Best way to mill small "bowls" for a gameboard

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Forum topic by NCnewbie posted 11-30-2009 05:57 PM 1035 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3066 days

11-30-2009 05:57 PM


I’m a newbie, both to these forums and to woodworking, so I hope this question isn’t too ridiculous…

I’m trying to make a hardwood game board like this, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to mill the little bowls that the pebbles sit in.

Since I want the profile of the little “bowls” that the marbles sit in to look like this, and not like this, I bought this bit 2 inch round nose bit to mill the bowls.

I mounted the bit in the drill press, and as you might guess, it didn’t work. I guess the drill press doesn’t spin fast enough, because it kept biting into the wood and tearing out chunks. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear someone say that mounting a router bit in a drill press is dangerous, because it sure scared the heck out of me…

Would the 2” round nose bit I purchased work in a plunge router, or do I need to drill some sort of pilot hole first so that the cutting edges of the bit will have something to cut into (as opposed to being lowered directly onto a flat piece of wood)?

Many thanks for any advice.


2 replies so far

View LesB's profile


1684 posts in 3410 days

#1 posted 11-30-2009 06:08 PM

I have made several of those games. I think the best way is to cut a template of all the holes in a piece of 1/4” masonite that you can clamp over the work piece. Then use a router with a guide (the bit you have will work) make the cuts. Be certain your work piece is secured and can’t move. You might even start with an oversize board and trim it to size after the holes are cut.
Partially pre-drilling the holes with a Forstner bit could be done to reduce the router work but is not necessary. If the depth of the holes are too deep for one pass with the router make them in two or three steps. In fact you may find that two passes works better. One to remove most of the wood and the second to to clean up the cuts.
If you need more info. let me know.

-- Les B, Oregon

View NCnewbie's profile


2 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 12-04-2009 09:33 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the hearty welcome. I appreciate it.

Les, thank you for your response. I feel a little better about proceeding now.

I hope you have a great weekend.


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