I’ve just completed five new cribbage boards with some pretty interesting aesthetics. Please have a look at them on my Games & Puzzles page.
When removing the bark with a mallet and wooden wedge, I uncovered this wild pattern on the inner bark.
I think that the sapwood of this cherry tree was home to some bugs who ate their way through the inner bark, leaving little tunnels behind. I have seen many techniques for removing bark from a live edge. Some are quite destructive and invasive, involving chisels, carving gouges or even power sanders. These techniques are prone to changing the shape of the edge and without extreme care will remove the characteristics of a live edge, instead only creating an undulating edge that follows grain. Detail such as this would surely be lost using more cavalier methods.
Read the article I wrote for Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine here: Learn to Work With Live-Edge Wood.
I usually just air-dry wood, but in this case I wanted to be sure the visitors were gone so I kiln-dried this material.
I don’t use a lot of figured wood, but it sure is a treat to open up a log and find the light just dancing off of the grain. The wood just looks so alive! One of the ways I know that I’ve made a good product is that I am reluctant to sell it.
The colouring in the wood is pretty amazing, too. Variations in colour between the heartwood (the non-living material in the centre of the tree) and sapwood (the living, growing material on the outside of the tree) are normal, but it’s extra-special to see variations in the heartwood.
When searching for cribbage board material, I look for hardwoods of an appropriate size with some interesting shape, and hopefully some colour, too. I found an elbow and was able to saw one narrow board from it.
I prefer to make my cribbage boards with three tracks as this allows 1-4 people to play crib, but this board was pre-sold to somebody who wanted a two-track board.
Some people have asked me why I offer single-track cribbage boards. I have not had a request for one – most have been two-and three-track boards – but there are rules for solitaire cribbage, such as Cribbage Squares (click here for rules). Most people are familiar with 6-Card Cribbage, but there are many other variations. Here is a link to some of the more interesting variations.