Backgammon/Checker Board

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Project by Smiley posted 09-16-2009 09:10 AM 2798 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project I started A while ago but I am happy to say it is now finished. I enjoy the game backgammon and Beat my computer regularly at it. I have even been known to beat other players on occasion. One day looking for a new challenge I decided this would be a good learning experience for doing inlays and creating my own. I never thought it would come out like this. The only parts of this project that were bought were the Magnets I used as a catch to keep it closed and the hinges. I Had just done some fairly serious pruning of some cedar and oak on my Mother-in-laws property and figured it would be good for all the small pieces needed for this project. So I also got to learn how to mill my own stock. The only trick was it had to be small enough to mill on the table saw. Well because of the nature of the wood I was using it took on a rustic feel but I think it works very well. While milling I found I had two different types of oak. (at least I think they are both oak) I had a rather dark oak and a very white oak. Add in the Red cedar tones and this project just came together. One more minor detail was the wood I was using had some worm tracks and I decided to fill them with putty but I used some blue food coloring to die it then put it in. The effect is a bit like filling with turquoise but on a far cheeper scale. I think it worked well.

The pieces were fun but time consuming as the are just sliced branch of both the cedar and oak. I had two or three nights in front of the tv with a piece in one hand and some sandpaper in the other taking off the rough edges and setting off my wife’s allergies. The dice rollers were one long block cut in half then using a forstner bit I hallowed them out. Later I made a long sanding drum out of a think dowel and chucked it into the drill press to smooth out the rough cut. I also got bored one night when I say a semi cube of cedar cut-off and decided this can be my multiplier die. So I carved in the numbers painted it black sanded off the surface to leave the numbers behind an whalla… I found out I am not the best carver…Yet…

The back side of the board was tricky for me as I wanted to do something unique but not over power the piece. So in the end I decided to do a checker board. I used center-cut end-grain and for a boarder I found the Oak bark when sanded down a bit had some very interesting texture. To break it up a bit, and since I just read an article on it, I made a banding strip to put into the field as well. Looking back it kinda stands out a bit to much for my taste but hey it was a learning experience. So to cut this short (I know too late) Please let me know what you think.

P.S. If I had it to do again I could probably whip one out in about a week working for about 6-7 hrs a day so if anyone out their has any experience selling stuff like this what type of a price would you put on it. I ask as I am horrible at pricing my own work and always go too low. Not that I would ever sell this one… Unless the next one is better…. Nahhhh…
Now that this is a contest entry I guess I should explain why this is a nice yin yang Piece. Well not only does it have contrasting colors but the two primary woods I used in it not only naturally come in two colors, which were both highlighted in the piece, but the two woods are night and day to each other as cedar is a very soft wood and Oak is a rather hard wood. The two however mate very well in this game box which is also not only rustic but the yang to that yin is its finely crafted and inlaid interior. Not to mention I used all parts of the Raw wood stock from the center out to the Bark. So this bad boy has Yin coming out of its Yang everywhere you turn.

-- No matter how good or bad a day your having a smile always makes it better!

13 comments so far

View Smiley's profile


39 posts in 3210 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 09:17 AM

As soon as I can I’ll have other images up. It is taking forever for the other images to up load to the site when the first only took 30+ sec. I will try again latter.

-- No matter how good or bad a day your having a smile always makes it better!

View Smiley's profile


39 posts in 3210 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 10:20 AM

Ok gottem… Now all the pics of this one are up. Enjoy!

-- No matter how good or bad a day your having a smile always makes it better!

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 10:32 AM

Some time the pics load great and sometime not.
Nice bit of work.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3620 days

#4 posted 09-16-2009 06:28 PM

Great work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Wingstress's profile


339 posts in 3544 days

#5 posted 09-16-2009 08:03 PM

Great job, very unique. I love the game of backgammon and am pretty surprised that more LJs don’t try making these. The inlay, marquetry, box making, hinge making, clasp making… The project just has so many potential woodworking challenges. Perhaps a new contest idea for winter????

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3443 days

#6 posted 09-16-2009 08:12 PM

Nice job, it came out fantastic.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#7 posted 09-17-2009 05:35 AM

Unique and cool

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3852 days

#8 posted 09-18-2009 02:51 AM

Now that’s a way cool build. Don’t sell that, ever, you’ll regret it. It’s too unique. I’ll buy it.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View soup's profile


6 posts in 3222 days

#9 posted 09-19-2009 06:05 AM

Great Backgammon board. It would be hard to play on it though. I would be too busy admiring its beauty.

-- Dennis,Washington State

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4190 days

#10 posted 01-29-2010 12:07 PM

this is fantastic! You did an amazing job. beautiful!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3154 days

#11 posted 01-30-2010 07:56 AM

That’s too wild! It looks rustic yet modern, new, yet old. Just amazing and so much work!


View Karson's profile


35126 posts in 4430 days

#12 posted 01-30-2010 10:01 PM

That’s an amazing game board. Great design and implementation.

All of the cookies that were used. I’m surprized that they didn’t split on you.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3070 days

#13 posted 03-08-2012 04:29 PM

Very Cool Board !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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