy watching the project coming out of your shop one after an other. This is very nice!

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5862 days

#3 posted 06-07-2008 02:45 AM

Gary: Great looking board and great tutorial on the design that went into it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5776 days

#4 posted 06-07-2008 02:52 AM

Another beautiful job!

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5456 days

#5 posted 06-07-2008 03:41 AM

That is a beautiful board, and the contrasting woods are fabulous. Nice work, Gary.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5529 days

#6 posted 06-07-2008 04:06 AM

wow, that is beautiful Gary. I made a much simpler backgammon board for one of my kids years ago, not nearly as superb as this one. Makes me want to go back and think about trying again. You’ve sure set the bar high with this one.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 5367 days

#7 posted 06-07-2008 04:11 AM

Man, that sure is pretty.Hmm, makes me think with the right wood/craftsmanship how many boardgames could be made into heirlooms ?

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5483 days

#8 posted 06-07-2008 04:25 AM

Man, Gary you get nice results.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5230 days

#9 posted 06-07-2008 04:28 AM

thats really cool Gary! i love the selection of all the different species of woods there, thanks for the post.

View BertJ's profile


49 posts in 5160 days

#10 posted 06-07-2008 04:29 AM

Gary, you got way too much time on your hands, dude! What a fabulous project, and the engineering is superb. As you describe it, the tough part was designing it so everything would fit. But I have a question. Why are you using Oreo cookies for playing pieces?

Great job—beautiful craftsmanship and lovely wood. What more could one ask for?

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5313 days

#11 posted 06-07-2008 04:39 AM

Very nice job Gary. How’s your game skill ?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5358 days

#12 posted 06-07-2008 05:13 AM

You never cease to amaze me. You are one very talented fellow. I hope you have passed a little of your talent to your daughter—- when she starts stacking those little wooden blocks—- let us know how she does!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5680 days

#13 posted 06-07-2008 05:16 AM


After throwing this thing together this afternoon, what will you do with the rest of the weekend? <g>

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

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 5336 days

#14 posted 06-07-2008 05:53 AM

Gary, you never cease to amaze me with the speed at which you come up with and craft such great projects.
Awesome job! It also looks like you’ve overcome your photography issues. The photos are great too.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5708 days

#15 posted 06-07-2008 10:24 AM

Very cool Gary, My son plays but I don’t he says it s a lot of fun. Great Idea, and work. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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