Need expertise: Cribbage boards

I know it sounds pretty easy: get a nice board, drill the holes, play cribbage. But I got problems.
I'm making two boards for my daughters (we've played since they could count and add; they're teenagers now), so they've got to be perfect. So I got a verrrrrrry nice board (see separate post for "ancient kauri wood"). I also bought the continuous track cribbage template from Rockler, which spec's using a Vix bit for the holes. I've taken the Wreck's advice, re: test/practice before you f*** it up. Most cribbage boards/pegs use "standard" 1/8" or 9/64" holes.
Problems:
1. The Vix bit (No. 9, 9/64") doesn't make a clean hole (in other scrap; I have no scrap of the good board). The peg holes are closely spaced (0.20" on center); there's enough tearout between holes to discourage me from using it. I can't find a 9/64" brad point bit. Pluswhich, the Vix bit housing spins enough to counter sink the plexiglass template enough to make me worry about using the template too many times.
2. I'm not keen on drilling hundreds of holes with a 1/8" brad point bit without a template. (I don't like the template I got anyway, but that's my fault. I'd prefer to use a 4-track pattern, e.g. Dreuke CribbageMaster).
3. I had planned on finishing the boards with shellac before I drilled the holes, but the tearout problem has me re-thinking that. But, I don't like the prospect of finishing the boards after drilling the peg holes, because the shellac will fill the holes (I'm pretty sure it will, anyhow), and I'd have to re-drill the holes afterwards, again without a template.
OK, any or you Wreckers made cribbage boards out of wood you're reluctant to screw up? Any insight? Or flames?
As always, thanks a heap. -jbb
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Seems to me finishing before drilling would do the trick, helping to prevent slight tearout. I'm not familiar with kauri, is it a hardwood? Brad point should work without tearout with the proper feed and speed. Fast and Fast, I would think. Literally hundreds of holes? I wouldn't want to drill that many without a CNC machine! There are jigs you could set up on your drill press, if one is available. Basically, a fence with a hinged block which holds a pin that registers to a previous hole, for a line of evenly spaced holes. I realize the holes are close, so you may have to drill the first few before you get far enough away to use the jig.
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<snip>

Well, if it were my project, I'd use the bit in some sort of a hand chuck, and simply twist the bit a couple of times, by hand, in each hole. A nearby vacuum hose/port would remove the scrapings. Little power is needed to scrape recently applied shellac.
And the beauty is, that if you screw up the shellac, a new surface coat is easy to apply/repair/replace.
No solutions offered to your other questions, however. Good luck.
Patriarch
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You might want to upgrade the drill bit. Woodcraft has a line of good bits that are available in 64/ sizes. Good luck 15-2 15-4 and a run for 7
J.B. Bobbitt wrote:

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On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 20:15:24 -0800, Socal Woodworker

it dead sharp throughout the entire process.
You run into a very similar problem when you're doing chip carving on some tropical hardwoods. I'm doing a project in padauk right now so this is kind of at the top of my mind. The best way I've found to mitigate it is to get the tool sharp, sharp, sharp.
Another thing you might try is putting a layer of masking tape over the surface and drill through the tape. That will tend to hold the wood surface in place and make it less susceptible to tear out.
Finally: Super glue the tiny torn out fragments back in place. Done right it's almost invisible.
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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Here is a place:
http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 0-179
P/N 120-182 9/64 brad point drill bit.
Pluswhich, the Vix bit housing

Find some steel tubing with 9/64 od. Chuck up a short length of this tubing in your drill press and sharpen the inside of the tube as sharp as you can. You might want to harden the steel and then hone the edge.
Get a 9/64 pin and make a center punch. This can be done by chucking it in a hand drill and spining it while you gring the point.
Insert the tube in the hole in the template and give it a tap or two with a soft face hammer. This will cut the fibers of the wood near the surface.
Uas your center punch to mark the center of each hole.
You could also set the template on top of your board and mark the holes with a pencil. Now tape the template to the back of the board and put the template over a pin driven into a board clamped to your drill press. This will align the top of the board with the drill bit and your template will suffer no scaring.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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EXCELLENT!!! Thanks Roger.
-jbb

