Friday, September 7, 2018

My Cribbage Board - Part I

I just went through my "Gallery" tab (found at the top of the page), and updated it. It has been a few months since I put any new pictures up. While I was there, I decided to embed links in the descriptions of each photo to the original post for each project. You know, just in case you have nothing better to do. If you have any interest, you can look at that post to see one photo of each of the pieces I've finished since I started this blog.

I realized while doing this that I finished another cribbage board, and only the folks on Instagram have seen it. I forgot to post about it's build.
Finished cribbage board.
If you have seen some of my posts on IG, you might be familiar with my magic dumpster. My magic dumpster is a garbage container near my house that over the last year I have rescued around 50 board/feet of stair material. Here in Spain, the species for stairs isn't oak, it is a reddish exotic that I think is some kind of mahogany, or more likely, sapele. Beautiful stuff that I probably couldn't afford in Munich.

I cut off a short length of stair rail for this.
I started by planing the edges off. There was a wide groove down the middle for the wooden handrail to secure to the metal handrail.
My plan was to make a four-square board, then cut it in half and install a hinge. After flattening everything, and squaring it up, I marked out a centerline and crosscut the board as accurately as I could. I left a litte of the roundover from the original handrail, with the thought that it would get planed away with a chamfer at some point.
Surprisingly, I did a fairly decent job on the crosscut.
There is some pretty grain to this wood, and my plan was that it would continue from one end to the other when the hinge was open.

Next was to make a rabbet around one side, and hollow out the other so they fit together.
I planed and chiseled a rabbet all around one piece.
For the hollow, I marked out the line of where I wanted the cuts, and started with a stopped cut on one side.
Stopped cut.
With the lines cut nearly to depth, it was just a matter of routing out the waste to depth. To start, I roughed the waste out with a gouge.
Roughing the hollow with a gouge.
This actually left an interesting and pretty surface. I'll have to explore this technique later. Notice I gouged perpendicular to the grain.
I tried to do it relatively even, so I could keep track of my progress.

Nearly at depth.
Now it's time to move to my new router. This could be done with a chisel if you don't have a router, but the router makes this job quick, easy, and accurate.
Getting to know my new vintage router.
As you can see, it's a matter of cutting a little at a time until the surface is even, then increase the depth of cut just a bit and do it again, until reaching the desired depth.
Now they fit together.
In the next post, I will install the hinge and layout the holes for the cribbage board.

Would you have done this process the same way?

Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Brian.

    Nice work as always!
    I think your way of routing out the recess in the most efficient way to do it when using hand tools.


    1. Hi Jonas!

      Thanks for the comment. The gouge was a surprisingly fast way to hog out a bunch of material. I rarely use gouges, so that was fun. BTW, the gouge in the picture you'll recognize as a plastic-handled E.A. Berg chisel, it is actually a tool that your dad gave me as a gift!