Built my first board, here are details

I just finished my first Goban and I'm very pleased with the result. I learned a few things along the way and thought I would describe my process to everyone so that you might not run into the same issues I did at the time..
I laminated three pieces of quarter-sawn 8/4 Basswood together, the result was a board measured just about 17"x18"x1.75". With the laminated board, I sanded all sides down to about 180 grit. On the face and sides, I continued to sand down to 400 grit. At this point, I was ready to figure out how to put the lines down and to apply a finish on top of the lines to protect them from wear.
Here's where I made some mistakes and learned a few things:
1. I applied a coat of wax on the board then applied the lines, this worked well but I could not apply another coat ontop of the lines without smearing them. In my case, it was because the wax was paste and had some sort of solvents which ate into the ink.
2. I didn't want to trash this wood, since it's my first shot at a board anyway.. so I decided to sand off the lines and finish. This was ugly, and I don't know how else to do it, but I got out some paint stripper and the ink ended up smearing all over the board.. after a bit of elbow grease and sweat, I got the board totally sanded down and looking clean. (I vow to do everything in my power to avoid having to sand off an existing finish in the future)
Once I got the board cleaned and back to a point where I could start over, I had to sand the whole thing with all grits from about 100 to 400.. Basswood is really soft wood so this didn't take more than about 30 or 40 minutes. At this point, I'm back to where I need to put on a base coat and then apply the lines, a protective coat, and a finish coat. I was considering tung oil, but decided to leave that for my next project, so I used polyurethane.
Here's how I finished the board and got really great results for my first shot at it:
1. After having the face and sides sanded down to 400 grit, clean the board with a damp cloth to pick up any dust and residue. Let this dry, it's important that there's no moisture which might react with the polyurethane.
2. I applied a thin layer of polyurethane (clear, water based, satin finish) to the face of the board to prevent the lines from bleeding into the grain of the wood. Paint this on, or spray it on, following the grain of the wood.
3. After the base coat of polyurethane dries, lightly sand it with 400 grit to smooth the face. At this point, I used a mechanical pencil to draw the corners and a mark at each line of a standard grid (get exact measurements at Senseis). It's important to have marks for the lines on all 4 sides of the board so you can line them up with the straight edge and get squared and uniform lines.
4. Time to draw the lines! I'm using a Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph technical pen, using a 3.5 point (1mm) and black india ink (ultradraw, quick drying, waterproof). Using an 18" metal straightedge (non-slip, with cork on the bottom which lifts the ruler off of the board to prevent the ink from smearing from the ruler), I drew the vertical and horizontal border lines and let them dry for a few minutes. I then proceeded to draw all of the horizontal lines and then all of the vertical lines. After the first set of lines is dry (only took me a minute or two to dry), I then went back over spots where the ink was thin and not a rich black 1mm line.
5. After the lines are complete, I masked off the sides with tape and sprayed a layer of polyurethane (same water based, clear, satin finish) over the lines. I found it to be important using spray polyurethane because the brushed on coat would smear the lines on my test pieces. Remove the masking tape immediately so the board can dry without the tape on it.
6. I let the final coat of polyurethane dry over night. The next morning, I then very lightly sanded the final coat with 400 grit to take off any spots that may have dried a little rough.
7. The final step was to put a finishing coat on the board, I'm using standard SC Johnson paste wax. Put a very light coat of wax on the board, rubbing with the grain of the wood and on the sides and ends of the board. It's cold this time of year so it took 20 minutes or more for the wax to nearly dry. After the wax was almost entirely dry it's time to put some elbow grease into it.. I was using a soft piece of lint-free cotton and buffed the top and sides of the board until the lines and wood grain looked nice and clear.
8. As a finishing touch, I applied a couple thin cork adhesive pads on the bottom corners.
This morning I replayed a pro game on the board, and tested the sound of an Ing stone being whacked down hard and it sounds nice. I thought the polyurethane might make the sound a bit higher pitched like a board made of particle wood, but I can definitely tell there's some 'depth' to the sound and the stones slid right into place.
Board #1 done, lots of learning and a few glitches along the way.. After the holiday season I'm going to start work on #2. I took some pictures of the process and will post them as an article on my blog at www.revgum.com once I have them processed, scanned, and uploaded. Hopefully this will help someone who might like to make their own board.
Happy Holidays, Rev
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I forgot to mention that after the lines are dry, I used a template to draw the hoshi points at 3mm in diameter. Also, to clarify, the cork pads are underneath the board and protect the underside of the board and whatever surface I'm playing on by lifting the board about 1mm off of the table. I haven't tried removing the cork pads to see if there might be a difference in the sound of the stone being placed, if anyone has thoughts on this, please feel free to add them.

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I own a Katsura table board that has four rubber feet attached. They raise the board about 1cm above the table. For comparison, I flipped it over, put the grid-side flush on the table, and rapped a few stones down on the bottom side (now up). The sounds are definitely different - much more resonant with the board raised.
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Heresy ! Bonfire for the Heretic !
;-)
i will use wax whatever.
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I got a couple of pictures of my first board scanned, uploaded, and detailed this process at Sensei's Library. For those interested, go to http://senseis.xmp.net/?halo5gobans and check out the pics of my first board completed. I plan to give this another shot in the coming weeks with a different type of wood and a different type of finish.
revgum wrote:

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revgum wrote:

    Looks quite nice, kudos on your efforts :)
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I saw the subject line in rec.woodworking and thought "hmm, that's definitely starting with the basics" until I saw the crosspost. :-)
--
-Chip Olson. | ceo2 at thsi dot org | remove the 2 to reply


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Looks like you nailed it....
________________________________________________________________________ Louise Bremner (log at gol dot com) If you want a reply by e-mail, don't write to my Yahoo address!
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