Forum Archive : Equipment

Board design

From:   Chuck Bower
Date:   4 February 2004
Subject:   Re: Heavy Checkers-time to burn some metal!
Forum:   GammOnLine

From someone who has already built two "this is my last" backgammon boards
and has begun his third, I caution to make sure the board ("system" might
be better word) is playable. My first attempt is quite attractive (if I
might say so myself) and virtually unplayable! Here are some tips:

1) It is very important that the checkers *slide* smoothly across the
   surface. (This was the failure of my first board).

2) You want a playing surface that is both durable and cleanable.

3) You want a "Goldilocks" playing surface: not too hard, not too soft,
   just right! The dice should not hit and slide, and really it's better
   if they don't spin forever. Hard surfaces (including hard leather) lead
   to both of the above weaknesses.

4) Don't make the walls too high (problem with my second board). You don't
   want to have to sprain your neck when the dice land against the wall.

5) Make sure the bar will accomodate the checkers (i.e. they don't fall

6) Have storage space along the edge of the board for the checkers.

7) Don't make the board walls too thick or the board will be very heavy
   and difficult to lug around. (Another weakness of my second board.)

8) Make sure you have dicecups which are both of good quality AND fit
   inside the board! This may mean choosing (or making) a good set of
   dicecups before building the board.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Bakelite checkers  (Albert Steg, Nov 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Board design  (Chuck Bower, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Board design  (Adam Stocks, July 2002) 
Board design  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2000) 
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Boards--Zavoral  (Robert Zavoral, Oct 1999) 
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Care of backgammon boards  (Ken Bame+, Mar 2009) 
Checkers  (Mike O.+, Feb 2003) 
Checkers  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1997) 
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Dice cups  (Leo Bueno, Feb 1998) 
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Luxury boards  (Paul Vianna+, Feb 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube issues  (Stick+, July 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube usage  (Justin Nunez+, Feb 2011) 
Meyer Dice Tube--Why I hate it  (Bob Glass+, Dec 2010) 
Moderately priced boards  (William Womack+, Feb 2010) 
Precision dice  (Patti Beadles+, Jan 2001) 
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Precision dice  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 1998) 
Replacing cork on backgammon boards  (JP White, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Suppliers--BG Shop  (Michael Nelson, Jan 2002) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (CKT, July 2004) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (Ian Shaw+, June 2002) 
Suppliers--Where to buy dice  (Andrew B.+, Jan 2008) 
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What finish to use on a cork board?  (JP White+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
What is "standard size"?  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 2001) 
What is "tournament size"?  (Rodrigo Andrade+, July 1999) 
Woodworking--Finishing a board  (M Moore+, Jan 2008) 

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