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J.B. Bobbitt wrote:

Just a suggestion. 40 years ago I knew an old ex-Canadian who must have been playing cribbage for 75 years. He used to make his own boards. I never watched him make them but his rows and ranks were always straight and even. What set these beautiful boards apart was the way he would set small brass shoe eyelets into each peg hole thus making the issue of imperfect hole outline (or tearout) moot.
FoggyTown
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Drill the holes first then plane the top of the board.
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RIGHT!
Only way I can think of else is to reduce the brittleness by oiling the surface heavily.
Can't you remove the bit and put in a brad point? My Makita branded allow bit replacement. Willing to bet that reverse chucking a 1/8 and applying a bit of sandpaper would do for the shank.
First thing you do when you buy a template is use it to make another template. Second thing you do is put it in a safe place while you use the one you made. Sorta like floppies back when....
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wrote:

errmmm....back when.....what are you saying?
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The instructions at http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2777 use a paper template to mark the hole locations with an awl. This method would allow you to easily construct any board layout, any size you desire. Drill bits in x/64" sizes are available from http://woodworker.com /. I think a sharp brad point bit would make clean holes...
JeffB
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One drill your holes tearout and all in boards that are slightly over thick then resurface them enough to eliminate the tearout.
Two make a template out of some relatively thick inexpensive material [say mdf] glue it, underpressure to the cribbage board with a layer of newspaper between them . drill holes them separate them with a chisel sand off the residue.....mjh
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I built a cribbage using a steel template I bought from a guy on eBay. Worked great.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 084&itemY46727554&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
Dave

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calmly ranted:

$18 plus $12 to ship it? Bwahahaha!
----------------------------------------------------------------- When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction. --Steven Wright ---------------------------- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

If one were to build a framework to set the cribbage board into, the same height of the board, wouldn't it be possible to use such a jig for all of the holes? (securing the four sides of the frame with a band clamp to prevent shifting while working)
Would tearout be prevented by having a piece of 1/4" or 1/8" hardwood plywood tightly clamped to the top of the board? With that done, wouldn't any tearout be confined to the plywood? Also, that board could be the one marked with the locations, perhaps with an awl as someone suggested.
Glenna

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JB,
I have had no experience with "ancient kuari wood" but have made cribbage boards from over 35 domestic and exotic species See http://5thpeg.com Plain sawn softer hardwoods are the worst for tearout i.e. basswood, poplar, ash, oak. Quartersawn and highly figured woods are the worst for deflecting bits and ending up with holes out of alignment.
Prevention of tearout is most easily done using brad point end-mill bits in a drill press that has been well tuned to minimize vibration. These bits are expensive but give you clean holes. ( a 1/4" carbide tipped bit is ~ $90)
Designing your own indexing jig for a drill press with this type of bit will give you perfectly aligned holes. Starting with a little extra thickness will allow sanding out any minor chipout. (Planing is an excellent idea if you can ensure yourself your not going to end up with snipe).
Finsihing previous to drilling will do little to prevent tear out. DO NOT attempt to redrill the holes to remove finish. This will lead to tearout even where there was none before. My advice is to hone the holes after you have applied your final finish to the board. One way to do this is to use the same size bit as you drilled the holes with and chuck it upside down in a portable drill and use it to ream the holes.
As you have already stated all of this is best done on "non-precious" wood until you have worked all the "bugs" out of your techniques. I hope these ideas provide you with some useful insight. Good luck.
Dave 5th Peg

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Dave;
Thanks for the info. I had already visited your site numerous times before your post here, as a result of a google search on "cribbage boards". In fact, I lifted a few pics to use for inspiration and ideas.
I'll put your expertiese and advice to good use.
-jbb

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