Making A Cribbage Board with a CNC Router

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Cribbage is an old and popular card game, enjoyed by both young and old. And recently, it has had a bit of a popularity rise on college campuses. All this adds up to the fact that cribbage boards make great gifts. And the additional benefit to the woodworker is that you can make a cribbage board from small pieces of wood. Talk about a win-win!

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When making a cribbage board, the only real woodworking problem to be solved is how to drill 240-plus holes accurately and efficiently. And that is where the CNC router comes to the fore. We have provided CNC programing of this cribbage board (both .CRV and .TAP files) to be downloaded for free.

The accuracy and repeatability of the CNC simply cannot be beat when it comes to boring all these holes. Our CNC programmer, Ralph Bagnall — a regular contributor to the Woodworker's Journal — set it up so that the machine "peck drills" three times per hole. That keeps the holes clean and the 1/8-inch router bit from getting dull quickly. It does mean that it takes a good while for the machine to complete the drilling process. But trust me, even if you were doing this old-style on the drill press, it would take a good long time to get it done.

Speaking of that, if you don't have a CNC at your disposal, we have provided a link to a board drilling system (a template and some patterns) that you can buy to achieve the same results. If that is your choice, consider purchasing the self-guided drill bit as well. We've also provided a link to purchase cribbage pegs, however you choose to make the project.


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To do this project on a CNC is simplicity itself, especially with the provided .TAP files. But, as with nearly any woodworking operation, always test the cutting program from start to finish on scrap lumber of some sort. It is worth investing the time and effort.

Supplies for making the cribbage board project.

Wooden Cribbage Pegs #21741 $4.89 per set
Board Drilling System #34540 $41.99 package
Self-centering Drill Bit #69007 $10.99 each

Make sure you've checked out our other Small-shop CNC Routing articles:

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