I am making four cribbage boards out of quarter sawn cherry. I want to put a
clear finish (no stain) on them. What would be the best finish. Tung oil,
clear poly? Also, I have never done cribbage boards before. Is it better to
drill the holes then finish or finish then drill holes? Thanks for your
I've made several sets of bars skittles for local pubs and incorporated
inlaid brass plates drilled as per cribbage boards for scoring. Don't
underestimate what a PITA it is to drill all those holes. The human eye is
quite forgiving when it comes to matching curves, but it is red-hot on
straight lines, and a single hole 1/2mm out in any direction will stick out
like a dog's tackle.
Marking out and drilling by hand is a long job. By the time you've marked
each hole accurately, centrepopped them, pilot drilled, main drilled and
deburred (in my case), you're looking at about 700 operations per board.
You can speed things up by producing a template on your PC using something
like Visio or a CAD program and churning out a bunch of them on A4. Cut
them to size and stick them to your blanks with weak wallpaper paste and
it'll save a lot of marking out.
A quicker and more accurate solution is to make up a jig and use the
Best solution of all is to have an engineering friend make a template in
mild steel, DS tape it to the blank and simply drill through.
Whatever solution you adopt, do a practice run on a waster piece (made from
the same wood and finished the same as your project) first to let you see if
there are any pitfalls, tearout etc. If you don't practice a new operation
on scrap, then you'll be practicing on your project, and that can lead to
BTW, large copper nails "turned" in the drill-press with a file and emery
make nice pegs. So do the mock-ivory pegs that you can buy in luthier
suppliers for holding the ball-ends of the string in place in many
steel-strung guitars (if your board is quite large).
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