Building a Crokinole Board: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Crokinole board

If you enjoy playing the strategy game Crokinole and you happen to have some woodworking skills, you might enjoy building your own board. Although this isn't a simple project, it does offer you the opportunity to customize the crokinole board and make this Canadian favorite unique to your family. Take a look at what's involved for this project and if it appeals to you, gather your tools and supplies and get started!

Supplies and Equipment Needed to Build a Crokinole Board

To build a crokinole board, first gather the necessary supplies and equipment.

DIY Crokinole Board Supplies

  • Board pattern for grooves and holes, which you can create yourself based on an existing board (or a photo)
  • One 4-foot x 8-foot sheet of ½-inch birch or oak plywood (deck and base)
  • Two 8-foot strips of ⅛-inch birch plywood (sold in craft stores)
  • 25 feet of ¾-inch veneer strip (glue on one side)
  • Eight pegs (purchased)
  • 80 discs (20 discs of four different colors) (purchased)
  • Sandpaper - 60 to 80 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit, 320 grit, 600 grit, and 1500 grit
  • One pint polyurethane finish
  • One 3-inch foam paint brush
  • One small can of dark stain and a small watercolor-type brush (both are optional for grooves)
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Box of ½-inch tacks
  • Rubbing compound
  • Carnauba car paste wax
  • Three felt pads or dots

DIY Crokinole Board Equipment

  • Router with circle cutting jig to make 1/16 inch v-shaped grooves
  • Drill with ⅜-inch drill bit, a 1⅜ -inch circle cutter and a drill bit the same size as the purchased pegs
  • Jigsaw
  • Belt sander
  • Random orbital sander
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Razor blade (to trim veneer)
  • Four wood clamps
  • One long wood clamp

Directions for Building the Crokinole Board

It's helpful to have a picture of a crokinole board to follow as you complete your project. Follow the directions carefully and make sure you observe woodworking safety rules such as using safety glasses!

1. Cut the Crokinole Board

Using a circle router to make a crokinole board
  1. Cut a 26-inch circle in the plywood.
  2. Screw the circle cutting jig into the center of the board.
  3. Use the router to cut the outer circle, the inside circles and the four short cross lines.
  4. Use the drill and the circle cutter to drill the center hole.
  5. Use the jigsaw to cut out the circle using the router marks as a cutting guide.
  6. Use the belt sander to smooth the outside edges.

2. Finish the Crokinole Board

Varnishing a homemade crokinole board
  1. Sand the board.
  2. Drill pilot holes for the pegs.
  3. Finish the edge with the veneer strip.
  4. Trim excess veneer with a razor blade.
  5. Sand the board with the random orbital sander, finish sanding with the 220 grit sandpaper.
  6. Apply the polyurethane finish with the 3-inch foam paint brush, brushing in the direction of the grain.
  7. Let the finish dry for up to five hours.
  8. Sand the board with 120 or 220 grid sandpaper.
  9. Apply a second coat of polyurethane finish.
  10. Apply up to 10 coats of polyurethane finish, sanding between each coat.
  11. If the grooves are not distinctive, a dark stain can be painted into the grooves with a small brush.

3. Construct the Base Platform and Rails

  1. Lay the board onto the base. Draw a pencil circle on the base two inches from the edge of the board.
  2. Glue the board onto the base. Clamp down to dry.
  3. Use the jigsaw to cut the circle on the base.
  4. Sand the outside edge of the base.

4. Attach the Rails to the Crokinole Board

Adding outer rails to a homemade crokinole board
  1. Cut each of the 8-foot strips into two 4-foot strips, making four rails.
  2. Soak the rails overnight to make them pliable.
  3. Drill pilot holes into the rail every two to three inches about one-quarter inch from the bottom edge.
  4. Attach the inner rail with tacks hammered into the pilot holes.
  5. Glue the outer rail over the inner rail.

5. Finish the Crokinole Board Base

  1. Sand the inside railing by hand with coarse sandpaper. Repeat sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.
  2. Apply polyurethane finish to the top of the base and the inside and outside of the rails.
  3. Fine sand with 320 grit sandpaper, followed by 600 grit and 1500 grit sandpaper, sanding in the direction of the grain.
  4. Apply rubbing compound to increase the sheen of the finish.
  5. Apply several coats of car wax.
  6. Drill out the peg holes.
  7. Glue the pegs into the holes and tap the pegs in with the mallet.
  8. Affix the three felt pads.

Where to Get Detailed Plans for Crokinole Board

In addition to the board plan above, the following resources also offer a lot of detail about the game, including how to build your own crokinole board.

The Crokinole Book

The Crokinole Book by Wayne Kelly offers everything you want to know about crokinole, including the game's origins, customs, and social history. The book also provides rule variations and information on designing and building your own board. The revised third edition has over 75 photos and illustrations. It sells for about $24 from

Workshop Supply sells illustrated plans for about $7 Canadian to build a 29-inch crokinole board. The site also sells game pieces and bumpers separately.

Building a Crokinole Board Video

This video goes into detail on the steps to build your own crokinole board at home with woodworking equipment.

Create a Crokinole Board Family Heirloom

Admittedly, a project like this isn't for everyone, but there is something very satisfying about building your own game board. A homemade crokinole board could turn out to be a future family heirloom, so it might well be worth the effort to take a crack at building one yourself. You and your family can enjoy it now and then pass it on to generations to come.

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Building a Crokinole Board: A Comprehensive DIY Guide