Mancala Game

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Project by drbyte posted 04-09-2013 01:39 PM 3167 views 15 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mancala—The ancient game fit for everyone! This is a game of counting and strategy. More info can be found here: <http: /> and clear rules here: <http: />. Kids love the game and it really helps teach them counting and moving strategies. This board was made for a grand-daughter. She has played since she was about four or five years old. I cut twelve three inch squares by three-quarters of an inch thick for the bowls, six Maple and six Cherry. I added a Beech accent strip between the bowls then glued them together and down on one-half inch Baltic Birch plywood. Quite a lot of sanding followed! One side and one end are one-half inch Walnut strips while the other side and end are one-half inch Mahogany strips. The outer banding strips stand just a bit proud (about one-eighth inch) of the playing surface to help keep errant game pieces on the board. The bowls or cups are two and one eighth inch in diameter by one-half inch deep. I used a chamfer router bit to widen the bowl rims by about one-eighth inch to make it easier to pick the pebbles out of the bowl. My last Mancala board had bowls about five-sixteenths of an inch deep and that is just not enough for these glass pebbles. The finish is hand wiped,rubbed and wet-sanded Danish oil. Build one for your own enjoyment (or the kids/family/etc). When starting out with a young or new player the game maybe played with three pebbles in each bowl, but four is more traditional. As always questions and comments are welcome! And keep the wood chips flying!!

-- Dennis, WV

8 comments so far

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3489 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 02:14 PM

Awesome looking job on this. Really love the combinations of woods used too. Great job on it!

All the best,


If interested I hope you may check out my new website!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 04-09-2013 02:53 PM

Dennis that looks really nice
The contrast is great and it is a nice way to make a Mancala Board
I used dried beans a markers.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View drbyte's profile


845 posts in 4949 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 05:56 PM

Thanks guys! I’ve used beans too but we (especially the kids) really like the shiny glass pebbles in lots of colors! We even tried pennies (too hard to pick up) and buttons!

-- Dennis, WV

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 3498 days

#4 posted 04-09-2013 06:10 PM

my 6 year old stomps me at her mancala game. her glass beads are too large for her board so i’ve thought about turning new pieces for her… this gives me altogether new ideas!! thanks for sharing.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View drbyte's profile


845 posts in 4949 days

#5 posted 04-09-2013 09:02 PM

Yeah, my 8 year old usually out does me unless I pay real close attention to the game! Those kids are pretty sharp now-a-days!!

-- Dennis, WV

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3954 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 12:58 PM

Well done, great job!! I need to make some of these.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View clieb91's profile


4041 posts in 4821 days

#7 posted 04-11-2013 03:15 AM

Really neat looking board on this.


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

View Brett's profile


953 posts in 3645 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 12:13 AM

Fantastic playing board Doc! I really like the contrasting colors for the cups.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

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