Crokinole Board "XX" - part 1

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Project by Brett StClair posted 08-05-2013 02:56 AM 12162 views 15 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am one of those nerdy board gamers. I saw Tom Vasel (see dice tower videos on youtube) do a review of the Crokinole Board that Mayday Games is now producing.
First, I had never even heard of Crokinole before I saw the review.
Second, the Mayday board only got mediocre reviews.
Third, after visiting the Hilinski Brother’s website I realized that I more than have the technology to build these myself.
Fourth, the game just looked fun… and after having built and then played this board it is a lot of fun.

So I did…

Main Board.
1/2” baltic birch plywood covered with left over figured Sapele veneer from the dresser project. I decided on the radial layout as it lent itself to the game board line pattern and actual gameplay. The lines are cut using a v-groove bit in my palm router attached to a circle cutting jig then later filled with contrasting wood putty or in this case just filled with the clear coat as I was applying it.
The board has 10 coats of glossy polyurethane cured for 1 month then rubbed out to 4000 grit Abralon then waxed. The discs (see my next project post for the matching disc holder) slide across this thing like butter on hot corn-on-th-cob.

The base, or ditch as they call it in the Crokinole world
1/2” baltic birch plywood with black acrylic paint which I later cleared with a few coats of glossy polyurethane.

The rail
1/8” oak strips laminated around the 30” diameter base board vertically. Per HIlinski’s instructions the first layer was actually tacked down to the base board with small nails every 2” for added mechanical hold down. Even dry 1/8” strips still have a fairly high spring load around this diameter. For added decoration I sandwiched some of that sepele veneer between layers of oak to give the top of the rail a pinstripe appearance.

The posts
decorative brass screws (#6) that have a piece of 1/4” OD, 1/8” ID rubber tubing around them above the board. (this adds bounce to the discs that I think add something to the gameplay, even though some would argue that the traditional wooden posts/pegs stay true to the origins of the game). I actually bought a kit from workshop supply for the posts which came with the brass screws and properly cut sections of the correct size tubing.

The Center Hole Plug
This is just a piece of walnut that I domed the top on to make removing the discs easier. I wanted some decoration in the hole so I gold leafed “XX” onto the plug then clear coated with poly.
Yes, yes, “XX” = roman numeral 20. It’s the 20 hole. Get a disc in it and you get 20 points. So in essence this board is named “twenty” How original right? Hey, it was less cheesy than some of the other ideas I had.

For stability I added 3 thick felt pads to the bottom. This also protects the dining table.

I finished the board by adding picture frame wire to the underside to hang on the wall. It doesnt look too bad as an art piece just hanging there.

Please check out the hilinski brother’s website. I owe much of the technic to their step by step “how we build” page

See part 2 for the matching disc box.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

7 comments so far

View Zelbar's profile


74 posts in 4598 days

#1 posted 08-05-2013 04:37 AM

Veneering job and finish look great. Love it

-- With more power you can make toothpicks faster

View bobasaurus's profile


3713 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 08-05-2013 06:58 PM

The radial veneering is incredible, especially the triangular bits near the outer edge.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View harrywho's profile


123 posts in 4289 days

#3 posted 08-05-2013 07:19 PM

Really cool!!! Great job.

-- Harry, Indiana

View Brett StClair's profile

Brett StClair

68 posts in 4419 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 12:05 AM

Thanks for the comments!
Bobasaurus – the triangular bits were one of those happy accidents. The veneer I had wasn’t quit wide enough for 8 pieces to span the circumference by themselves so I added those pieces to make up the difference. As it turns out they added some nice extra geometry to the board.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

View Gene47's profile


74 posts in 4384 days

#5 posted 08-09-2013 04:21 PM

Great board and it is a fun game to play. My dad made one back in the early 40’s when he was a student at the Indiana School for the Blind. His is an octagon shape and when we were kids he still had enough sight to play by us painting white dots on all the pieces and painting the blocking posts white. He was tough to beat. LOL

-- Gene Miller - it only took me 3 days 9 hours and 28 minutes to get that top flat!

View Rob 's profile


216 posts in 4725 days

#6 posted 09-24-2015 03:04 AM

Great job! I’m currently working on this and I’m wondering how you go about cutting the oak band to size? It appears you’ve left it long during glue up to make sure it fits, but then what?

View Brett StClair's profile

Brett StClair

68 posts in 4419 days

#7 posted 10-01-2015 05:21 PM

By “Oak band” I think you are referring to the laminated strips that make up the rail. The rail is made of 3 layers of 1/8 thick oak. Each layer is actually 2 pieces (each wrapping ~180 degrees around the base. As it turns out each piece needs to be just under 48” long. rather than trying to calculate the exact length I just used one 48” long piece and then I test fit the second 48” long piece and trimmed off the excess.
Don’t forget to overlap the seems of the 2 piece layers so that the seems do not line up.
Also if it’s not apparent here is a picture of exactly how the lamination is constructed to the base. Start with the #1 strip, then #2, and follow with #3.

Good luck and post your finished board when you are done. it would be cool to see

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

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