Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Handcraft Classic Wooden Game Boards for Christmas

Tilt-A-Ball game board.
      Now for a gift that will appeal to adults as well as youngsters. It’s called Tilt-A-Ball and it will keep a gathering amused for hours. It is a circular board of twenty inches diameter with a “pen” in the center to hold five marbles, and a number of holes scattered over the remainder. The board is held on the lap or placed on a table, the object being to tilt it and roll one of the marbles from the “pen” into a hole with a high number.
      This would be easy except for the fact that holes with high numbers are shallow, while the holes of less value are deep. Unless the player is especially patient and skillful he will find, when all five marbles are placed, that they rest in the holes of smallest value.
      Make the board with heavy plywood cut out on the scroll or band saw. The holes are best cut with a router bit, of half-inch diameter; those that are to be numbered from 700 to 4,000 must be made very shallow, according to value, so that not much tilting is required to make them roll out. The other holes may be deep so that once a ball enters it will stay. A suitable arrangement of numbered holes is shown.


      It's fun to play this indoor football game. Played by two to six persons, this game provides endless fun for members of your family or your party guests. The object of the game is to drive a table-tennis ball into one of the two goal baskets at opposite ends of the box. This is done by hitting the ball with wooden paddles attached to dowel rods, which are turned and pushed back and forth by hand. There are eight rods; the two center ones have four paddles each, the next two toward each goal have three each, while the next pair have two paddles each and the last two next to the goals have only one paddle each. The last two rods are equipped with stop collars or pins, which prevent pulling the rods out of the holes. Alternate rods have paddles facing in the same direction. With four persons playing, opposing teams on either side of the box, each player grasps two rods having the paddles facing toward his goal. To play, a ball is dropped at the center of the field and both teams engage in driving the ball. More than four people can play by having some of them, or all of them, operate only one rod each. The goals are simply wire baskets, hooked to small screw eyes. The paddles are pieces of quarter-round molding, lattice strips or other material.
Build this early version of table tennis from 1941.
Nine Men's Mill game board.
      Nine Men's Mill is a game that is played by two persons and is as fascinating as it is old. The upper part of the board is 3/8" thick and has 24 holes bored thru it, as shown in the drawing. The lower board is 7-1/2" square and 1/4" thick, and extends 1/4" beyond the top board on all sides. The grain in the two boards should run at right angles when fastened together. The 18 pegs are 3/8" in diameter and 1" long. Each player has a set of 9 pegs, the sets being differently colored. In starting a game, each player takes his turn in putting a peg into a hole till all the pegs are put down. Then they take turns in moving the pegs. A peg may be moved from one hole to the next and only along rows parallel with the edges of the board, not along the rows that run from corners of the board to its center. That is, along rows 1, 2, 3 or 2, 5, 8, but not along rows 1, 4, 7. The object of a player in putting down pegs and in moving is to get a Mill; that is, get 3 pegs in a row parallel with the edges of the board. For example: Pegs in holes 4, 5, 6 or 2, 5, 8 makes a Mill, but not 3, 6, 9. When a player gets a Mill, he can take one of his opponent's pegs that is not in a Mill. Another aim of a player is to place his pegs so that he prevents his opponent from getting a Mill. When the pegs of one of the players have all been taken except 3, then he is allowed to jump anywhere on the board. When the pegs are all gone but two, then the game is lost. When a player can get 5 pegs into holes situated as 7, 8, 9 and 4, 6, then he has a double Mill by moving from 8 to 5 and from 5 to 8, etc., and pick one of his opponent's pegs for each move. 
      In order to make a similar croquet set to the one illustrated just right, you will need to acquire a large flat box, a dowel, wire, skewers, and button molds and marbles.
1.    From the end of a large " dowel" or small curtain rod, saw pieces for the heads of the mal- lets. Whittle a groove around the middle of each. 
2.   Bend a piece of wire or a very long hairpin  around each piece ; pinch it into the groove ; wind  string, gummed cloth tape or adhesive plaster  around the projecting wires to form the handle.  
3.   Bend nine hairpins into arches.  
4.   Turn the box bottom up; draw lines and  measure to locate places for the wickets; prick  eighteen holes.  
5.    Turn the box right side up and push the  ends of the wickets down through pricked holes ;  bend one end of each wicket wire toward one end  of box and the other end toward the opposite  end of the box.  
6.   Press the box into its cover; fasten them  through their sides. The loose wickets will  stand rigidly upright.  
7.   Force the skewers into the button molds.  Be sure the bottoms are flat ; then glue the molds  to the "lawn."  
8.   Paint the "lawn" green; stripe the stakes,  mallets and balls to match.

Fox-And-Geese game board.
       Fox-And-Goose game is played by two people on a board with 33 holes, as shown in the drawing. The board may be made either square or octagonal. The octagon is made from a square by placing one point of the compass at a corner and the other point at the center of the board. With each corner in turn as a center, draw arcs intersecting the edges of the board. Connect these points of intersection across the corners of the board; saw off the four triangles. Smooth the edges and chamfer. Lay out and bore the holes. Make 26 pegs to fit loose. Leave 24 white for the geese and color 2 red for the foxes.
      In playing the game, all the pegs are put in their places. The foxes at Nos. 9 and 11; the geese at 7, 8, 12, 13, and consecutively up to 33. The foxes and geese can move on the lines only, in any direction from one hole to the next. A fox can also jump over a goose and take it, provided the hole just beyond it is vacant. In fact, the fox can jump and take several geese in various directions if conditions permit. The geese can not jump, but they can move so as to hem in the foxes and make it impossible for them to move. This means that the foxes have lost the game. In starting the game, the player having the foxes gets the first move. His aim is to jump and capture all the geese and win the game. Each player takes turn in moving. When crowding a goose in on a fox, the player always has another goose behind it so that the fox can not jump it. This game is one of the kind that requires foresight and study. It is highly interesting and entertaining, and by experience, players may become quite expert at the game.
      Solitaire—This same board may also be used for the solitaire game. However, that requires 32 pegs. They are put in all the holes except No. 17. The object is to jump and take all the pegs but one, and it must land in hole 17. Unaided, this is difficult to do, and it would take a long time for a person to discover a solution. For this reason, the reader is presented with the following "Key": 5 jumps to 17 and takes 10, 12 to 10 and takes 11, etc.; 3 to 11, 1-3, 18-6, 3-11, 30-18, 27-25, 13-27, 24-26, 27-25, 22-24, 31-23, 33-31, 16-28, 31-23, 4-16, 7-9, 21-7, 10-8, 7-9, 24-22, 22-8, 8-10, 10-12, 12-26, 26-24, 17-15, 29-17, 18-16, 15-17.

More Classic Board Game Ideas:
"Building a portable, collapsible Mancala game board is much more easy after seeing someone else make one. It is a simple game to learn how to play too. With this design, you won't lose your marbles after you are done playing. The whole project took about 4 hours."

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