coffee table/backgammon board

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Project by BobTheFish posted 06-03-2011 04:57 AM 4838 views 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another game related christmas present.

Unlike my grandfather, who kindly let me win at checkers, my mother LOVED to play backgammon with me using loaded dice… (I swear, they MUST’VE been loaded as she’d win before I got all my pieces off the first row!!!)

And I had some shelving grade 8/4 plywood that I salvaged from scrap when they were working on the apartments above where I work. So I went over to home depot, had some clear pine cut to make an apron and some legs (I reiterate the lack of tools), and went to work veneering.

The triangles were a b*%#$ to do. They’re supposed to be isoceles triangles long enough to fit 5 1/2 pieces on top. I went with purpleheart again, and back to the dreaded birdseye maple. (I think I had a piece left over from my checkerboard). There was some tricksy mathematics and geometry involved in cutting them roughly to right angle triangles, and then cutting them from that to an isoceles (trying to pull off two of one shape perfectly equal freehand is difficult. I wasn’t going to do it 48 times). I then put all my triangles together, and VERY CAREFULLY tried to sand them into the same exact size and shape. Sometimes I wish I knew easier methods, or at the very least drank more.

The top is detached and reversible. Not really sure why I decided that, but I think it just gave me a chance to attempt something different (the rosette of sorts is my first. it’s of a dyed yellow wood. The silver veneer is a japanese wood, not sure what, but also dyed.) The background is sapelle. Sapelle is one of my favorite do-anything woods. In veneer form, it cuts like butter, creates the greatest straight lines, and the color is so vibrant, yet understated enough to go with any wood.

Pictures 3 and 4 are of the veneer pre-adhesive. I always go over with the veneer a bit more than necessary, because I like a bit of safety as once it’s on… it’s permanent.

Pic 5 is of something also salvaged! these little accents were strips of metal that were snagged off of a crate at work that was holding a marble table top. I thought they were a bit underappreciated in their original usage, so they became corner accents, attached with copper tacks. (purely ornamental).

Pic 6 is a bit of a treat! These, prefinishing, are some maple cubes I bought from casey’s wood supplies ( ) , whom I love getting little preformed cubes, tiles, plywood for game boards, and other basic odds and ends from. I covered them in some more sapelle, I took out my dremel, and drilled JUUUUUUST enough into the wood to glue in some garnet cabochons I had lying about. (I do jewelry occasionally as well, and the cabs were only about $1 a dozen or so). I reversed the cabs, so the typically shown side would fit well into my newly formed dimple, and I’d be able to maintain a flat and smooth surface.

I was proud of how they came out, so I snapped a pic, sanded a little, and then gave them a coat of oil based poly. I Ended up keeping them, and gave another pair I made with malachite cabs n the “one” side, and painted my holes black on all the others. The picture doesn’t quite do them justice. :-/

3 comments so far

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2521 days

#1 posted 06-03-2011 04:58 AM

Oh yeah, in the first pic, all that crap on the bookshelf to the right? that’s bags of earrings which didn’t sell and some other handmade books. The earrings remain, the books have been sent elsewhere to sell.

View SteveE's profile


56 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 06-03-2011 05:29 PM

That is splendid. Thanks for sharing all of the details, too.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 06-03-2011 05:32 PM

This is a very saweeeeeeeeet looking game table and the dice look even cooler.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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