Sungka Boards Arbortech Mini Planer test

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 04-29-2019 01:21 AM 344 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I seem to be currently kept busy making Sungka boards for my wifes Filipino friends, ...(Locking The gates didnt work I now have a request from Tamworth!) this morning I decided to see if I could refine the process and reduce the production time and keep everybody happy.
Incidently I have already sold the four pine ones.

So I decided to try my Arbortech Mini Planer to see if it would do the job.

The Experimental setup with some scrap.

The dimensions of the test setup are as per my existing template.

The initial work at stage 1

I now have a knob in the middle of the recess. Kevin made mention of this in his demonstration video and I expected it, but being a bit of a stinge I only used the smaller 63 mm EXACT Hole saw with the scrap. There is no doubt my knob will be gone with the bigger end recesses.
I got some favourable results, (apart from managing to gouge the template) so I decided to continue on.

The knob size.

I simply used a Forstner bit on the knob, however resulting now leaving me with a tit or dimple.

I then repeated the process until I was happy with the depth.

The material test thickness.

Conclusion:- This process will work and will work well, its many times quickerthan the router and produces good end results and no doubt, by increasing the smaller sungka holes to 68 or 70 mm exact! I will not have the existing tit or knob problem.
Gotta go
and help No 4 son pull down a garden shed! ... I will return! ... a historical comment considering the background!!

-- Regards Rob

7 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


864 posts in 1498 days

#1 posted 04-29-2019 06:09 AM

Does it give you a nice rounded bowl at the bottom? I would like a more rounded egg shape at that bottom than what these bowl cutters are giving. Just thoughts.
By the way I did a pine Sungka today in three hours, Cheryl working alongside handing me tools etc, dont think I could do it much quicker.
Off to do some real work Delhi.

View robscastle's profile


6130 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 04-29-2019 07:49 AM

No it dosn’t and I have the same concens as yourself regarding the flat base.
So tomorrow, along with an attempt to remove the knob effect I will cut the examples in half to show a cross section view of the bottom profiles.
I had actually seen a router bit on ebay which may correct the flatness but again I need to do more evaluations as to the practability of doming/dishing the base.

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


2656 posts in 1209 days

#3 posted 04-29-2019 08:19 AM

Hey rc, put on the bluey and with the shoulder aching like hell tried the ball gouge on a started forstner hole.

This quick video may make you realise how stupid I am or may prompt you to spend some shekels. Bear in mind that I have not exploited it and am in no way familiar with it. Made a dogs breakfast of my first attempt but on the last hole (which of course I didn’t film) I kept rationalising the grain contact with the gouge and got a fair dimple (previously I kept pushing the gouge into the end grain rather than re-orientate the gouge and then hit the endgrain)... Keeping the hole circular may take practice, but if you are going to make your millions out of these boards you’ll probably start exporting to the Philippines and justify the $100 cost.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Boxguy's profile


2822 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 04-29-2019 08:32 AM

Rob, keep this up and you will be buying a CNC machine. An arbortec hole with a large bowl bit bottom would seem the right combo. Maybe a bowl sanding ball to speed up the finishing process.

-- Big Al in IN

View robscastle's profile


6130 posts in 2592 days

#5 posted 04-29-2019 09:06 AM

Alright, interesting stuff,
The end result is the profile I have been looking for!

-- Regards Rob

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10609 posts in 4440 days

#6 posted 04-29-2019 07:50 PM

Now, you’re ”boring” more EXACT holes… Progress! :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View stefang's profile


16705 posts in 3722 days

#7 posted 05-02-2019 03:57 PM

I’m afraid you will be making sunga boards from now on Rob. I liked the ‘sanding ball’ suggestion, sounds like a good idea to speed things up even more.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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